triangle pose (trikonasana)

Triangle Pose, or Trikonasana in Sanskrit, is a great pose for opening the hips, lengthening and strengthening your legs and opening your chest, among other benefits. This pose can be a challenge, and it’s important not to overextend your knees while in it. It helps to stretch your legs before you perform this pose because tight legs can lead to incorrect form.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

It is a smooth transition from Warrior II Pose into Triangle Pose. Or, if you would rather start in Mountain Pose, bring your feet more than shoulder-width apart, about three to four feet from each other. Turn your right foot 90 degrees out (facing forward) and turn your left foot in about 45 degrees, just as your feet would be placed in Warrior II. Your hips should stay facing straight ahead as in Warrior II as well. If you’re going straight from Warrior II, you will simply straighten your front leg to end up in the same position.

Lift your arms straight out to the sides and rotate your shoulders back and down, open your chest and extend your head and neck toward the ceiling (reach from the crown of the head). Your arms should be in a straight line parallel to the floor, with your palms facing the floor. If you started in Warrior II, your arms will already be out to the sides.

Keep your arms, legs and torso straight as you bend at the waist to the right (hinging at the hip). You won’t be twisting, but going straight down. You will bring your right hand down to your right calf or your right ankle. Your left arm will be extended straight in the air, perpendicular to the floor if you can. Keep your shoulder back and turn your head to look up at the left hand fingertips. Stay in this pose for about 30 seconds to a minute, then slowly bring your torso up, turn your feet so they’re facing forward and parallel to each other, and then repeat on the other side.

If you choose, you can progress into Extended Triangle Pose. For this pose, you bring your hand farther down to hold the front foot or the floor next to the foot. Try to master the regular Triangle Pose first, as the extended pose puts more pressure on your body.

Benefits:

Opens hips
Strengthens and lengthens front and back of legs, as well as glutes
Opens chest
Stretches shoulders and back

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