Today we’ll look at one of the seated postures in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana. This posture is different than the other postures you’ve done up until this point in the Primary Series because it is the first obvious internal rotation of the hip.
This energetic pose loosens up your hips and hamstrings while releasing the tension in your back muscles. Like other forward folds in the series, Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana calms the nervous system while toning the internal organs. It is a good posture to do when you need to relieve stress.
We’ll look at the simplest way to get into this posture. This is a good way to approach the pose if you have knee sensitivity.
Start by sitting on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you.
Bend your right leg so the sole of your right foot is on the floor and your thigh is drawn into your chest.
Now rock onto the left side of your sit bones.
Internally rotate your hip joint and bring your foot back so your foot is pointed straight behind you.
Your knees are next to each other with your right knee pointed straight out in front of you.
As you get into the position pay close attention to how your knee feels. If you need to you can sit on a block to help you get into the position more comfortably and decrease any pressure on the knee.
Send energy down into your sit bones to create a firm foundation. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between the left and right hip. Find balance in the centerline of your body. It is important to keep centered.
Inhale and lengthen, drawing the spine up out of the pelvis and lifting the chest.
Exhale hinge forward from the pelvis, folding over the left leg. Catch your foot, ankle, shin or wherever you can reach. Keep your shoulder blades on your back and your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
Inhale and lengthen through the back even more. Exhale and fold, relaxing your back and bringing your forehead toward your shin. Stay here for five breaths and repeat on the other side.