Extended triangle pose (utthita trikonasana) is a quintessential pose for any standing series. To practice extended triangle pose, begin by standing in tadasana. On your next exhalation, step the right foot back so your feet are now approximately four feet apart. Raise the arms parallel to the floor with the palms down. Actively reach the arms wide, pulling the shoulder blades apart. Turn the left foot in slight and angle the right foot to 90 degrees, aligning the right heel with the left heel. Turn the right thigh outward so the center of the right kneecap is in line with the center right ankle.
On the next exhale, extend the torso to the right over the plane of the right leg, keeping both the left and right legs straight. Continue rotating the torso to the left, reaching down with the right hand and up with the left. The left hip will come slightly forward, lengthening the tailbone toward the back heel. Rest the right hand on the floor or the outside of the right foot. If you cannot comfortably reach the floor or your foot, use a block to support your hand. Continue stretching the left arm towards the ceiling and move the eye gaze upwards, towards the left thumb. With each exhale, lengthen the pose. After one minute, reverse the feet to practice the pose on the left.
To deepen the pose, align the front heel with the back foot arch. For advanced variations, rather than extending the top arm towards the ceiling, stretch it over the back of the top ear, parallel to the floor. Lift the lower arm and reach it forward as well, as if the two arms are holding a beach ball. Triangle teaches stability, expansion and evenness. This is a challenging pose, so be patient and compassionate with your practice. After practicing triangle, follow with another standing pose, a seated forward bend or twist.
Triangle pose stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders and chest while supporting proper spinal alignment. Triangle strengthens the thighs, knees and ankles, reminding us of the power and grace in our legs. The pose stimulates the internal organs and improves digestion while also relieving menopause symptoms. If you are suffering from lower back pain, triangle is beneficial for relieving this pain, especially during the second trimester of pregnancy. The pose is therapeutic for anxiety, infertility, neck pain, sciatica, and osteoporosis.