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Trikonasana, or triangle pose, is a standing yoga pose that is common in Hatha yoga to stretch the legs and hips. It involves standing with wide legs, twisting to one side, and bending forward with one arm extended into the air. There are several modifications of Trikonasana, including extended triangle pose and revolved triangle pose, each of which provides more opportunities to stretch the body and build flexibility.
The standard method of forming the triangle pose begins by standing upright, then stepping the feet about 3.5 feet (about 1.07 m) apart from each other. Next, the right foot is turned out 90°, and the left foot is turned slightly inward for support, and the heels should be aligned with each other in a straight line. The torso should be twisted to face the direction of the right foot with the arms extended out parallel to the floor, and the right arm should stretch forward. While leaning forward, the body should be extended over the right foot, and the practitioner should exhale and slowly bend and place the right hand on the right shin or on the ground behind the right foot. The left arm should be stretching up into the air, perpendicular to the floor.
Trikonasana is usually held for about 30 seconds, or about four to five breaths. Yoga practitioners should generally inhale as they come out of the pose, bending the knee slightly to avoid placing undue strain on the right leg. The pose should be repeated for the other side to balance the stretch on each side of the body. Trikonasana benefits those looking to stretch their calves and thighs, as well as increase the flexibility of their hips, ankles, knees, and shoulders. The pose has been therapeutic for back and neck pain, flat feet, and stress and anxiety, and it can also relieve some of the symptoms of menopause.
One of the main modifications of Trikonasana is extended triangle pose, in which the right leg is stretched longer than in the traditional pose. The steps for forming this pose are the same, but the leg must be extended to about 4 feet (about 1.22 m). Revolved triangle pose is another popular modification, which involves twisting the body further to place the left arm, rather than the right arm, on the ground when bending toward the right side. In this case, the left arm should be placed to the left side of the right shin while the right arm extends upward, perpendicular to the floor.