"Like all forward bending asanas, Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana is quieting to the mind and body. It does not require the strength of an arm balance but rather the inner strength of will to hold the pose even when it is difficult for the legs and hips. This strength of will must not be confused with an aggressive pushing of the body beyond its limits... Instead, inner strength of will means a fine balance between letting go of the rigidity that keeps one from expressing the beauty of the pose, while maintaining the one-pointed concentration necessary to refuse to move in the face of discomfort." - Judith Lasater, Yoga Journal September/October 1983
- Under Sitz bones
- Behind knee of straight leg
- Under hands
- To allow the pelvis to move freely and alleviate tension on the hamstring of the straight leg raise the Sitz Bones on Eggs
- Lifting the Sitz Bones up on Eggs decreases the strain in the bent-leg knee, allowing you to press the top of the bent leg foot into the floor, keeping the knee in proper alignment.
- To protect the knee of the straight leg from hyper-extension bring an Egg behind it
- Placing your hands on Eggs encourages extension of the front body as well as lifting and strengthening of the lower back.
- Begin seated on Eggs. You may want two of them flat or three round side up, depending on how much height you need. Either way, the Eggs need to be supporting both Sitz bones so that you may ground through them equally.
- *The inability to ground the Sitz Bone of the bent leg foot is usually due to either discomfort from flexion in the knee, or stiffness in the quadriceps. If you still feel pain in the bent-leg knee, increase the height of Eggs under your Sitz bones to decrease flexion in the knee.
- Extend one leg straight out in front of you, with the toes and knee pointed up toward the ceiling.
- Place one to two Eggs under the knee of the straight leg to protect it from hyper-extension.
- Bend the other leg back so the foot is pressed up against the hip and the top of that foot is pressed into the floor. (If this causes pain in the top of your foot, place a rolled-up hand towel between your foot and the floor.)
- Keep the knees hip distance apart, and the drop the inner thigh of the straight leg toward the floor.
- Lift out of your lower back and make space from your pubic bone to your collarbone.
- Press the tops of the thigh bone down as you continue to lift out of your lower back and rotate your pelvis up and over the femur heads.
- Maintaining a flat back, extend through all four sides of your torso.
- With the Eggs in your hands, one on either side of your straight leg, fold forward by walking them out toward your foot.
- Roll back on the Eggs by drawing the arms into the shoulder sockets, while you lift through the sternum and continue to lengthen.
When Not To
- If you still feel pain in the bent knee even after increasing your elevation.
- If you have back pain even after increasing your elevation.