Yoga Posture Guide - The Triangle Pose (Trikona-asana)

The Triangle Pose (Trikona-asana)
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Translation of The Triangle Yoga Pose (Trikona-asana)

The Sanskrit word tri means three and kona means corner or angle. Thus "three corner or three angle posture" is often called the triangle posture. This posture is also known as the utthita trikona-asana. Utthita means stretched or extended thus this is the Extended Triangle Pose.

Pronunciation: tri-cone-ah-sa-na

Difficulty: (3)

The Triangle Pose (Trikona-asana) is an excellent posture to do early in your routine. The forward bending and lifting stimulates blood flow and helps to stretch and relax the back, shoulders, legs, and arms as well as increases the flow of blood to the head. The muscles of the thighs and calves, as well as the hamstrings, are stretched. The slight twist of the spine creates suppleness in the spinal discs and relieves lower back discomforts.

Unlike most yoga postures, the Triangle Yoga Pose requires keeping the eyes open in order to maintain body balance.

The posture can be held longer by breathing gently through the nostrils rather than holding the breath. Another variation is to perform the trikona-asana rapidly thereby giving it a slightly aerobic effect.

Benefits of the Triangle Yoga Pose (Trikonasana)


  • Strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms, and chest
  • Stretches and opens the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine
  • Increases mental and physical equilibrium
  • Helps improve digestion
  • Reduces anxiety, stress, back pain and sciatica.

Instructions for The Triangle Yoga Pose (Trikona-asana)


  1. Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tada-asana). 
  2. Separate the feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart. 
  3. Inhale and raise both arms straight out from the shoulders parallel to the floor with the palms facing down. 
  4. Exhale slowly while turning the torso to the left, bend at the waist and bring the right hand down to the left ankle. The palm of the right hand is placed along the outside of the left ankle. The left arm should be extended upward. Both legs and arms are kept straight without bending the knees and elbows. 
  5. Turn the head upward to the left and gaze up at the fingertips of the left hand. Inhale and return to a standing position with the arms outstretched. 
  6. Hold this position for the duration of the exhaled breath. Exhale and repeat steps 4 - 6 on the opposite side. 
Duration/Repetitions: Remain in the forward bending position for the duration of the exhaled breath. Do two or three repetitions (one repetition consists of bending forward on both sides).

MODIFICATIONS + VARIATIONS OF TRIANGLE YOGA POSE


Modifications: Use a yoga block on the floor to support the lower hand.

Variations:
  • Bring the raised arm over the ear parallel to the floor. 
  • The lower hand can rest on the floor on the inside or outside of the leg, or the lower hand can grasp the big toe with the middle and index fingers.

Contraindications of the Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)


Avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from a migraine, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, or neck and back injuries (those with high blood pressure may do this pose but without raising their hand overhead, as this may further raise the blood pressure).

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