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Trikonasana: Meaning, Steps, Benefits



Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) stands as a modern standing yoga pose introduced by Sri T. Krishnamacharya, the father of modern yoga, in his famous book, Yoga Makaranta, published in 1934. Its arrival marked a pivotal moment, as traditional yoga texts had previously lacked documentation on this pose.

This article seeks to unravel the essence of this Yoga Pose. It presents a complete exploration of its meaning and a detailed step-by-step guide. On top of that, it offers crucial insights into precautions, safety measures, and the health benefits the pose bestows upon the performers.

We aim to give a deeper understanding and appreciation for its practice within the wider context of yoga. Come on! Let us explore the roots of this modern yoga.

Trikonasana Information

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

Trikonasana Meaning

The name of the pose is a mix of three Sanskrit words त्रि (Tri), कोणा (Kona), and आसन (Asana). Tri represents three, Kona denotes angle, and Asana signifies a yoga position. Thus, the pose is commonly known as the Triangle or Three Angle Pose. It directly reflects the geometric formation it embodies in its final stance.

Moreover, this yoga asana carries another label: Utthita Trikonasana. The term Utthita holds the meaning of extended, endowing with the other name Extended Triangle Pose. Despite this alternative name, the original title, Triangle Pose, persists as a globally accepted reference within the yoga circle. Both names contribute notably to the vibrancy of yogic terminology. They show the essence of this pose’s form and its importance in the practice.

The dual aspect of terminology reflects the varied nature of yoga, where different names denote various dimensions and interpretations. Both Triangle Pose and Extended Triangle Pose capture the essence and impact on performers’ well-being. Thus, within yogic discourse, both names harmoniously coexist, enriching understanding and connection with this timeless pose.

Trikonasana Procedure

Safety and Precautions

The Extended Triangle Pose is cautioned for pregnant people. Also, persons having health issues should seek medical advice before attempting this yoga posture. Notably, those with health issues like sciatica, lumbago, arthritis, shoulder problems, or hernia should be more careful.

This advice ensures a safer and more pleasant experience, considering the potential strain the pose might exert on those conditions. The practice is perfect on an empty stomach. The ideal schedule for this yoga Pose is at least an hour before a meal or two hours after.

Adhering to this advice not only boosts the efficacy of the pose but also prioritizes the well-being of performers. This allows them to reap the benefits of yoga while protecting their health.

Preparatory Poses

Preparatory poses serve as basic building blocks in yoga practice, preparing the body, mind, and breath for more advanced asanas. These poses aim to gently warm up and stretch various muscle groups, add up pliancy, and cultivate awareness. Including these poses in your routine is crucial to ensure a safe and effective yoga practice. Here are some common preparatory poses that can be seamlessly included in different yoga sequences:

  1. Mountain Pose: This basic pose sets up a strong and grounded posture, giving stability and balance.
  2. Downward-Facing Dog: A pose that stretches the entire body, notably the hamstrings and shoulders. This builds strength in the arms and legs.
  3. Forward Fold: This pose promotes pliability in the spine and hamstrings, preparing the body for deeper stretches.
  4. Dwikonasana: Including this in your preparatory routine adds a unique dimension to your warm-up routine. It actively engages the upper body, preparing the shoulders and chest for more demanding poses. This asana also encourages a gentle opening in the hips. Also, it provides a stretch along the spine, contributing to an overall sense of readiness for your yoga practice.
  5. Cat-Cow Stretch: A dynamic sequence that warms up the spine and engages the core, boosting pliability and mobility.
  6. Warrior Poses: These poses build strength and endurance. Also, opens the hips and chest, preparing the body for tougher standing poses.
  7. Sun Salutations: A dynamic sequence that combines several poses, promoting overall resilience, strength, and coordination.

Incorporating these preparatory poses into your yoga practice creates a holistic and well-rounded routine. This enhances your ability to move into more advanced postures with ease and mindfulness. Remember to maintain a steady breath throughout your practice.

Trikonasana Steps

There are more than four versions available for this pose. Let us begin with version one first.

