Ashtanga Yoga Pose Explained

Utthita Trikonasana is commonly referred to as the Triangle Pose as it forms a triangle out of the body. Proper alignment is surprisingly tricky to achieve in this asana. One can find it easy to move into the pose and assume you have completed the pose correctly. Note that there are very particular stretches you should feel in certain areas of the body. Done incorrectly, Utthita Trikonasana does not offer the necessary benefits to the practitioner.

Benefits of Utthita Trikonasana:

Utthita Trikonasana strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles as it simultaneously stretches the muscles in the hips, groin, hamstrings, chest, and calves. This asana is excellent for opening and strengthening the sides of the body. This asana also gives us a sense of how to balance the body when performing the standing sequence from thighs to knees to ankles.

Let’s go over the steps of how to do Utthita Trikonasana!

(1) Ekam - Inhale - Start to the right, right foot parallel to the edge of the mat, left heelturned
inwards 45 degrees. Left heel and right heel are aligned.

(2) Dve - Exhale - Bend to the right, reach out over right foot, hold the big toe with first two fingers
and thumb. Turn your head up towards left hand. If you cannot comfortably reach the toes, place your hand to ankle or shin bone to prevent straining your back.

Hold the posture and breathe for 5 breaths.

(3) Trini - Inhale - Come up slowly.

(4) Chatvari - Exhale - To the other side.

Hold the posture and breathe for 5 breaths.

(5) Pancha - Inhale - Come up slowly.
Exhale - Feet together in Samasthi.

The eye-gaze, dristi, is Hastagrai (hand).

Tips for Successfully Completing Utthita Trikonasana:

Turn your navel and chest upwards and do not collapse the back! Make sure your chest is completely perpendicular to the ground so you are not leaning forward. Extend your arm all the way straight above you, extend from the armpits. Keep both arms straight. Press more into your back foot and into the heel to make sure that your thigh rotates outward. Also, do not push too firmly with your front foot, especially your right foot. Pushing on your leading foot can cause damage to the knee, specifically, hyperextension is possible. Always have a slight contraction, a tiny bend, in the front knee to prevent injury.