Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing yoga for life.

Triangle Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


The Triangle Pose is the first standing pose that everyone learns in most yoga traditions.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits Variations

Utthita Trikonasana

(Pronounced as "oo-TEE-tah treek-cone-AHS-anna")

The Sanskrit word utthita means "extended," and trikona means "three angles" or "triangle." In this pose, you form three 90-degree triangles with your body. Your legs create a triangle above the floor, your arm makes a triangle with your forward leg, and the top of your raised hand forms a triangle with your feet.

How to do Triangle Pose

Step One

Stand up straight with your feet together on your mat in Tadasana. Breathe in and jump your feet almost 4 feet apart as you breathe out. Lift your arms out to your sides, keeping your hands at shoulder level with palms facing the floor. Tuck your shoulder blades into your back and lift up your sternum.

Step Two

Turn your right foot out 90 degrees to the right side. Then turn your left foot about 45 degrees to the right. Look down and adjust your heels so that they are in a straight line with each other. Straighten both of your legs. Rotate your right thigh so that the center of your right knee cap is in line with the center of your right ankle. Rotate your left thigh out and away from your groin to prevent your left knee from bending.

Step Three

Breathe in and expand your chest. When you breathe out, bend your trunk down to your right side while pushing hard from your left heel behind you. Extend your torso from the hips. Try to press your right palm into the floor next to the outside edge of your right foot. If you do not have the flexibility to reach down that far, then you can also place your fingertips on the floor, grab your right ankle or hold onto your lower right shin instead.

Step Four

Keeping your left arm extending straight up from your shoulder, reach your left fingertips up toward the ceiling. Hold the back of your chest, your hips and the back of your legs in a straight line. Twist your torso enough that you feel your lungs are stacked directly on top of each other.

You can hold your head in a neutral position if you have a stiff neck. Otherwise, turn your head up to look at your left thumb in the air right above you.

Step Five

Hold this posture without locking your knees, but keep both of your thighs active. Stay here for at least 30 seconds, or you can also hold it for up to one minute. To come out, exhale and press down firmly on your left heel to help you lift yourself back up. Now repeat the posture on the opposite side, holding it for the same amount of time.

Beginner's Tip:

If you find it hard to balance while bending to the side, then brace your back heel against a wall for extra support.

Triangle Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Utthita Trikonasana

Pose Level:

Level 1

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • For Heart Conditions: Practice this posture while leaning your back against a wall for extra support. Rest your top arm on top of your hip. Look down at the floor.
  • For Neck Problems: Do no look up. Simply look straight ahead and extend both sides of your neck to keep it straight.
  • For Women During Menstruation: Do not practice this pose during the days of your heaviest flow or if you feel weak.
  • For Pregnancy: It is beneficial for women to practice Triangle Pose for the first three months of pregnancy. After that, they should not practice it without the supervision of an experienced yoga teacher.

Modifications and Props:

To get a deeper stretch in your legs and hips, place a yoga block on the floor next to the outside of your front foot. When you bend to the side, put your hand on the block for support and use this position to roll your shoulders open even more and rotate your chest further up.

Deepen the Pose:

Once you have more experience with this pose, then you can line up your front heel with the middle of the arch in your back foot. Then after you bend to the side, deliberately push your raised arm up straight and back behind your torso to try to get the deepest twist possible in your upper body. Once you have reached the maximum twist in your torso, then try to hold your chest in this new position as you bring your raised arm back into a straight line with your shoulder.

Triangle Pose Benefits

  • Gives a deep stretch to your shoulders, thighs, knees, hips and ankles
  • Tones your pelvis and increases circulation to your abdominal organs
  • Improves digestion and relieves gastritis
  • Helps reduce some symptoms of menopause
  • Releases backaches
  • Therapeutic for improving flat feet, neck pain and sciatica

Triangle Pose Variations

To get a deeper stretch in your shoulder, go into full Triangle Pose and then stretch your raised arm over your ear, making your hand parallel with the floor.

Partnering:

Ask a partner to help you feel how to extend your torso while bending from your hips instead of collapsing your waist down. Have them put a belt around your hips right above the crease where your thigh meets your hip bone. They should hold both ends of the belt in their hands and stand on your left side if you are bending to the right. As you exhale and bend down to the side, have them pull slightly on the belt in your forward hip crease. Lengthen the underside of your torso forward to stretch against the resistance you feel from the belt.

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Cobra Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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