Anatomical description of Utthita Trikonasana

The following is a description of the asana Utthita Trikonasana in anatomical language:


From the neutral position in the sagittal plane, step the right leg back 90 degrees in the frontal plane (feet around 3 feet apart). Square the hips to the sagittal plane, and externally rotate the right thigh. Retract the scapula and abduct the arms parallel to the floor.


Exhale and laterally flex the torso over the right leg in the frontal plane reach down and hold the ankle, big toe or place the palm on the floor outside your right foot (without rotating the hips). Extend the left had towards the ceiling, gaze at the left thumb. Hold for five breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.


Precautions: engage the kneecaps and quads, be careful not to hyperextend the knees.


The benefits of this pose are that it:

Stretches and lengthens the thighs, knees and ankles

Stretches the hips, groin, hamstrings, and calves, shoulders, chest and spine

Stimulates the abdominal organs

Helps to relieve stress

Improves digestion

Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause

Relieves backache (especially through the second trimester of pregnancy)

Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis and sciatica