Asana of the month: Extended Triangle Pose – Utthita Trikonasana

Thinking about my Yoga practice at home, I decided to dedicate each month a certain Asana. This will mean, I’ll delve into the posture by reading more about it, learn more about its benefits and precautions and of course I will add it to my daily Yoga practice and (hopefully) see an improvement.

For this month, I chose Utthita Trikonasana, the extended triangle pose. As I’ve recently started my “Vegan for Fit Challenge” and focus a lot on detoxification I wanted to pick a twist for this month’s Asana. Twists are always popping up when you search for “Yoga” and “Detox”, however there is no scientific proof that twists really help cleansing the liver, etc. Nevertheless, I feel that this is the right Asana for this month.

Utthita Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

The Extended Triangle Pose is one of the key standing pose found in most styles of yoga. It is energizing, strengthens the legs and the back, stretches the inner thighs and hamstrings, stimulates the abdominal organs an opens arms and shoulders.
Here’s a step by step instruction:

Via Yoga Pose Weekly on Pinterest
1. Stand with your feet wide apart, arms parallel to the floor reaching actively out to the sides, palms facing to the floor.

2. Turn your right foot about 90 degrees to the right and the left foot also slightly to the right. Heels should be in line.
Keep the thighs firm and roll the right thigh out to alighn the right knee with the center of the right ankle. The Weight is evenly distributed over both feet.

3. Lenghten through all sides, extend through the fingertips. On an exhale extend your upper body to the right, bending from the hip joint, not the waist. Pressing the outer heel into the floor will help you to anchor this movement.

4. Bring your right arm down resting your hand where it’s comfortable for you: the shin, ankle, the floor or block inside or outside your right foot. Left arm straight up to the ceiling, in line with the shoulders.
Spiral your heart to the ceiling while keeping the head in a neutral position, softly gazing at the left hand.

5. Relax your face, breathe gently and keep extending through your fingertips and lengthening through the crown of your head. Stay here for up to 60 seconds.

6. Strongly press your feet into the floor, inhale and come up to standing straight. Pivot your heels and repeat to the other side.

Tips & Precautions for Extended Triangle Position

As it is hard to distribute the weight evenly over both feet, it helps to push the back of the back foot heel against the wall. For the correct alignment, it is also helpful to place the back side of the whole body against a wall.

It’s important to keep the legs straight, so for me (especially in the mornings when my body is really stiff) I help myself with a block so it’s easier to bring the lower hand down to the floor.
You should avoid to rest the hand on your knee, as it would create too much pressure. When your have neck problems, keeping the gaze straight ahead or even look down to the floor.

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