Extended Triangle Pose -Utthita Trikonasana
Step by step
- Facing the long edge of your mat, step your feet wide apart, about the length of your leg.
- Turn your right foot 90 degrees so the toes point to the short edge of the mat, and turn the left foot in about 45 degrees towards the right.
- Distribute weight evenly over the four corners of both feet, lift arches and inner ankles up.
- With straight legs, lift your knee caps drawing the top of thighs up and back, roll the right thigh out so the right knee is in line with first two toes.
- Lengthen through both sides of the waist, draw you lower belly in and up. Inhale and lift your arms parallel to the floor, extend through to the fingertips as you exhale.
- Inhale and reach to the right extending your body over your right leg, shift your hips towards the back of the mat and exhale as you bring your right arm down, placing your hand where it reaches, either on the leg, foot, the floor. Or place your hand on a block on the inside or outside of the foot depending on what feels best for your body.
- Point the left arm straight up to the ceiling, hand in line with your shoulder, palm facing forwards.
- Keep as much length in the left side waist as in the right, rotate your ribs to the ceiling.
- Lengthen through the sides of the neck, keeping your neck in line with spine. Look straight in front of you, or tuck the chin slightly and turn to look up toward your left hand.
- Keep your face relaxed and breath gently as you keep pressing through the feet, extending through fingertips and lengthening through the crown of the head.
- To come out press your feet firmly into the floor, inhale and reach your left arm up to the ceiling as you come back to standing straight.
- Pivot your heels so you reverse the orientation of your feet to the other side and repeat on the left.
- Try to keep both sides of your waist long, if you find you are crunching the ribs towards the hips you can bring your hand higher up your leg or into a block.
- Press firmly through the feet to help your upper body feel lighter - this is the press-rebound effect.
- If you are working on your balance you can gaze at your foot instead of looking up.
- Strengthens the legs and back.
- Stretches inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, chest and opens hips.
- Energizes, balances and focuses you.
- Stimulates abdominal organs.
Watch out for
- Your knees. Don't rest your hand directly on your knee as this is too much weight on the joint.
- Locking the knee too much. You can keep a micro-bend in the leg you are bending towards. This will also work your muscles more.
- If you have neck problems - keep the gaze straight ahead or look down to the floor instead of looking to the top hand.
- You can change the dynamic of this stretch by bringing the top arm over the back of the top of the ear, parallel to the floor.
- For an extra core challenge lift your bottom arm parallel with the floor instead of resting the hand on your leg, stay here for 5 breaths.
- The positioning of the feet in this pose can be taught differently depending on the teacher and style of yoga.