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HandWiki. Trikonasana. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 19 June 2024).
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HandWiki. "Trikonasana" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 19, 2024).
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HandWiki. "Trikonasana." Encyclopedia. Web. 15 November, 2022.

Trikonasana (/trɪkoʊˈnɑːsənɑː/ trik-oh-NAH-sə-nah; Sanskrit: त्रिकोणासन; IAST: trikoṇāsana) or Triangle Pose is an asana. Variations include utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose), baddha trikonasana (bound triangle pose) and parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose).

trikonasana trikonasana त्रिकोणासन

1. Etymology

The name comes from the Sanskrit words trikona (त्रिकोण, trikoṇa) meaning "triangle",[1] and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat".[2]

2. Description

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.

3. Stylistic Differences

Different schools of yoga have slightly different views about what trikonasana is and how it should be performed. A 2001 10-page article on trikonasana 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 in this asana.[3] This article does not make a distinction between trikonasana (triangle pose) and utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose).

Although many sources do list trikonasana (triangle pose) as an asana,[4][5][6][7][8] [9] [10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] many other sources will not list trikonasana (triangle pose) as an asana in itself, but will either list only utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose),[24][25][26][27] describing it similar to sources listing trikonasana (triangle pose), or list both utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose) and parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose).[28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [23][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47]

Some of the sources listing both utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose) and parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose) will however either refer to the former as "trikonasana" especially when describing the latter, or refer to utthita trikonasana simply as "triangle pose" and not "extended triangle pose",[23][30][31][34][44][45][47][48] and some sources will list trikonasana (triangle pose) in itself described in a similar fashion to utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose) in other sources, and list parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose).[38][49][50][51][52]

The placement of the lower hand does in several sources not seem to make up for any distinction between trikonasana (triangle pose) and utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose).[19][20][27][32][51][52]

One single found source includes both a description of trikonasan (triangle pose), utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose) and parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose) and makes a clear distinction between trikonasan (triangle pose) and utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose).[53]

In the tradition of Satyananda Yoga trikonasana is described as a series of four-five different asanas performed in sequence but labeled with the single name "trikonasana".[54][55]

4. Benefits

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, shoulders and knees, strengthens the ankles and tones the ligaments of the arms and legs.[56] 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.[57] Swami Satyananda Saraswati claims the asana stimulates the nervous system and alleviates nervous depression, strengthens the pelvic area and tones the reproductive organs.[58]

5. Contraindications and Precautions

This side bend may cause issues in practitioners with lower back problems.[59] Farhi[60] warns that those with posterolateral disc herniation may find the twisting in this asana challenging the back. Iyengar[61] advises: those prone to dizzy spells, vertigo, or high blood pressure do not look down at the floor in the final asana or turn the head; those with cervical spondylosis do not look up for too long; those with a cardiac condition practise against a wall and do not raise the arm, but rest it along the hip; and those with stress-related headaches, migraine, eye strain, diarrhoea, low blood pressure, psoriasis, varicose veins, depression or extreme fatigue do not practise this asana. Satyananda Saraswati[58] states that the asana should not be practiced by those suffering from severe back conditions.

6. Variations

Variations include:

  • Baddha trikonasana (Sanskrit: बद्धत्रिकोणासन; IAST: baddhatrikoṇāsana) (bound triangle pose)[62]
  • Baddha parivritta trikonasana (Sanskrit: बद्धपरिवृत्तत्रिकोणासन; IAST: baddhaparivṛttatrikoṇāsana) (bound revolved triangle pose)[63]
  • Parivritta trikonasana (Sanskrit: परिवृत्तत्रिकोणासन; IAST: parivṛttatrikoṇāsana) (revolved triangle pose)[1]
  • Supta trikonasana (Sanskrit: सुप्तत्रिकोणासन; IAST: suptatrikoṇāsana) (reclining triangle pose)[64]
  • Utthita trikonasana (Sanskrit: उत्थितत्रिकोणासन; IAST: utthitatrikoṇāsana) (extended triangle pose)


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