One of my personal favorites, Utthita Trikonasana or Triangle Pose feels delicious on just about every part of the body. It’s therapeutic for back pain, flat feet, neck pain, and sciatica. This pose also helps relieve anxiety.
When it comes to Trikonasana, most people just want to touch the ground, but this pose isn’t about that at all. While getting the bottom arm to the ground happens in time with increased length in the hamstrings and side body, it makes no difference if you touch the ground or not.
This pose is about stretching the side body and aligning the torso with the front leg. Here are some tips to get you authentically aligned in Triangle Pose.
An Authentically Aligned Triangle Pose
- Find heel-to-arch alignment in the feet.
- Ground through all four corners of the feet. Firm the thighs up toward the groins.
- Inhale to stand tall, elongate the back, and extend the arms out to the sides. Exhale and reach the front arm forward and the torso forward as much as possible. At the end of the exhale, and the end of your reach, tilt the shoulders to come into the full posture.
- Try to keep the hips working to open. Use the back gluteus muscle to help do this.
- Keep the neck long and the chest open. Imagine a spreading of the sternum.
- The head can look down at the front foot, straight in front, or at the top arm. Just make sure there’s no strain in the neck.
- The forehead should be above the chin at all times (jalandara bandha).
- The ab muscles (specifically the obliques) are what hold the upper body in this pose. Do not lean on the front leg. The bottom hand should not be weight bearing against the leg at all.
- You can use the backside of the bottom hand to push against the front leg and help to further open the chest.
- Let go of the need to touch the ground.
The Beauty of Utthita Trikonasana
Utthita Trikonasana is a beautiful pose to work on humbleness. Be where you are. Ground the feet into the earth and find a sense of internal steadiness.
Enjoy the stretch, enjoy the feeling of being present and knowing you are exactly where you need to be, without trying to change anything or reach closer to the ground. We reach to the sky and look skyward because although we are grounded, we are always striving for greatness.
Triangle shows us that we are poised, strong, and ready for next steps. Root into the earth and extend toward your best self.