Revolved Head-of-Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
This is a deep, seated twist that stretches the whole body, and strengthens your legs and core. Itís a powerful variation of the forward fold, Head-of-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana), that deepens the stretch to the hamstrings and spine, while providing all of the benefits of a spinal twist.
• Sit on the on the mat with your legs extended in front of you in Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana).
• Place your hands on the floor behind your body and lean your torso back slightly. Then open your legs as wide as comfortable. Work towards opening your legs to a 90-degree angle (with the pelvis as the apex).
• Keep the tops of your kneecaps and your toes pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Flex your feet and strongly engage your thigh muscles, pressing your legs down towards the floor. Reach out through your heels.
• Bring the sole of your left foot to the inside of your right thigh.
• On exhalation, lean to the right. Slide your right hand along the inner edge of your right leg, palm facing up, towards your right foot’s toes. Press your right shoulder blade against the inside of your right knee, and let your forearm rest on the floor. Turn your right hand to clasp the inner edge of your right foot. Hold the sole of your foot with your fingers, and the top of your foot with your thumb.
• Reach your left hand’s fingers up towards the ceiling. Then reach towards your right foot, bringing your left arm directly over your left ear. Rest your left bicep alongside your head. Clasp the outer edge of your right foot.
• Draw your left shoulder back, keeping your chest open. Turn your head to look up at the ceiling. If doing so hurts your neck, gaze forward, instead.
• Twist your upper torso further, opening your torso and chest towards the ceiling.
• Keep your left thigh bone firmly down towards the floor.
• With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, twist deeper.
• Hold for 30 seconds. To release the pose, unwind your torso and bring it to the center line between your legs. Press your tailbone towards the floor as you inhale and lift your torso. Extend your left leg along the floor next to your right leg. Then repeat the pose on the opposite side for the same length of time.
• The Revolved Head-of-Knee pose is a great pose that stretches the shoulders, back, spine and hamstrings.
• This pose stimulates the kidneys, the liver and other important abdominal organs.
• Provides relief from mild backache.
• Relaxes the body thus relieving fatigue.
• Works towards reducing anxiety.
• Helps in the treatment of insomnia.
• You should not come upright in the twisted pose as it could cause injuries.
• If you suffer from a delicate digestive system or are suffering from diarrhea, you should not do this pose.
• Also make sure that you have someone to guide you through the entire routine.
Sumit Manav, Lifestyle Yoga