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Fundamentals of Yoga – Utthita Trikonasana

Utthita TrikonasanaUtthita = Extended

Tri = Three

Kona = Angle

Therefore: Extended Triangle Posture

This is one of the first postures I was taught; if I remember correctly it may even have come before Downward Facing Dog Posture.

It was a long time ago!

But I still get so many benefits every single time I practice it.

To enter:

From standing, step the feet out to the sides and raise your arms parallel to the floor, at shoulderheight, palms facing the floor. Wriggle the right foot 90 degrees and turn the left foot inwards towards the right. Inhale keep extending the spine long and stretching your arms out to the sides. Maintain muscular activation of the legs. Exhale and lean to the right, taking the right hand down.

There are variations on where you place the front hand:

  • If you practice Ashtanga, you work towards taking the front big toe.
  • If you practice Iyengar, the front hand rests flat on the floor outside of the front foot.
  • Or rest the hand on the shin.
  • Do what you can.

Gaze upwards, or if that is uncomfortable simply look down.

Extend and lengthen everything!

Whilst breathing!

Inhale, come up; exhale, switch sides.

Benefits (and my personal experience):
This pose strengthens the entire leg, develops the chest and improves posture. Mr Iyengar found it to help any respiratory conditions his students had and indeed it may very well have assisted in the reduction of my asthma. Or made me stronger. Any position which improves posture, strengthens the back and develops the chest seems to assist. The stamina you gain as you practice standing postures can help too. And of course learning to finally breathe through the nose rather than gasping for air helps.

Note: We are all wonderfully different so one person may have a totally different asthma experience to another. I just thought I would share my personal experience in case it is of use. The most important tool for me has been to learn to understand my body. Learn about your body, become aware of what conditions it thrives under and what conditions it does not. Find a teacher you can trust to guide you.

Take care and be well! x

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