Step 1

Stand straight 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 slowly and gently and place the right arm 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 pleasant. The major 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. The steps are to be repeated on the other side

Trikonasana Variations

Variation 2

Except for the position of the left hand, this version is the same as that of the previous one. Instead of keeping the left arm in line with the right arm, it is kept horizontally at the shoulder level. That is 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

In this version, instead of placing the right palm on the right foot, it is placed on the left foot. Also, twist the trunk suitably. The chest region would face the backside, unlike other versions.

Duration can vary based on individual fitness levels and experience.

Beginners should hold the final position of the pose for a duration of thirty seconds to one minute. Repeating the steps for four to five rounds helps gradually build strength, pliancy, and familiarity with the pose. This approach allows beginners to set up a base while ensuring a safe and mindful practice.

As people advance in their yoga journey, they may choose to extend the duration of each round. An adept can hold the final position for up to five minutes in a single round. In essence, he opts for fewer rounds but focusing a deeper and more sustained engagement with the pose. This revision caters to the increased strength, pliancy, and tolerance developed over time. Also, it provides a chance for a more profound exploration of the pose’s benefits.

Advance Pose considerations

When moving to the advanced stages of this pose, people can explore versions that intensify the challenge and deepen their practice. These versions allow performers to further refine their skills and experience. One advanced option involves maintaining both legs in a straight position. This lifts the level of difficulty by requiring more strength, balance, and pliancy. This revision encourages a more stretch along the sides of the torso. Also, it boosts the engagement of the core muscles.

On the other hand, an advanced version includes placing the right palm on the floor instead of placing it on the foot. This adjustment demands increased mobility in the shoulders and a refined sense of stability. This gives a unique dynamic in the pose. By placing the palm on the floor, people can feel a deeper twist in the upper body. This amplifies the overall benefits of the pose.

These advanced versions cater to the physical progression of experienced people. On top of that, they introduce skills that promote mindfulness, control, and a deeper connection with the pose. As with any advanced version, it is crucial to approach these versions slowly. The performer should respect personal abilities. This ensures a safe and viable practice.

Trikonasana Benefits

Improves Strength and Flexibility

Engaging in Trikonasana helps a complete stretch that targets various muscle groups. The practice elongates the muscles along the waist, the sides of the trunk, and the rear side of the legs. This multi-faceted stretch contributes to increased resilience and actively builds up the targeted muscle groups.

The pose promotes suppleness in these areas by notably targeting the muscles along the waist and trunk. This uplifts the range of motion and boosts a sense of openness. The stretch along the backside of the legs, including the hamstrings and calves, gives improved resilience and reduced stiffness. Regular practice of this pose boosts the gradual release of tension in these muscle groups. This helps a more fluid and free range of movement.

Besides, the strengthening aspect of the pose adds a valuable dimension to its benefits. As the muscles of the waist, sides, and back of the legs engage during the pose, they undergo controlled resistance. This promotes muscular tolerance and stability. This dual emphasis on pliancy and strength makes the pose a well-rounded addition to a complete yoga practice. Also, it comes up with overall physical well-being and a harmonious balance between strength and pliancy.

A medical study on Trikonasana observes that “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.”

Tones Up the Nervous System

Engaging in this yoga practice goes beyond the physical realm. It extends its positive effects on the nervous system. The trio of breath control, focus, and mindful movement serves to tone and balance the nervous system. This holistic approach contributes to the easing of stress, anxiety, and depression.

The controlled and rhythmic breathing included in the practice has a calming effect on the nervous system. It tones the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), often referred to as the “rest and digest” system. PNS counteracts the effects of the sympathetic nervous system associated with the body’s stress response. This regulation of the nervous system brings about a sense of peace, helping to drive away the piled-up stress.

Moreover, the focusing aspects of the practice, as performers concentrate on breath and movement, give mental clarity. This can be beneficial in managing anxiety. The mindful engagement in the pose boosts present-focused awareness. This redirects attention away from stressors and promotes a serene mental state.

Regular practice with a focus on both physical and mental well-being becomes a tool for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. By taking care of the relationship between the body and mind, people can cultivate a sense of balance and resilience.

