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Trikonasana, also known as Utthita Trikonasana, is a contemporary standing yoga pose. Additionally, it is incorporated into dynamic yoga sequences to strengthen the muscles in the hips and legs. The renowned Yoga Guru T. Krishnamacharya introduced this asana in his book Yoga Makaranta in 1934, marking its first documented mention. Although not found in earlier yoga texts, this posture has been passed down through various yoga lineages. Furthermore, its popularity stems from its ability to alleviate spinal problems and enhance spinal flexibility.

Trikonasana Information

Pose NameTrikonasana
Utthita Trikonasana
Sanskrit Nameत्रिकोणासन
उत्थित त्रिकोणासन
utthita trikoṇāsana
English NamesTriangle Pose
Extended Triangle Pose
TypeStanding Hand Stretch

Trikonasana Meaning

It is the combination of three Sanskrit Words: त्रि (Tri) + कोणा (Kona) + आसन (Asana). Tri means three. Kona means angle. Asana is a yoga position. Hence we call it Triangle Pose or Three Angle Pose. In the final position, it forms a triangle and therefore this name.

Utthita Trikonasana

As we have already seen, this posture is also known as Utthita Trikonasana. Utthita means extended. So we call it the Extended Triangle Pose. However, the former name is a popular one.

Utthita Trikonasana Procedure

Safety and Precautions

Pregnant people are those for whom this pose is not.

People having health conditions like sciatica, lumbago, arthritis, shoulder issues, and hernia should seek the advice of their doctors before commencing this posture.

It is always recommended to take the practice on an empty stomach. In other words, one should take the practice at least one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal.

Preparatory Poses

The practice of following poses leads to the mastery of this posture.

Trikonasana Steps

There are more than three variations available for this pose. Let us begin with variation one first.

Step 1

Stand erect with feet three feet apart. According to the person’s height, the gap may be adjusted suitably.

Step 2

Raise the arms and keep them horizontally on both sides so that they are parallel to the floor.

Step 3

Bend on the right side and place the right hand on the right foot. The right knee may be bent suitably. Keep the arms in line with each other. Turn the head and fix your eyesight on the left palm. Breathe normally. Keep the position as long as it is comfortable. The important point to note here is that there should NOT be a forward bend, instead, there should be a sideways stretch.

Step 4

Release the pose and come back to the standing position. Repeat the process on the other side.


For a beginner, the final position is to be kept for thirty seconds to one minute and repeat steps for four to five rounds. An advanced practitioner may extend the duration up to five minutes in a single round, instead of going for many rounds.

Trikonasana Variations

Variation 1 is described in the step-by-step procedure above. Let us see the other variations now.

Variation 2

Except for the position of the left arm, this variation is pretty much the same as that of the variation mentioned above. Instead of keeping the left arm in line with the right hand, it is kept horizontally at the shoulder level (over the left ear) parallel to the floor. Similar to the main version, the eyesight is fixed on the left palm.

Variation 3

In this variation, the left elbow is bent and the left palm is placed on the waist. The eyesight should be on any object on the front side.

Alternatively, one may place both palms on the relevant sides of the waist.

Variation 4

Here in this version, instead of placing the right palm on the right foot, one should place it on the left foot twisting the trunk suitably. The chest region would face the backside, unlike other variations.

Advance Pose considerations

Advanced students may consider keeping both legs straight and performing this posture.

Alternatively, place the right palm on the floor instead of placing it on the foot.

Trikonasana Benefits

The muscles of the waist, sides of the trunk, and backside of the legs are stretched through this exercise. Consequently, it enhances flexibility and strengthens these specific muscles.

The practice also has a positive impact on the Nervous System, aiding in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition, it contributes to burning fat in the waist and, when combined with other poses, assists in managing weight.

Practicing alongside other poses enhances metabolic activity, making it beneficial for conditions such as Hypertension and Type II Diabetes. This particular posture stimulates the internal organs of the abdomen, improving their functions.

Moreover, it increases the flexibility of the pelvic region.

Lastly, a medical study conducted on the Triangle Pose reveals this:

“during an isometric contraction while performing trikonasana, muscle groups such as the external right obliques muscles, rectus abdominis of the front leg, and gluteus maximus and gluteus medius of the rear leg undergo significant activation. The muscle tension magnitudes during the left bend closely resemble those during the right bend.”

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