Extended Side Angle Pose
March 30, 2015
Feathered Peacock Pose
March 30, 2015

Extended Triangle Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Utthita Trikonasana
(oo-tee-tah tree-koh-NAHS-anna)
utthita = extended
tri = three
ko = angle 

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the muscles of the side body
  • Lengthens the hamstring and strengthens hip flexors of the front leg
  • Increases spinal flexibility
  • Stretches the backs of the legs
  • Tones the reproductive organs
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Balances sacroiliac joints
  • Relieves nervous depression

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Neck injury: gaze toward the floor
  • Cervical spine pathologies
  • Balance deficits
  • Ankle, knee, or hip injury

HOW TO

  1. Stand with your feet in a wide stance, about 3-4 feet apart. Turn your right toes out 90 degrees to the right. Press into both feet with equal weight.
  2. Raise your arms to shoulder height, palms facing forward. Inhale and lift from the waist.
  3. Exhale and slowly begin to bend at the front hip, reaching forward over the right leg while engaging the core to find your edge. Stablilize the left hip by squeezing the quadriceps and gluteals while pressing the left hip toward the back of your mat.
  4. Extend through the crown of your head to lengthen the spine. Windmill the arms down to stack the left shoulder over the right, extending the left arm toward the sky. The bottom hand can settle at the shin, ankle, or floor. Allow the palms to face forward and gaze up toward your left hand.
  5. Stay in the pose for 5-10 slow breaths. Look down toward the floor and contract your legs muscles; then lift through the torso and rise with an inhale. Exhale to release your arms and knee. Repeat on the opposite side.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

  • Tiryaka Tadasana (Swaying Palm Tree pose)

Modifications:

  • Look toward the ground if there is any strain in the neck.
  • Bring the hand to the shin rather than the ankle.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Make the pose a side bend, not a forward bend.
  • Contract the leg muscles before rising.
  • Keep the upper and lower spine lengthened, and windmill the arms down to stack the shoulder joints.
  • Engage your glutes and reach through your crown to lengthen the spine.
  • On each inhale, feel your chest expand and spine lengthen. On each exhale, hinge forward further and spiral open your ribcage.

VARIATIONS

  • Lower the top arm alongside the ear and parallel to the ground.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Hips rotating forward