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Asana ABC series – Utthita Trikonasana – Extended Triangle Pose

Welcome to Asana ABC. We are creating a library of step-by-step tutorials of yoga poses to help you develop, grow, and expand in your yoga practice. Here, you’ll find instructions on how to get into a posture whilst learning how to reduce the risk of an injury. Learn about alignment and how to practising safely. Each tutorial covers modifications and variations of each pose to aid you in working out what works best for your body. Find out how to do standing, seated, twisting, and supine poses that are suitable for beginners to advanced practitioners. Happy practising!

Utthita Trikonasana – Extended Triangle Pose

Utthita Trikonasana or, Extended Triangle pose, is a standing posture that stretches out the legs all the way from the ankles up to the hamstrings, whilst building strength in the legs and the core. It also opens up the chest and shoulders.

This pose is often featured in vinyasa flow classes and is one of the first standing postures in the Ashtanga Vinyasa series. Learn how to safely practice this pose with alignment cues below, as well as learning the modifications that your body may currently need.

Remember to honour your body and listen to your breath.

1. Step your left foot back so that your right foot is pointing forward (90 degrees) and your feet are a little bit wider than hip distance apart. Line up your back foot so its parallel with the back edge of the mat. Bring your heels in line with each other.

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2. Raise your arms out beside you so they are at shoulder height. Extend your palms wide and keep your fingers together.

3. Push your right big toe into the mat. Inhale reach as far forward as you can keeping your front leg straight and lengthen the right side of your body.

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4. Exhale come down and hook your right big toe with your peace fingers on your right hand. Open up your chest and gaze up at your top hand.

5. Hold here for five deep breaths.

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To exit the pose

Exhale look down at your mat. Inhale press your feet into the mat and rise all the way up to standing with your arms out beside you. Exhale step to the top of your mat with your feet together and bring your arms down by your sides.

Repeat these steps to practice the pose on your left side.

Modifications

If you find that you are currently unable to hook your big toe or you strain whilst doing so; either bring your lower hand to your shin or your ankle. Or, use a block for support.

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Place the block on the outside of your right foot at any height that works best for you. As you come down place your right hand on the block.

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Contraindications/ Cautions

  • If you have a neck injury or problem avoid looking up and gaze straight forward instead.
  • If you have high blood pressure look down rather than up.

About Georgia Brent

Avatar Georgia turned to yoga after years of battling recurring depression and anxiety during her teens and early twenties. After finding the courage to go to a class, she hasn’t looked back and found that yoga gave her the strength to deal with life and all its challenges like never before. Three years later, she is a now a freelance writer and a yoga teacher, with a deep-rooted passion for helping others tap into their own source of self-love, self-acceptance, and empowerment.

She has extensively travelled across the globe and her adventures have led her to teach in Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Georgia has also continued to study yoga in Mysore, India. She is currently based in Wiltshire, UK.

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