Trianga / Tiryam Mukha Eka Pada Pachimottanasana?

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Hello! Can anyone help me with this? 

I'm having my Iyengar teacher training here in Mexico and today we saw Trianga (Tiryam?) Mukha Eka Pada Pachimottanasana and a serious doubt came over me. I have this little sculpture I found at a local yoga store (posted here) and felt in love with it. Its so carefully crafted. Classically, as I understood today, this pose is Pachimottanasana with one Adho Mukha Virassana leg, right? But not with this little sculpture. So I asked if that variation with the Virassana leg was possible, and everyone went bananas, like the wrongest thing ever. They told me to never do that unless I wanted my knees broken.

Does anyone have a possible answer to this? I'm a very flexible guy, in fact, I feel very comfortable doing my legs and feet like this. 




yogafire likes this

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Good luck on your teacher training!  This is so interesting, I'm curious to hear other thoughts on this, too.

I actually learned this leg variation for a side stretch, intentional so we can grab the back foot for leverage in a Forrest yoga class. I was so excited to learn this pose because it gave me such a deep neck stretch, so I took a picture to share here.  Please note though my upper body form is off -  I am too collapsed in this picture because I discovered later that this also meant as a heart opener.  I shouldn't have my forearm on the ground, be higher up, so my chest is farther back and open.

I think the concern is similar with lotus - for those whose hips are open enough, it won't cause knee issues. But if you are forcing yourself into that position, it probably will risk compromising the knee.

For what I understand, some parts of Forrest were based on Iyengar. But based on reading her book, Ana Forrest is a free thinker and has made some very unique variations that could be controversial, such as this back leg bent.

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That's a beautiful sculpture. When I was in ballet, this was a stretch we were taught to stretch out our hips and legs. I'm not as flexible as I once was and I still find this a nice stretch after horseback riding.

Sooooooooooo, what's good for a certain goose isn't good for some ganders? For example,  I stretch out my Achilles' tendons by wearing my boots and then suspending myself by the balls of my feet over a stair before I mount a horse. Do yogis do this? I've yet to find one that says they do. Do equestrians do it? It's our bread and butter in terms of stretches.

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That is a nice sculpture I hope you still enjoy it regardless.

Why didn't they tell you why it is bad alignment? Iyengar type should know the best. The knee joint is open not closed, should have the lower shin tucked up tight to the back of the thigh to help protect the knee. With the foot turned outward that will cause twisting in the knee. The knee is a hinge joint only, no side bending, no twisting. No matter how flexible a person is. So yes that shape of the leg and foot is really bad for the knee.

Here is the poses and links for correct form in the pose

Tiryam-Mukha Eka-Pada Paschimottanasana

Viranchyasana [B]

Keep the Knees Healthy in Virasana

10 Tips for Practicing Virasana Safely

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Thank you for your replies!!!

I have a very particular practice. I go to classes, I do a lot of research, and by the end of the day I go to my mat or standing in my kitchen doing my breakfast, or in bed or wherever, and do my yoga. I do remember the basics, I have the concepts in my head, but still I do my own yoga.

Maybe its just a matter of discovering yourself and understanding the difference between sweet and sour pain. My only reaffirmation is that today, one year before starting doing very formal Iyengar yoga and discovering and inventing my own personal practice, I feel wonderful. My body has healed in ways I never thought it would.

I'll do this variation as long as my body tells me its ok.


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