Triangle Pose

How to do Triangle Pose

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How to do Triangle Pose


Utthita Trikonasana

Say it like this: oo-TEE-Tah-tree-koh-NAH-suh-nah

From the Sanskrit, utthita meaning extended, tri meaning three, kona meaning angle and asana meaning pose.

Trikonasana is a beginner pose, one of the first most people learn when they take up yoga but that doesn’t mean that it is without difficulty especially if you have got short hamstrings and tight hips. It is easy to lose balance at first and can be difficult  to maintain alignment at the same time as maintaining the breath whilst in the pose.

A Triangle is a simple shape beloved of architects and maths teachers. It is simple and structured and uncomplicated.

THE BENEFITS

There are many benefits to Triangle Pose. It will strengthen and tone your legs, feet and neck and opens the hips, the groin area and the shoulders.

It stimulates the abdomen area and helps to improve torso rotation. Like many yoga poses it is credited with relieving stress and anxiety. Mindfulness and patience are improved through this particular structure and through awareness of the breath. The Triangle Pose improves stability, balance and alignment and provides the practitioner with the foundation needed for more advanced poses.

How to do Triangle Pose

Starting from a standing position and facing the long edge of your mat, exhale and step your feet apart approximately 3-4 feet with heels aligned to each other as wide as feels comfortable. Turn the toes of your right foot to the right wall at approximately 90 degrees so that your foot is pointing to the short edge of the mat and turn the left toes inward slightly, approximately 45 degrees.

Keeping straight legs, lift through the arches of your feet while rooting down through the ankles. Inhale and raise your arms to the side at shoulder height, palms down, so that they are aligned over your legs and parallel to the floor.

Exhale, reach through your right hand in the same direction as the corresponding foot. Shift the left hip back until the coccyx and pelvis are tilting towards the space behind the left foot. Do not let your torso drop forward whilst you fold at the right hip. Turn the palm of your left hand forwards, fingers reaching towards the ceiling.

Rest your right hand on the outside of your shin, ankle or the floor or just to your thigh depending on your flexibility. Do not rest the hand on the knee. Your hand should rest  lightly on your limb so if you were to lift your hand off your leg you would still be remaining in the pose. Align your shoulders, left shoulder directly above right.

Lengthen through the side of your neck with the neck and spine aligned.

You can either gaze towards your right thumb or if you have full flexibility of your neck you can tuck in your chin and turn to look up towards your left hand. You have now made the Triangle shape.

Should you feel unsteady in the pose you can put your back heel against the wall or brace your back against the wall.

However if you want to deepen the side stretch, extend and stretch your top arm over your top ear parallel to the floor.

Pay attention to your breathing and let go of distracting thoughts. Press through your feet, extending through the fingers and lengthening through the top of your head. Hold the pose for up to a minute.

To release, exhale and press your feet into the floor, inhale whilst pressing through your left heel as you lift your torso and lower your arms. Turn to the left reversing the position of the feet and repeat on the opposite side.

Contraindications

Avoid this pose if you have low or high blood pressure or if you are suffering from headaches or diarrhoea . If you have any neck injury you should not turn the head to look up towards the top hand. Always practise within your range of ability and your physical limits.

Variations