Uthittha Trikonasana – Extended Triangle Pose

This is a standing pose. To begin, stand in Tadasana or mountain pose.
1) On the exhale step your right foot away or jump both feet apart at a distance of about 3.5 to 4 feet, depending on your height (the taller you are the wider the stance). Both arms are abducted from the mid-line laterally. Palms are facing down, shoulders depressed, tailbone tucked in, hips are square to the length of the mat. Rotate your right hip outwards so that your right foot is at 90 degrees to the width of the mat. Ensure that the hips are still square. Front heel is in line with the back heel.
2) Inhale and reach your right arm out to the right, exhale while flexing the waist on the right side so that you are able to place your right palm just on the outside of your right little toe or on the ankle. The left arm should now be pointing upwards and is still extended at the elbow.
3) Exhale and rotate your head so that you are gazing at the left thumb. Both the arms extended should make one straight line. Make sure hips are square at all times so that the entire body is almost in a 2 dimensional plane. Keep the left hip pushed back if there is the tendency to push it out to the front.
4) If reaching the right ankle or outside of the right little toe is difficult then go down as far as the hand can. The important thing is be mindful of the correct alignment – no bending of the knees or pushing out of the hips. Try to get a deeper bend with every exhale without compromising the alignment. Hold for 5 breaths.
5) Inhale and straighten the torso to neutral position. Exhale and internally rotate right hip so that the right foot is now parallel to the left and are pointing in the same direction. Then rotate left hip outwards so that the left foot is 90 degrees to width of the mat. Inhale and repeat steps 2 to 4 on the left.
6) Inhale come back up. Exhale back into Samasthithihi.
If you are unsteady you can always use the wall for support. Carry out the pose by pressing the heel opposite to the bending waist, into the floor.
If reaching the floor or ankle is difficult you can always use a block.
To make it more difficult for the advanced, align front heel to the arch of the back foot.
This pose engages the obliques, deltoids, quadriceps, calf muscles, back muscles..
It aids digestion and strenghthens the back.