Extended Triangle Pose  -Utthita Trikonasana

Step by step

  • Stand facing the long side of your mat with your feet about a leg distance apart. 
  • Turn your right foot out so your toes are pointing to the short edge of the mat and turn your left toes in, about 45 degrees. You are looking for stability through both legs. 
  • Engage your legs and roll the right thigh out so the right knee is in line with the first two toes. 
  • Lengthen through both sides of the waist, draw your lower belly in and up and lift your arms parallel to the floor. 
  • Inhale as you reach to the right extending your body over your right leg, shifting your hips towards the back of the mat. Exhale as you bring your right arm down, placing your hand either on the leg, the floor or a block. Rotate your ribs towards the ceiling. 
  • Point the left arm straight up to the ceiling, hand in line with your shoulder, palm facing forwards 
  • Lengthen through the sides of the neck, keeping your neck in line with your spine. Look straight ahead, or tuck the chin slightly and turn to look up towards your left hand. 
  • Keep your face relaxed and breath gently as you keep pressing through the feet, extending through fingertips and crown of the head, and rotating your ribcage. 
  • 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 and repeat on the other side. 

Beginners tips

  • Place your hand on a block on the inside or outside of the foot depending on what feels best for your body, to keep both sides of your waist long. 
  • Press firmly through the feet to help your upper body feel lighter - this is the press-rebound effect. 

Benefits

  • Strengthens the legs and back. 
  • Stretches inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, chest and opens hips. 
  • Energizes, balances and improves focus.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs. 

Watch out for

  • Keep a micro-bend in the knee that you are bending towards and avoid placing your hand directly on the joint. 
  • In case of neck issues, look down to the floor. 

Variations

  • 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.
  • Triangle pose can be taught differently depending on the teacher and style of yoga. Try out different positioning of the feet to feel what works best for your body. Watch Tashi Dawa's 10 key postures workshop for ideas.