How Do I Modify Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana After Meniscus Surgery?

May 5, 2020

Transcript of: How do I modify triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana after meniscus surgery?

Hey everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. As you know, you can submit your own question by going to Write it in there and submit it. We’ll review it, and if we can, we’ll get it on video for you. So, this month’s question comes from Terri who asked about modifying postures after meniscus surgery, specifically how to modify triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana.

The Question:

“Hi David,
I am 6 weeks post meniscus tear injury (not from yoga)! What do you feel is the best way to modify triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana while my knee continues to heal? Besides elevating the hips a lot and slowly working to flexing the bad knee back to as close to the position without (of course) causing any pain. Just wondering if there might be another way to start working towards the pose without actually doing it?”

The Answer:

It’s a good question, Terri. Good to hear from you and sorry to hear about the meniscus tear. You’re already obviously reducing the amount of flexion that you’re putting in the knee. I would guess, although you didn’t specify, you’re probably sitting up on a block or something like that. I mean, that is the simplest, easiest way to progress and modify triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana.

Another thing you might consider, which is a little bit outside of practice, but you can do it in that moment, is to actively flex the knee without weight on it. You know, like maybe you lay back for a second and using your own muscles you kind of pull your foot in and your knee just to make sure that you’re working with the muscles as well, if you’re not doing that already outside of practice. The other thing you can consider, as you progress lower on the blocks — and again I’m assuming that that’s what you’re doing, something along those lines — as you progress down, you might keep a towel in the back of that knee for a while, just to make sure there’s space there as you modify triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana.

The other thing to do is to test the rotation of the knee. There are some situations where the external rotation of the knee itself is helpful and creates space — but that also assumes and I don’t know based on your question, I don’t have the details of what happened to you — it assumes that the tear itself is in the posterior and medial meniscus. In those cases, you want to open up the inside of the knee a little bit. You might actually try to do a little bit of rotation while you’ve got your hips up on a block or something like that. You might try turning the foot out a little bit. Be really careful with that. Obviously, you would go just a little bit and test to see what that feels like. Again, it assumes where the tear is.

Other than that, there’s not much else you can do and modify triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana. You might do it with both legs so that you’re getting a little bit of support from the other side, instead of doing it as a one-sided thing that tilts you off and/or puts force into that one knee by itself and at an angle. Just be careful about those couple of things. I hope that helps. Anyway, if anyone else has a question, go to and we’ll try to answer it on video.

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