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Trikonasana in Iyengar Yoga style, using a block

Trikonasana or utthita trikonasana (Sanskrit: उत्थित त्रिकोणासन; IAST: utthita trikoṇāsana), Triangle Pose is an asana.[1][2] Variations include baddha trikonasana (bound triangle pose) and parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose).

Etymology and origins[edit]

The name comes from the Sanskrit words utthita (उत्थित), "extended", trikona (त्रिकोण) "triangle",[3] and asana (आसन) "posture" or "seat".[4]

The pose is first described in the 20th century, appearing in the teaching of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, including his 1934 book Yoga Makaranda, and in the works of his students.[5]


Trikonasana is usually performed in two parts, facing left, and then facing right. The practitioner begins standing with the feet one leg-length apart, knees unbent, turns the right foot completely to the outside and the left foot less than 45 degrees to the inside, keeping the heels in line with the hips. The arms are spread out to the sides, parallel to the ground, palms facing down; the trunk is extended as far as is comfortable to the right, while the arms remain parallel to the floor. Once the trunk is fully extended to the right, the right arm is dropped so that the right hand reaches the shin (or a block or on the floor) to the front (left side) of the right foot, with the palm down if flexed. The left arm is extended vertically, and the spine and trunk are gently twisted counterclockwise (i.e., upwards to the left, since they're roughly parallel to the floor), using the extended arms as a lever, while the spine remains parallel to the ground. The arms are stretched away from one another, and the head is often turned to gaze at the left thumb, slightly intensifying the spinal twist. Returning to standing, the bend is then repeated to the left.

Stylistic differences[edit]

Different schools of yoga have slightly different views about what trikonasana is and how it should be performed. A 2001 article on the asana in Yoga Journal with instructions given by teachers from five hatha yoga traditions (Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Sivananda Yoga and Bikram Yoga) showed differing opinions with respect to the body positioning.[6] This article does not make a distinction between trikonasana (triangle pose) and utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose).

In the tradition of Satyananda Yoga trikonasana is described as a series of up to five different asanas performed in sequence but labeled with the single name "trikonasana".[1][2]


B. K. S. Iyengar claims practice of this asana improves the flexibility of the spine, corrects alignment of the shoulders; relieves backache, gastritis, indigestion, acidity, flatulence; massages and tones the pelvic organs, corrects the effects of a sedentary lifestyle or faulty posture, assists treatment of neck sprains, reduces stiffness in the neck, gives flexibility to the hips, shoulders and knees, strengthens the ankles and tones the ligaments of the arms and legs.[7] A book from Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre claims the asana can reduce or eliminate pain in the lower back, tone the spinal nerves and abdominal organs, improve the appetite, digestion and circulation.[8] Swami Satyananda Saraswati claims the asana "stimulates the nervous system and alleviates nervous depression ... strengthens the pelvic area and tones the reproductive organs".[9]

Contraindications and precautions[edit]

This side bend may cause issues in practitioners with lower back problems.[10] Donna Farhi warns that those with posterolateral disc herniation may find the twisting in this asana challenging the back.[11] Satyananda Saraswati states that the asana should not be practiced by those suffering from severe back conditions.[9]


Variations include:

  • Baddha trikonasana (Sanskrit: बद्धत्रिकोणासन; IAST: baddhatrikoṇāsana) (bound triangle pose)[12]
  • Baddha parivritta trikonasana (Sanskrit: बद्धपरिवृत्तत्रिकोणासन; IAST: baddhaparivṛttatrikoṇāsana) (bound revolved triangle pose)[13]
  • Parivritta trikonasana (Sanskrit: परिवृत्तत्रिकोणासन; IAST: parivṛttatrikoṇāsana) (revolved triangle pose)[3]
  • Supta trikonasana (Sanskrit: सुप्तत्रिकोणासन; IAST: suptatrikoṇāsana) (reclining triangle pose)[14]
  • Utthita trikonasana (Sanskrit: उत्थितत्रिकोणासन; IAST: utthitatrikoṇāsana) (extended triangle pose)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Swami Muktibodhananda Saraswati (14 December 2006). Energy: The Spark of Life & Universal Goddess, A Book About Yoga and Personal Growth for Men and Women. Trafford Publishing. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-1-4120-6930-4.
  2. ^ a b Saraswati, Swami Satyananda (2004). A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Nesma Books India. pp. 343–345. ISBN 978-81-85787-08-4.
  3. ^ a b "Parivritta Trikonasana -". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  4. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  5. ^ Mallinson 2017, p. 90.
  6. ^ Active Interest Media (2001). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media. pp. 78–87. ISSN 0191-0965.
  7. ^ Iyengar, B. K. S. (2007). Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0-7566-3362-2.[page needed]
  8. ^ Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre (1996). Yoga mind and body. Firefly Books. ISBN 978-1-55209-267-5.[page needed]
  9. ^ a b Swami Satyananda Saraswati (1996). Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha. Yoga Publications Trust. p. 155. ISBN 978-81-85787-14-5.
  10. ^ "Sudokasana : Trikonasana Issues and Solutions:". Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  11. ^ Farhi, Donna (2001). Yoga mind, body & spirit: a return to wholeness. Newleaf. ISBN 978-0-7171-3155-6.[page needed]
  12. ^ Active Interest Media, Inc. (December 2007). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 112. ISSN 0191-0965. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Baddha Parivritta Trikonasana / Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  14. ^ Iyengar, B. K. S. (2000). Aṣṭadaḷa yogamālā: collected works. Allied Publishers. p. 32. ISBN 978-81-7764-046-5.


External links[edit]