Trikoṇāsana (Triangle Pose)
  • Stand straight with your feet together, in tāḍāsana
  • Step your right foot back 3 feet, turning it outward to a 90-degree angle
  • Keep the left foot pointing forward
  • Ensure both legs are straight
  • Keep the hips and torso facing to the side
  • Bring your arms up to shoulder level
  • Bend towards the left side and rest the left palm on the left ankle
  • Stretch the right arm up and look up
  • Stay for 5 breaths

Asana in Depth

Trikoṇāsana, also known triangle pose, gives an extension and stretch to the side of the
body.

Start by standing straight with the feet together, in tāḍāsana. Then step your right foot back about 3 feet. Place the foot flat on the floor and turn it slightly outward, almost to a 90-degree angle. Keep the left foot pointing to the front of the mat, in a position where a line drawn from the heel crosses the middle arch of the right foot. Ensure both legs are straight, without overextending the knees. This implies that you keep a micro-bend at the knees. Engage both thighs, lift the kneecaps up, and press the outer edge of the right foot into the mat. Imagine stretching both sides of the groin away from each other; the right one stretching back to the right, and the left one stretching forward to the left. Turn both knees and thighs outward and away from each other, broadening the pelvis. Tuck your tailbone under and keep the belly in. Lift the chest up and lengthen the torso away from the pelvis. Raise your arms up at shoulder level, keeping the shoulders away from the ears, and reach out to either side with your arms. Bend toward the left side while keeping both legs straight, and drop the left hand down onto the left ankle, or to the floor if you reach, and the right arm straight up. Be careful here not to allow the lift hip to pop to the side by going too deep. To ensure proper alignment, draw the left hip forward and the right hip back. Keep the torso parallel to the side, by drawing it toward the wall behind you. Lift your right arm up toward the ceiling and lengthen the fingers. Keep both arms in one straight line and roll the shoulders back to maintain an open chest. Now tuck your chin slightly in and look up to the ceiling. It is recommended to stay here for at least five deep breaths. Then repeat the same on the other side.

As a variation to this posture you can bring your arms into a bind. Rather than keeping the left hand on the ankle, bring it backward around the hips. Grab hold of the right wrist as you open the chest to the side. Another variation is to come into revolved triangle position. Here, instead of bringing the left hand down to the left ankle, you bring the right hand down to the left ankle or floor. Twist the spine, and raise the left arm up into the air

One of the benefits of this posture is that it strengthens the legs. In particular the thighs, the knees and the ankles, as both legs are fully engaged during the pose. It also strengthens the arms and upper back, and can relieve back and neck pain. It opens the hips and stretches the groins. It stretches the abdomen and the side of the body. This posture is said to increase the digestive fire and can therefore help in digestion as well as building an appetite.

The contraindications for this pose are back and neck injuries. If your neck starts hurting during the pose, it is advised to look forward rather than up.

Major Benefits
  • Strengthens the thighs, knees and ankles
  • Strengthens the upper back, shoulders and arms
  • Stretches the abdomen, chest and groin
  • Improves digestion and appetite
Contra Indications
  • Back and neck injuries
Anatomy Basics
  • Tones the quadriceps femoris
  • Tones trapezius muscles
  • Stretches thigh adductor
  • Stretches groin
  • Stretches external and internal oblique
  • Stretches triceps