How to Practice 3 Parts Forward Bend

Seated forward folds stretch the hamstrings and spine. Unlike other seated forward folds, 3 Parts forward bend, also known as Triang Makhaikapada Paschimottanasana, adds the challenge of forward folding over one leg while the other leg is in Virasana. This adds a hip-opening component to the stretch and, for those using a block in order to maintain Virasana, challenges core stability.

3 Parts Forward Bend

3 parts forward bendBefore you practice, 3 Parts forward bend take a seat in Virasana. If you need a yoga block to comfortably sit, make sure to grab one. A yoga block may be very beneficial here as your supporting leg will be in Virasana while your other leg is extended in front of you.

If you find that this position is very uncomfortable or stressful on your supporting knee, take a seat on the floor with both legs straight in front of you.

  1. Use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Before you begin, take a moment to practice Dandasana. Root down through your SITs bones and feel length and energy through your spine. Take a couple of breaths here.
  3. Take a seat in Virasana with your right leg extended in front of you or with both legs extended in front of you. Whether you’re sitting in Virasana or with both legs extended, internally rotate the thigh of your supporting leg.
  4. If you are sitting on a block, make sure to keep a soft bend in the back of your right knee to avoid hyperextension and strain.
  5. Reconnect to the muscular energy you felt in Dandasana as you root down through your SITs bones and feel length and energy through your spine.
  6. Draw your belly button toward your spine.
  7. Reach your arms toward the ceiling to help you find length through your spine. Inhale here, and exhale to fold forward. Let your hands lower to your leg, ankle, or foot as you allow yourself to fold forward over your right leg.
  8. Hold and breathe for 5-8 breaths.
  9. To come out of this pose, use your last exhale to help you come back to a seated position.
  10. Repeat steps 3-8 for the other side.

3 Parts Forward Bend Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What is your biggest challenge with this pose:  hip flexibility, hamstring flexibility, or something else? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.