Maintains a Healthy Weight

The inclusion of this yoga pose in a complete practice increases pliancy and tones the nervous system. It also plays a role in weight control by targeting fat deposits in the waist region. This pose engages the muscles along the waist, sides of the trunk, and back of the legs. This notably tones metabolic activity and promotes fat burning.

As part of a holistic approach to weight control, including this pose in a series of yoga postures is beneficial. It amplifies its benefits and enhances the overall efficacy of the practice. The synchronized movements, controlled breathing, and mindful awareness give an environment conducive to calorie spending and metabolic efficiency. Also, the engagement of core muscles in the pose enhances abdominal strength, contributing to a more toned midsection.

When practiced with other poses designed to enhance heart health and build strength, this yoga pose becomes a valuable component. It contributes to improving overall resilience and becomes an integral part of a well-rounded weight control strategy. Regular practice not only supports the physical aspects of weight control but also nurtures a mindful connection with the body. This encourages healthier lifestyle choices.

Yoga alone may not substitute for a complete weight control plan. Including a balanced diet and regular exercise, Yoga can still be supportive. Without a doubt, yoga can play a holistic role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Helpful in Conditions Like High Blood Pressure and Type II Diabetes

This yoga pose along with other poses plays a key role in enhancing metabolic activity. This collective approach tones various bodily processes and gives positive outcomes that extend beyond pliancy and weight control.

Improved metabolic function can offer valuable support for people dealing with conditions such as high blood pressure. It can also be beneficial for those managing Type II diabetes.

Regular practice of yoga poses like this promotes overall metabolic efficiency. The dynamic moves and controlled breathing in these poses contribute to increased oxygenation and circulation throughout the body. This higher circulation facilitates nutrient delivery to cells. It also encourages the efficient breakdown of sugars, both crucial parts of metabolic health.

For people with high blood pressure, this yoga pose along with breath control can help. The calming effects on the nervous system can result in reduced stress levels. Chronic stress is often linked to elevated blood pressure. The yoga poses like this can promote relaxation and can aid in addressing this aspect of high blood pressure.

In the context of Type II diabetes, let us see how this yoga pose can be helpful. It can aid in better blood sugar regulation through muscle engagement and the promotion of overall metabolic health. The holistic approach of yoga encompasses physical postures, breath control, and mindfulness. It contributes to an improved insulin response and enhanced glucose metabolism.

Yoga is not a substitute for medical treatment. But, it can be a valuable supportive practice for individuals managing these conditions. For health-related concerns, it is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals to tailor a holistic approach that addresses individual needs.

Improves the Flexibility of the Pelvic Region

Beyond its benefits for the nervous system, weight control, and metabolic activity, this pose notably enhances the pliancy of the pelvic region. The engagement of specific muscle groups and the stretching involved in the pose contribute to a range of positive effects on pelvic resilience.

The pose involves a lateral stretch and a rotation of the torso. This actively engages the muscles around the pelvic area. As people move into the posture, the gentle yet effective stretching of the muscles in the hips and pelvis helps release tension and improve pliability. The controlled and gradual nature of the stretch ensures a safe and targeted opening of the pelvic region.

Improved pliability in the pelvic area can have various benefits, including enhanced mobility and reduced stiffness. It can be notably beneficial for people who may have discomfort or tightness in the hips and pelvis due to sedentary lifestyles, long sittings, or other factors.

Besides, cultivating pliancy in the pelvic region contributes to better posture and alignment. It positively influences the network of muscles and joints in the lower part of the body. This holistic approach to resilience not only supports physical well-being but also contributes to a more balanced and harmonious movement throughout the entire body.


In conclusion, the practice of Trikonasana emerges as a holistic and beneficial addition to one’s yoga routine. Beyond its classy appeal and traditional weight, this pose stands as a multifaceted tool for physical, mental, and metabolic well-being. As proved by medical studies, this pose triggers marked activation in key muscle groups, offering a scientific understanding of its impact on the body. Its role in improving pliancy toning the nervous system, aiding weight control, and enhancing pelvic pliancy showcases the versatility of this pose. Whether adopted by beginners or by adepts, this Yoga Pose, with its richness of benefits, not only connects people with the traditions of yoga but also allows them to embark on a journey toward complete health and self-discovery.

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