Seated Head to Knee Pose

(Janu Sirsasana)

Level: Easy/Moderate

Benefits: Deeply stretches the legs and spine, massages the internal organs.

Cautions: Knee injuries, sciatica.

How To

seated-head-to-knee-pose
Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched, bend your left knee and draw your foot in towards the inner right thigh, support your left knee with your hand as you let it fall outwards.
  2. Keep the hips level and facing forward.
  3. With your hands on the floor as props slightly behind you, breathe in and raise your chest to open and lengthen the front of the body. (fig 1)
  4. On the exhale lower your body forward as far as comfortable while keeping the length in the front of your body. Place your hands where ever they reach to on your right leg. (fig 2)
  5. Work with your breath into any tightness, holding for 5-10 breaths.
  6. Breathe in to release. Repeat on the other side.
Modifications
  • If the back of your knee pulls – try practicing with the extended leg bent slightly.
  • If your outwardly bent knee doesn’t reach the floor – try placing a block or blanket under it for support.
  • If the lower back pulls – try raising the hips by sitting on a folded blanket.
  • If you can’t reach your hands to your extended leg comfortably – try placing a belt around the extended foot.
To Deepen
  • If you have the flexibility – try taking hold of your extended foot or even reaching your hands past the foot onto the floor.
  • If you want to deepen the stretch – try bringing the toes towards you and pushing the heel away from you in the extended leg. (fig 3)

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