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Utthita Trikonasana | Extended Triangle Pose

Utthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle pose is a lovely, heart opening, energising posture, often called the joyful pose. It has many benefits including;

  • Strengthens the legs and back.

  • Stretches inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, chest and opens hips.

  • Energizes, balances and improves focus.

  • Stimulates abdominal organs

The images we see on social media and online videos often showing the top hand resting on the ground are sometimes not very accessible for people, so they compromise the posture in order to get their hand to the ground. This can cause injury. Try doing the posture against a wall, so that you maintain the openness in the chest, and length in the spine and work really mindfully feeling your way into the posture.

Image 1: Rest your back, shoulders and glutes against the wall, keeping the spine long. Turn the right foot out, and left foot in a little. Lengthen through both sides of the waist, draw your lower belly in and up and lift your arms parallel to the floor to shoulder height.

Image 2: Begin to extend through the right arm, keeping length down the right side of the body, so you're not collapsing over the right leg. The heart and chest are still open, the back and shoulders are still against the wall as you begin to windmill your arms over. If your left buttock starts to lift and rotate away from the wall, you've come to far, so take the arms back up a little until the left buttock rests on the wall again. Keep a micro bend in the right knee. Over time you will be able to come further into the posture. Include some hip openers in your practice.

Image 3: If you can maintain contact with the shoulders and glutes on the wall, point the left arm straight up and right arm down with the palms facing out. The chest and heart remain open. Press firmly through the feet to help the upper body feel lighter. Keep your face relaxed and breathe gently. Keep the neck in line with the spine, rather than letting it droop. Practice this on the other side, before trying the posture free-standing. When you do practice this free-standing, keep the obliques (side waist muscles) engaged, and don't hang onto the bottom leg.

Make sure you do it on both sides. Good luck, and let me know how you get on. Love and light. Sarah x


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