Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose with Yoga Strap
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Revolved Head-to-Knee pose, or Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, is a deep side stretch coupled with a heart-opening twist. It lengthens the hamstring and stretches the groin and inner leg. It also stretches the spine and shoulder, stimulates your abdominal organs, and improves overall digestion.
Revolved Head-to-Knee pose can be done by:
1. Begin by sitting in Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend pose (Upavistha Konasana), with sitting bones grounded and without locking the knees. Sit tall and extend the crown of the head towards the sky.
2. Bend the right knee and bring the heel in to your left leg/groin.
3. Turn the toes on the straight leg up towards the sky and flex the foot. Hug the muscles to the bones in that leg.
4. Lengthen your spine and bring your left hand to the inside of your left leg, palm facing out.
5. Have the strap in your right hand and loop the strap around the left foot.
6. Peel back the right-shoulder to open the heart, bringing the right arm above the head.
7. Move the hand along the strap to deepen the side stretch. Lengthen both sides of the waist.
8. Look up towards the sky, underneath the armpit.
9. Repeat on the other side.
Read the following cautions to stay safe:
• If you have a knee injury or it’s otherwise too uncomfortable to bend one leg, you can keep both legs straight and practise the same upper body actions.
• Never push too far in a pose. Find your edge, but don't move past it. You should feel the pose working in the body, but still be able to breathe deeply and find some ease in the pose.
• In order to protect the lower back, it is important to have a straight spine when you begin this pose, and to do the pose without rounding through the back or slouching. If you need to, sit on a folded blanket, or a block, or have a bend in the leg that is out wide. If you are rounding your spine, or slouching, try moving the left hand further up the leg towards the body.
• If you have discomfort in your neck, don’t look up. Instead, keep your gaze on the floor in front of you.
• If you are concerned about anything with this pose, please consult a physician about whether this practice is good for you.
• You can place your hand on the floor, or on a block on the inside of the outstretched leg.
• Keep the knee bent on the outstretched leg if your hamstrings are tight. You can also place a block rolled-up towel or folded blanket underneath the bent knee on the outstretched leg, and under the bent leg knee if the leg is mostly off the floor.
• With the strap you can use one hand to hold both of the ends of the Yoga strap, or you can hold one end of the Yoga strap in each hand.