Utthita Trikonasana

Trikonasana or triangle pose is one of the more common standing poses, and everyone from complete beginners to advanced yogis will practice it (“Utthita” just means extended).

To get into the pose:

With the feet apart, turn the right foot out, and the left foot in about 45 degrees. Inhale to float the arms to the sides, and then exhale to reach forward with the right armpit, then lowering the right hand on to the right shin, knee or holding the big toe.

Spiral the torso open to the sky, extending the left arm up. Stay for at least 5 breaths, inhaling to come up and then repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

* the spinal twist makes this a good pose for backache (be sure to engage the abdominals)

* tones and stretches the leg, hip and ankle muscles

* the twist simulates the abdominal organs, aiding digestion

To modify:

Have the hand resting on the shin or even the thigh (not on the knee). The top hand could rest on the hip if there are any shoulder issues. Keep the gaze down or forwards if there are any problems with the neck.

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