Triangle Pose, or Utthita Trikonasana in Sanskrit, is probably one of my favorite poses–it cools the entire body while finding a great balance of strength and stability. It stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, chest and spine while strengthening the legs. It also helps stimulate the abdominal organs which improves digestion, because you keep the lower belly drawing in while lifting and twisting. Click through the photos above and read the instructions below to see how to do Triangle Pose or Trikonasana:
- From the front of your mat, step into a wide legged stance towards the right, with your feet about 4 feet apart. Extend your arms straight out to the side–your feet should be directly below your palms.
- Moving from the hip joint, turn your right foot to face the back of your mat–when you move from the hip, you get all of the juicy external rotation in your entire right leg to help set up a great foundation for this pose. Turn your left foot in slightly. Keep your arms extending actively to the sides.
- Slowly on an exhale, while you hug your right hip back, extend your right arm straight over your right leg to gain as much length in your torso as possible. Don’t lower the right arm to the floor yet–keep extending it as much as you can parallel to the floor.
- Anchor through the entire left leg, especially the outer arch of your left foot, to help stabilize your body.
- Begin letting the right arm lower to reach your toe (advanced), the floor, your shin, or a block (as pictured). Let your left arm extend straight from your shoulder girdle, parallel to your right arm. It’s important to recognize that we don’t need to have the hand at the toe or on the floor–we never want to compromise length in the torso, or else we lose the whole pose. Start with your hand on a block or at your shin to keep lengthening both sides of the body with integrity.
- Reach up vigorously through the left arm to help elongate your torso and keep pressing into the left leg/foot to find strength.
- While you tuck your lower belly in–Inhale as you lengthen out, and exhale as you twist towards the ceiling. Keep your gaze upwards if that’s ok for your neck, or keep your neck neutral.
- Stay for 5-10 breaths, inhale as you raise up and out–then go to the other leg.