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The Triangle Pose - Trikona-asana
Trikona-asana - The Triangle Pose
Posture: Trikona-asana - The Triangle Pose
Translation: The Sanskrit word tri means three and kona means corner or angle. Thus "three corner or three angle posture" is often called the triangle posture. This posture is also known as the utthita trikona-asana. Utthita means stretched or extended thus this is the Extended Triangle Pose.
 Pronunciation: tri-cone-ah-sa-na
 Difficulty: (3)
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   The mountain Pose (tada-asana) Instruction:
1Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tada-asana).
2Separate the feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart.
3Inhale and raise both arms straight out from the shoulders parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.
4Exhale slowly while turning the torso to the left, bend at the waist and bring the right hand down to the left ankle. The palm of the right hand is placed along the outside of the left ankle. The left arm should be extended upward. Both legs and arms are kept straight without bending the knees and elbows.
5Turn the head upward to the left and gaze up at the fingertips of the left hand. Inhale and return to a standing position with the arms outstretched.
6Hold this position for the duration of the exhaled breath. Exhale and repeat steps 4 - 6 on the opposite side.

The trikona-asana is an excellent posture to do early in your routine. The forward bending and lifting stimulates blood flow and helps to stretch and relax the back, shoulders, legs and arms as well as increases the flow of blood to the head. The muscles of the thighs and calves as well as the hamstrings are stretched. The slight twist of the spine creates suppleness in the spinal discs and relieves lower back discomforts.

The posture can be held longer by breathing gently through the nostrils rather than holding the breath. Another variation is to perform the trikona-asana rapidly thereby giving it a slightly aerobic effect.

Remain in the forward bending position for the duration of the exhale breath. Do two or three repetitions (one repetition consists of bending forward on both sides).