Utthita Trikonasana

Intermidate

Standing Asanas

Utthita Trikonasana

Extended Side Triangle Pose

(ut-thi-ta-tri-ko-na-sun)

Meaning: utthita = extended / trikona = triangle

Muscle and Joints:

Preparation

Stand upright with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, arms at your sides, feet together. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Inhale. Exhaling, step your feet (one at a time) out to the side about two and a half shoulder widths apart. Turn your left foot about 45 degrees inward and your right foot toward the front of your mat. Align the heels. Inhaling, raise your arms parallel to the floor and stretch them farther out to the sides, shoulder blades wide and palms down. Strengthen your thighs and turn right thigh outward so that the knee cap and the ankle are in-line .Exhaling, bend your torso from the hips toward your right foot (keep right leg straight). Strengthen the back leg and press outer edge of the left foot into the floor. Stretch as far forward as possible. Rest your right hand on the floor inside the front foot. Inhaling, rotate the torso upward (opening the chest), keep the left side lengthened, and try to position the left shoulder directly above the right (to keep both arms aligned). Raise your left arm to the sky. Look up toward your left hand. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, stretch farther. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Exhale. Inhaling, raise torso back to an upright position. Exhaling, lower the arms and relax the shoulders. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Turn both feet forward (parallel to each other) and repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • For stability, keep the weight of the body on the rear leg and press down onto the outer edge of the rear foot.
  • Keep the front heel in-line with the rear heel.
  • Try to stretch both shoulders equally.
  • Do not overstrain the stretched side; distribute the strain over as much of the body as possible to avoid overstraining a particular area.
  • When raising the arm up, open the chest, and raise it directly from the side (not rotating from the front or back) to avoid shoulder strain.

Precautions

Avoid

If you suffer from chronic/serious back, abdomen, or hip problems . People with chronic/serious neck problems should not turn their neck (keep neck neutral) during this pose.

Be careful

If you have diarrhea, headache/migraine, low blood pressure, or heart issues.

Benefits

General

  • Opens the chest.
  • Stretches spine, hips, pelvis, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
  • Improves spinal flexibility.
  • Strengthens neck, arms, shoulders, back, abdomen, and legs.
  • Relieves stiffness in the back, especially through second trimester of pregnancy.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Improves flat feet.

Therapeutic

Helps anxiety, and sciatic nerve pain.

Variations

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