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How To Do Triangle Pose To Stretch Your Shoulders, Spine & Hips

mbg moves: yoga for digestion
Image by mbg creative
October 6, 2021

Triangle pose is a staple in yoga classes for a reason: Not only is it a juicy stretch, but it strengthens a good amount of muscles, too. This beginner-friendly posture can be easily modified to suit most skill levels and incorporated into a variety of yoga flows. Here's how to do it, as demonstrated by certified yoga instructor Phyllicia Bonanno, plus tips and modifications to keep in mind.

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How to do triangle pose, trikonasana.

Image by mbg creative
  1. Begin in warrior 2 with your right leg in front. Straighten your right leg. Your feet should be about 3 to 3.5 feet apart with the back foot parallel to the back of the mat and your front facing forward.
  2. With your arms in a "T" position, hinge at the hips, shifting your body forward and bringing your right hand to rest on your right foot or shin.
  3. Stretch your left arm up toward the sky, and gaze up at the fingertips.
  4. Hold for a few breaths and come out by inhaling back to stand with your arms still in the "T."
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tips & modifications:

  • You want your shoulders to be stacked vertically in this posture, so use a block if reaching toward your shin is compromising your shoulders.
  • Keep a strong foundation in the legs by pressing your feet into the mat and lifting the kneecaps. Weight should be evenly distributed through the feet.
  • Draw the hip of the front leg back and the hip of the back leg forward.
  • Use the strength of your core to help open up your torso to the side.
  • Contraindications include hip, back, and shoulder injuries.

What are the benefits?

As soon as you give this pose a try, you'll probably notice it fires up the core pretty quickly—especially the obliques. This core strengthening can help with overall stability, balance, and posture.

On top of that, triangle is great for the spine, helping to lengthen it out, and also targets the hips and shoulders, offering both a nice stretch and increased mobility.

And lastly, triangle may help promote digestion, as it gently stimulates all those digestive organs.

The bottom line is, this pose manages to stretch nearly anything you could want to stretch, as well as encourages a strong core, which comes with so many other benefits. Whether you do it in your next Vinyasa class or at-home practice, it's a pose you'll want to remember.

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