This month’s pose is the Utthita Trikonasana (oo-TEE-tah trik-cone-AHS-anna) or Extended Triangle Pose.
From www.tummee.com, “Utthita, means extended/spread and Trikona, means triangle. In other words Utthita Trikonasana means , extended triangle pose. Uttihita Trikonasana requires mastery over the upper body, as the hips and the neck need to be turned easily. This Asana comes under the category of Standing and Balancing Asanas. They can also be considered as Hip Opener Poses.”
The benefits and focus of the extended triangle pose include improved balance and flexibility, relief from back pain, sciatica, and osteoporosis, stimulation of abdominal organs, improved digestion, increased energy and focus, stress relief, and relief from menopause symptoms. Physically, the calves, hamstrings, and ankles are strengthened, and the hips, chest, and shoulders are opened.
As Gwen demonstrates in this image, and as www.yogajournal.com points out, “You can see several triangles in the pose: Your hands and back foot are the points of one; your two feet are points of another; and your torso, arm, and front leg form the sides of yet another. The main triangle that you can see in the pose is the one at the bottom, where the floor is the base and your legs are the sides. The feet and floor form the foundation of the structure.”
Step by Step (from https://www.ekhartyoga.com):
* Facing the long edge of your mat, step your feet wide apart, about the length of your leg.
* Turn your right foot 90 degrees so the toes point to the short edge of the mat, and turn the left foot in about 45 degrees towards the right.
* Distribute weight evenly over the four corners of both feet, lift arches and inner ankles up.
* With straight legs, lift your knee caps drawing the top of thighs up and back, roll the right thigh out so the right knee is in line with first two toes.
* Lengthen through both sides of the waist, draw you lower belly in and up. Inhale and lift your arms parallel to the floor, extend through to the fingertips as you exhale.
* Inhale and reach to the right extending your body over your right leg, shift your hips towards the back of the mat and exhale as you bring your right arm down, placing your hand where it reaches, either on the leg, foot, the floor or a block outside the foot.
* Point the left arm straight up to the ceiling, hand in line with your shoulder, palm facing forwards.
* Keep as much length in the left side waist as in the right, rotate your ribs to the ceiling.
* Lengthen through the sides of the neck, keeping your neck in line with spine. Look straight in front of you, or tuck the chin slightly and turn to look up toward your left hand.
* Keep your face relaxed and breath gently as you keep pressing through the feet, extending through fingertips and lengthening through the crown of the head.
* To come out press your feet firmly into the floor, inhale and reach your left arm up to the ceiling as you come back to standing straight.
* Pivot your heels so you reverse the orientation of your feet to the other side and repeat on the left.