Uttitha Trikonasana or ‘extended triangle pose’ is a posture which has many variations. In the Prana Vashya Yoga primary series, Uttitha Trikonasana is performed with one hand on the foot or ankle or shin (and not on the floor) – as pictured above. The reason being, that the intention of the position is to stretch the upper torso (and not the hamstrings – as would be the case if you placed your lower hand on the floor).
To get into triangle pose start by standing with your feet 3 – 4 feet apart and, inhaling, open the arms out to the sides level with the shoulders, palms facing down. Then turn both your feet to the right hand side planting them firmly into the floor and, exhaling, lean to the right extending the torso and reaching the lower hand towards the foot/ankle. The upper hand should then be extended directly above the shoulder and you should look up at your raised hand. That being said, if you have any stiffness in your hips then this can often be felt as stiffness in the neck in this position. If this is the case then look at the floor and not the upper hand. Also do this if you have any issues with high blood pressure.
It can help to imagine that you are sandwiched between two panes of glass when in Uttitha Trikonasana. This is because the key to alignment in this posture is the position of the hips. Do not look at the floor as you come into Uttitha Trikonasana and keep facing forward. The temptation is to look at the body part or limb that you have to move to get into position. However, if you do this it will affect the proper alignment of the hips. Another thing to look put for is to keep the raised arm straight up and not to let it go behind the body as this will also compromise the alignment of the hips. Finally, do not put weight on the lower palm or else the hip will collapse and the influence on the torso will be lost.
If you have any issues with your lower back then Uttitha Trikonasana can be done with the upper hand on the lower back (as opposed to the hand being extended directly above the shoulder) as this pose is generally good for relieving backache. Uttitha Trikonasana also has many other benefits including reducing body fat from the waistline, increases muscle tone in the thighs, hamstrings, calves and shoulders and stretches the ankles, groin, torso and spine.
Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga. To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:
Tel: 0777 900 1896
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