Revolved Head to Knee Pose - Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

How to Do Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana. Ann Pizer

Type of Pose: Seated twist

Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings, opens the shoulders and chest, improves digestion

Instructions:

1. Begin in a seated wide-legged straddle  (upavistha konasana).

2. Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to your inner left thigh.

3. Lean your torso as far to the left as possible, bringing the back side of your left forearm to the floor inside your left leg.

If you don't make it that far over, bring your left arm to your shin or higher up towards the thigh instead.

4. Begin to twist your upper body away from your left leg, opening your chest to the ceiling. If your left arm is inside the left leg, you can press the arm into the leg for resistance as you twist.

5. Lift your gaze upwards, letting your neck and head follow the twist in the spine. Don't overdo the neck rotation. Remember that twisting your neck a lot doesn't make for a deeper twist in the torso. 

6. Raise your right arm overhead and then let the right biceps come over your right ear. Keep your right arm straight.

7. As an alternative, bend the right elbow and hold the back of your head with your right hand. Don't let the right elbow collapse inward. Work to keep it opening to the right.

8. Keep your left foot flexed.

9. After several breaths, come back up to sit and switch the position of your legs for a twist to the other side.

Beginners Tip:

You can take basically the same stretch in a cross legged position if it is difficult for you to do the pose with one leg extended. to do so, lower your left shoulder toward your right knee. Your left hand can cross your body and take ahold of your right knee. Lift your right arm and lean to the left.

 

Advanced Variations:

1. Grab your the left big toe with your left fingers in a yogi toe lock if you can easily reach your foot.

2. The raised right hand can also come all the way over your head to grip the left foot, but make sure that action does not compromise your twist. It's more important to keep your chest opening toward the ceiling than to grab your toes. If you have ahold of the right toes with the right hand, use that traction to deepen your twist.

3. Instead of tucking your right foot into your inner thigh, bring it under your thigh. It will end up behind your body with the top of your foot on the floor. If you can do this comfortably, reach your left hand under your butt and take hold of your right heel. Then reach your right hand for your left heel.

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