Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle) builds on our foundational poses of Warrior II and Mountain pose. The opposition comes from rooting into the feet whilst stretching with the arms. Again, we see the foundation of mountain as our legs ground and the upper body moves in opposition. This pose opens the heart and extends the spine.
The Legs are solid and we see a firming of the inner groin for stability as we push to the outer edge of the back foot rooting us in the back leg and moving the body forward for a deep full side body stretch
Body Parts Effected: Ankle, legs, thighs, hips, shoulders core
Preparatory poses: Mountain Pose, Warrior II
Pose type: Standing Pose
Also known as: Utthita Trikonasana (Utthita = Extended, Tri = Three, Kona = Angle, Asana = Pose)
1. Standing in Mountain pose step the right leg behind, this is a long stride, aligning the feet in a heel to arch alignment with the toes of the right foot point away from the body at a 45 degree angle. The feet should be generously separated.
2. Reaching the left arm forward until the extension of the spine has reached a comfortable stretch.
3. Allow the left hand to gently press onto the left leg, above or below the knee. Never on the knee, the knee is a hinge not a rotational element.
4. Allow the knees to be straight on both legs, do not lock the knees.
5. Begin to focus on opening up the right hip by “stacking” it over the left. Feel as though you are against a wall and that you are trying to place your body in 2 dimensions.
6. Gently open the waist to begin to align the right waist over the left.
7. Finally open the right shoulder, moving it back in space to stack over the left shoulder
8. Extend the right arm directly above the right shoulder.
9. Gaze turns up toward right hand.
10. The left hand should be gently resting on the left leg but not pushing on it as your chest rotates towards the sky.
11. To exit the pose, look down, soften the left knee gently inhaling to standing maybe passing through Warrior 2 pose.
12. Rotate onto back right ball of foot and step feet together at top of mat back in Mountain Pose.
Use of a Props and Modifications
1. Setting the back foot at the base of a wall can help with grounding of back foot.
2. For Balance using a wall as a prop, align your front foot pinky toe edge to the wall and step foot back with heel at base of wall. As you move into the pose you will have the wall as your full body prop.
3. Using a block to either the inside or outside of the leg to rest the hand.
4. Looking down at the front foot to remove neck strain.
5. Wrapping top arm behind the back is excellent for shoulder pain.
6. Also placing hand of top arm on hip is an excellent way to reduce strain on arm/shoulder.
7. For added core strength and balance, float bottom hand away from floor or leg.
8. Extending both the bottom and top arm alongside the ears will strengthen core and obliques.
a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. Anyone low blood pressure or headaches should not practice the pose.
c. If you have high blood pressure, looking down is preferable in this pose.
d. If you are experiencing menstrual cramping this is an excellent pose helping to stretch the abdominal wall.
e. Anyone with neck injuries should always look down in this pose.
f. Anyone with shoulder injuries should wrap the arm behind back, lay along side or hand at hip to reduce shoulder strain.