What is Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana (Three parts of the body stretch)
in Sanskrit, the literal meaning of trianga is “three parts of the body.”
In this asana, the“three parts” comprise the buttocks, knees, and feet. The back of the body, which is known in Sanskrit as the paschima or “west,” is stretched over eka pada or “one foot,” and the mukha or “face” rests on the leg.
Regular practice of this asana makes the whole body supple and agile.
Benefits of Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana
- Tones and stimulates the abdominal organs
- Assists digestion and counters the effects of excess bile secretion
- Reduces flatulence and constipation
- Creates flexibility in the knee joints
- Corrects dropped arches and flat feet
- Avoid this asana if you have diarrhea.
- Do not twist your torso or allow it to lean toward the outer side of your extended leg, since this could strain your spine or abdominal organs.
How to do Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana – Step by Step Instructions
- Sit in Dandasana.
- Bend your right leg back toward your right hip.
- Use your right hand to pull the ankle into place.
- Keep your left leg stretched out, making sure that it rests on the center of your left calf and heel.
- Keep your thighs together.
- Press your right knee down on the floor.
- The inner side of your right calf should touch the outer side of your right thigh.
- Balance equally on both buttocks.
- Make sure that your right buttock rests squarely on the floor.
- Rest your palms, fingers pointing forward, on the floor beside your hips.
- Raise your arms up toward the ceiling.
- Extend your torso upward, and feel the stretch from your waist to your fingertips.
- Tips for BEGINNERS – To maintain your balance, keep the weight of your body on the bent knee. This will ensure that your torso does not tilt toward the left.
- Exhale, and bend forward from the waist.
- Stretch both arms beyond your left foot, with the palms facing each other.
- Ensure your thighs and knees are pressed together.
- Rest on both buttocks—the essence of the pose is getting this balance right
INTERMEDIATES While you are getting into the pose, the torso has a tendency to tilt to the left. To guard against this, shift your weight to your right side.
This will bring the center of gravity to the middle of your right thigh. Then, equalize your weight on both buttocks.
- Exhale, widen your elbows, and push your torso toward your left foot.
- Press both your wrists against the sole of your left foot, then hold your right wrist with your left hand.
- First, touch your forehead to your left knee, then place your nose and lips, and finally, your chin, beyond your left knee.
- Push your left buttock out and rest on the inside of your left buttock bone.
- Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
- BEGINNERS Stretch forward as far as you can. With practice, you will learn
- to hook your wrists around your foot.
Advanced Work in the Pose
- In the final stretch, make sure that your body weight is distributed evenly over your legs and buttocks.
- Both arms should be equally stretched forward.
- Make sure that the weight on the knee of the outstretched leg is equal to the weight borne by the bent knee.
- Focus on maintaining the center of gravity of this pose at the middle of the right thigh.
- Extend the right side of your torso from the pelvic rim toward your head.
- Elongate the right side of your chest and waist, and expand the side of the ribs resting on your bent knee, so that your torso stretches farther forward.