Triangle pose, known as trikonasana or utthita trikonasana in Sanskrit, is a foundational yoga pose providing many benefits. Since it is considered a standing pose, triangle pose is grounding and helps provide a stable base for the body. The pose stretches the legs, especially the inner thigh, and stimulates the abdominal organs to help improve digestion, relieve back pain, and relieve stress.
3 Ways to practice triangle pose
1. With a block
This is probably the most common way that triangle pose is practiced in a yoga classroom setting. Set your feet up for triangle pose and then simply place a yoga block on it's highest or middle setting (depending on your flexibility) behind the shin of your front leg. Inhale to extend your arms, and as you exhale bring your bottom hand to the block and have your top hand on your hip. Using the block will allow you to stay stable and work on grounding your feet, engaging your legs and extend the sides of your waist for a deep stretch.
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2. Using the wall
The wall offers even more stability than a yoga block. Place the toes of your front foot against a wall set your back foot for triangle pose. Reach the front arm up the wall to extend your waist, turn your chest to face the side wall and let your head rest on your shoulder, as long as that's comfortable. The hand that's not reaching up the wall can rest on your hip. With the support of the wall, you can strengthen the connection to your feet and legs, and if you're stable enough, open your chest and create the integral extension in the side body.
3. Using a Yoga chair
The use of the yoga chair originates from Iyengar Yoga, which often relies on various props to help provide access to challenging yoga poses. In this variation, the chair is used to open the chest and fully extend the medial hamstring in triangle pose. Set the feet up for triangle pose and place the chair parallel to the long side of the mat you are facing, with the furthest front leg in line with the big toe of your front foot. Inhale to extend the arms and as you exhale bring the bottom forearm to the set of the chair and the top arm's hand to the back of the chair. Use the bottom arm to pull on the seat and push the top hand into the back of the chair to stack the shoulders, open the chest and externally rotate the thighs.