Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

Extended triangle pose (via flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/hollymosier/4769636120/)
Pronunciation: oo-TEE-tah trik-cone-AHS-anna
Pose Type: Standing

Extended Triangle Pose, or Utthita Trikonasana, is a standing yoga pose that is a building block for the balance and grace required in all areas of life. It creates symmetry throughout your entire body. Triangle pose is an excellent pose for strengthening the lower body while lengthening stiff muscles. As a result, it’s the go-to pose for relieving anxiety or stress.

Ideal for people at desk jobs, Extended Triangle Pose works to stretch all major muscle groups that are affected by sedentary work. It teaches your body better balance and relaxes the least used muscles of the lower body. The pose is usually performed in two parts – one facing one direction and then the other. The pose may be part of a sequence, or asana flow, or done simply as a break. Practicing this pose on a regular basis will bring poise, strength, and equanimity to your daily routine.

Pose Sequence

You can begin this pose from a number of positions, but we’ll describe it from Warrior II:

  1. Starting from Warrior II, straighten the front leg and keep the arms raised and parallel with the floor.
  2. Reach the front arm forward, hinging from the waist and engaging the thigh muscles to evenly balance your weight on both legs.
  3. Drop the front hand down onto your shin, ankle, or the floor (depending on your personal flexibility) and raise other arm high to the sky.
  4. Stack the shoulders over each other in alignment, keeping both rooted in the shoulder sockets.
  5. Turn your gaze upward and follow along your upper arm to the fingertips. Keep your face relaxed and your breath stead as you extend through the fingertips in both directions.
  6. Draw the forward thigh upwards to deepen the crease in that hip, keeping a microbend in the forward knee.

To come out of the pose, inhale and rotate the upper arm back to parallel with the floor as the body rises out of the pose. Pivot your heels to reverse the orientation to complete the other side. If you find yourself collapsing into the pose, put a block under the front hand for support.

Benefits of Extended Triangle Pose, or Utthita Trikonasana Pose

The benefits of this pose include:

  • Creates expansion in the shoulders and chest
  • Increases the mobility of the hip joints and neck
  • Stretches and strengthening the spine and back
  • Strengthens and tones the thigh muscles
  • Stretches calf muscles, hamstrings, and hips
  • Can help relieve back pain

Utthita Trikonasana improves your sense of position in space between the feet and ankles.

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By Virginia O'Connor

Co-founder of AudibleYoga.com and writer/content manager.