Triangle pose is known as Trikonasana in Sanskrit—tri meaning three and kona meaning corner. Triangle is a therapeutic pose that provides many benefits including strengthening of the core and legs. It should also open your chest to allow you to breathe deeply.
In Trikonasana, you build up strength in the lower back and upper legs while you remove tension from the lower and upper back, the hips and the hamstrings through both the twist and the stretching. Triangle pose is good for your sense of coordination and sense of balance. You need a lot of concentration and precision to be able to carry it out correctly.
Benefits of Triangle Pose
Builds strength and balance, creates space and stretching in your lower back - it is a wonderful pose to strengthen, lengthen and balance. Strengthens the legs, stretches the groins, hamstrings, and hips, opens the chest and shoulders. Can help relieve back pain.
Avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from migraine, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, or neck and back injuries (those with high blood pressure may do this pose but without raising their hand overhead, as this may further raise the blood pressure).
How to Do Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
- Start with your feet together in mountain pose – with arms by your sides – then take a strong wide step out to the side. Adjust your feet to step as wide as you can.
- Raise your hands to shoulder width. Stretch from fingertip to fingertip. Suck your belly in and push your hips forward so you are straight and strong.
- Turn your left foot inward and your right foot to 90 degrees, bending the right knee to 90 degrees. You may have to gently adjust your feet to ensure your knee is not over your toe and your thigh is parallel to the ground. Take your time.
- Use a mirror if you can to check both heels are in line.
- Sink your hips towards the ground, take a deep breath in, suck in your belly, lengthen your arms and reach down with the right hand, elbow resting gently on the knee and left arm extended to the sky/ceiling.
- Reach, look up towards the top arm, keeping your hips forward and gently supporting the right knee back.
- Evenly distribute your weight between the back and front legs. Ground your feet, ensuring even your little toe on your back foot is on the floor. Breathe, stretch and exhale. Remember, this pose is about balance so keep checking that every part of your body is in line and strong; don’t let your hips roll forward or your arms sag. Think strong and long.
- When you are ready, inhale and bring your arms back into one line, lifting your upper body into the centre and then with feet facing forward. Bend your knees before you step up to avoid jarring as you come back to mountain pose.
Note: your bottom hand does not need to touch the ground. It is more important to have the full length of both arms outstretched and your hips in the correct position. Use a block or yoga prop to help if you need it.
Triangle Pose for Beginners
Bring your right hand higher up on your leg or place a block on the floor to under your hand. It is more important to keep your right leg straight than to bring your right hand to the floor. Do not rest your hand directly on your knee, though, as this creates too much pressure on the knee.
Triangle Pose for Advanced
Line up the right heel with the arch of the left foot. For a variation, try dropping the left arm over the left ear so it comes parallel to the floor, while keeping the shoulder rooting into the socket.
Equally Balanced Strength
For the lay person or yogi, triangle pose is a great back and core strengthener. The rigors of everyday life have a tendency to weaken our backs. Because it is also a gentle twist, it helps our newly strong back stay supple and flexible, helping to stave of detrimental effects of arthritis and osteoporosis. The twisting action also acts as a massage to our internal organs.