Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana
Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana is the half-Virasana forward bend. Sit in Dandasana. Bend the right leg back, with the shin and the front of the foot on the floor. The right foot is next to the right hip and the left leg stays in Dandasana.
Place the fingertips of each hand by your sides. Press them down as you inhale and root the buttock bones, and elongate the spine up through the crown of the head.
FIGURE 11-29: Forehead resting on knee
FIGURE 11-30: With belt and blanket
Clasp your hands around your foot. Lift the ribs off the hips. Continue grounding the buttock bones, the back of the left leg, and the right shin. Your forehead may rest on the left leg or above it (SEE FIGURE 11-29). Stay for several breaths and then come up and back into Dandasana. Repeat on the other side.
You can also try holding onto a belt, strapped around the balls of the foot, and sitting on a blanket to elevate the pelvis and maintain a long spine (SEE FIGURE 11-30). The forehead can rest on a folded blanket on the outstretched leg (SEE FIGURE 11-31).
FIGURE 11-31: With head support
If you have knee pain, try one of the modifications. If knee pain continues, come out of the pose.
The benefits of Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana include the following:
It opens the hips.
It improves digestion.
It creates flexibility in the knees.
It develops foot arch on the bent-leg foot.
It decreases swelling and discomfort from a sprained ankle.
Having trouble falling asleep? Try this technique developed by the Himalayan Institute. Watch your breath, through the nostrils. Gently slow down your exhalation until it's twice as long as the inhalation. Continue the two-to-one breathing ratio. Take eight breaths lying on your back, sixteen breaths lying on your right side, and thirty-two breaths lying on your left side.