With utthita trikonasana (pronounced oo-TEE-tah trik-cone-AHS-ana) and other asanas, you can confidently assume that the stretches and movement of the body are going to correct, over time, the ailments and conditions you may be dealing with. So, when this pose is achieved, all the limbs will be straight and the body will be nearly parallel with the floor, forming a triangle. The term “utthita” means extended; “tri” means three; and “kona” means angle.

How to Practice

Begin in mountain pose (tadasana). Widen your feet to about 3 feet apart, with your arms raised straight out to your sides, palms down. Turn the right foot 90 degrees and the left foot only slightly. Bend the body forward over the right leg as the right arm rests, palm down on the floor, or a supporting block. The left arm is stretched straight up towards the sky, with the gaze of your eyes following straight up as well, catching a view of the thumb and fingertips of the left hand.

Keep in mind that there will be differences in each person’s flexibility around the hip joints and pelvis. These differences dictate the amount of rotation needed for the spine and torso to face sideways, as the body bends almost parallel with the floor and one arm stretches straight up to the sky. Feel your way gently into the finished pose and notice the areas of tension as you breath mindfully into position. Repeat the pose on the other side.

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