How to Do Extended Triangle Pose in Yoga (Guide to Utthita Trikonasana)

Extended triangle pose is a slight variation on triangle pose whereby we bring our fingers to our toes instead of to the ground beside our front foot.

This pose is a wonderful asana for the end of your practice, as you would have, ideally, already spent some time warming up your hamstrings and engaging your core.

“I love extended triangle pose as it engages the entire body and helps me to connect with myself and my practice,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “Take deep breaths in this pose and focus on the alignment of your hips.”

Extended Triangle Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Utthita Trikonasana
Pose Type: Standing Yoga Poses, Strengthening Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Beginner pose
Targets: Arms, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, chest, hips, neck, psoas, quads
Benefits: This pose strengthens and stretches the entire leg while engaging the core and encouraging us to experience complete body alignment.
Preparatory Poses: Warrior II Pose, triangle pose, extended side angle pose, pyramid pose

How to Do Extended Triangle Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start by standing at the top of your mat.
  2. Take a step back with your right leg so that the distance between your two feet is about the same as the length of one of your legs.
  3. Turn the right toes out to 90 degrees.
  4. Turn your torso to face the right-hand side of your mat as your stretch your arms out on either side of your body.
  5. Inhale to shift your hips towards the back of your mat – as though your pushing them away – whilst keeping both legs straight.
  6. As you exhale, hinge at the hips to bring your left fingertips to your left toes.
  7. Gaze up towards your right fingertips and keep the chest open and shoulders down.

Beginner’s Tip

As you move into the extended triangle pose, imagine that you’re trying to fit your body into a toaster or between two panes of glass. This will help keep your hips aligned with your knees and ankles while also keeping the chest open.

You might need to elevate the ground to help your hips stay aligned with your knees and ankles. To do this, simply place a block in front of your toes and place your fingertips here instead.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have any kind of neck or back injury.
  • Avoid this pose if you have any injury to the hamstrings.
  • Keep a gentle bend in the front knee if you have hyperextension in the knees.
  • If you have any pain or discomfort in the neck, gaze down to your toes instead of up to your fingers.

Variation

To practice triangle pose instead of extended triangle pose, bring your fingers down to the mat on the inside of your front foot as opposed to in front of your toes.

You can also place a block underneath the hand to make this pose more accessible.

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