Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, also known as Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose is quite a dynamic asana, which may be why I love it so much. Not only are we lengthening the hamstrings of the extended leg while getting an external rotational hip stretch in the flexed leg similar to Janu Sirsansana (Forehead to Knee Pose), but we are receiving space in the side bodies as well as a lateral flexion in the spine.
This pose will most definitely require a nice thorough warm up to open up and stabilize the hamstrings, hips, side bodies, knees, abdominals, back and shoulders. A nice sample sequence to prepare for this peak posture is :
Standing Side Bends – Sun Salutation A (x2) – Sun Salutation B (x2) – Triangle – Chair – Side Angle – Tree – Seated Forehead to Knee – Seated Bound Angle
To enter into Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose :
- start in Staff Pose, legs long and active, sit bones connecting to the earth, and tailbone reaching down and back
- exhale to bring the right knee to chest and with the knee joint closed guide the knee out to the right, supporting the knee with a block if you need
- bring the torso to frame the space between the knees while walking left hand to the inside of the left thigh or knee and reaching toward the sky with the right arm
- inhale to find length in both side bodies and through the left leg
- exhale brings the navel to spine as you start to walk the left hand down the inside of that leg and the right arm bending towards the left reaching though the fingertips
- keep space in both side bodies and in the space between the collar bones as you actively twist the torso towards the right, rolling the shoulders away from the ears
- keep both sit bones rooted to focus the side bend in the spine or release or lift the sit bone of the flexed leg to bring the side bend further into the hip joint and the back of the extended leg
- enjoy how the posture feels as you honor the body in your expression of the pose
- for more advanced practitioners the left hand may already be inside the left foot, and if it is flip your grip starting with the palm up continuing to revolve the arm until thumb faces the bottom of the foot and rest of the fingers to the top of the foot
- right arm may extend so the hand is gripping the outside of the foot, thumb on the top of the foot
- another variation as seen in the picture is to have the flexed leg with the knee facing the front of the mat and foot along side the hip
Being an asymmetrical seated side bending pose, remember to complete both sides to feel the full body stretch. It will feel divine to reset the body with a counterpose such as Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle) or Apanasana (Knees to Chest).
Some of the health benefits of this pose are :
full body stretch, removes stress, calms the mind, improves circulation, strengthens the muscles of calves and hamstrings, stimulates endocrine glands, improves digestion, helps to remove lower back pain, improves the flexibility of the spine and longevity, improves the health of respiratory system
Remember to be interested in how we go, not how far we go. I cannot wait to see you on the mat at Inspired Change Yoga!
Love and Light, Victoria