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Trikonasana: Meaning, Steps, Benefits



Trikonasana aka Utthita Trikonasana is a modern standing yoga posture. Yoga Guru T.Krishnamacharya first described this posture in his book Yoga Makaranta in the year 1934. Before that, we could not find any mention in yoga texts.

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 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, 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 height of the person, 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 eyesight on the left palm. Breathe normally. Keep the position as long as it is comfortable. The important point to note here 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 2

Except for the position of the left arm, this variation is pretty the same as that of the variation one 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 the 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 perform this posture.

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

Trikonasana Benefits

  1. It stretches the muscles of the waist, sides of the trunk, and backside of the legs. As a result, it improves flexibility and strengthens the said muscles.
  2. The practice tones up the Nervous System. Hence it helps drive out stress, anxiety, and depression.
  3. It helps to burn the fat in the waist and together with other poses, it aids in weight management.
  4. Together with other poses, it improves metabolic activity. Therefore it is helpful for conditions like Hypertension and Type II Diabetes.
  5. This posture stimulates the internal organs of the abdomen and improves its functions.
  6. Furthermore, it improves the flexibility of the pelvic region.
  7. Last, but not the least, a medical study on Trikonasana observes “the muscle groups such as external right obliques muscles, rectus abdominis of the front leg, and gluteus maximus and gluteus medius of the rear leg were observed to undergo major activation during an isometric contraction while performing trikonasana. The magnitudes of the muscle tension during the left bend depict a close resemblance to the muscle tension magnitudes during the right bend.”

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