How to practice: Utthita Trikoṇāsana (Extended Triangle Pose)

by Delight Yoga

Six simple Fundamental Asanas (postures) build the foundation of an Astanga Vinyasa Yoga practice. They are often called “standing positions” because they are composed of six relatively easy standing asanas. Trikoṇāsana is the third of these fundamental postures.  

The six fundamental postures are right at the beginning of every Astanga Yoga practice. No matter how advanced you are, after five rounds of Surya Namaskara A and B, you start with these postures. Here, you carry the rhythm you have set up in Surya Namaskara A & B in a flow from asana to asana. With this solid basis, you are perfectly prepared to enter whichever series you are practising. 

Utthita Trikoṇāsana, or 'Extended Triangle Pose', is the quintessential standing pose in many styles of yoga.

Utthita Trikoṇāsana Instructions
 

1. ekam
Inhale, stepping right foot back, extend arms out
Dhristi: to the tip of the hand (hastāgre)

2. dve
Exhale, grab right big toe (thumb from outside, index and middle finger from inside)
Dhristi: to the tip of the foot​ (pādayoragre)

- 5 breaths, Utthita Trikoṇāsana (right side)
  Dhristi: to the tip of the hand (hastāgre)

3. trīṇi
Inhale, square up, turn, extend arms to side
Dhristi: to the tip of the hand (hastāgre)

4. catvāri
Exhale, grab left big toe (thumb from outside, index and middle finger from inside)
Dhristi: to the tip of the foot (pādayoragre)

- 5 breaths, Utthita Trikoṇāsana (left side)
  Dhristi: to the tip of the hand (hastāgre)

5. pañca
Inhale, square off to side (turn)
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

- Exhale, stepping to the front of the mat, Samasthitiḥ
  Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)
 

Utthita Trikoṇāsana Benefits
 

- Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees and ankles

- Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings and calves; shoulders, chest and spine

- Stimulates the abdominal organs

- Helps relieve stress and improves digestion

- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

- Relieves backache, especially through the second trimester of pregnancy

- Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis and sciatica