Finding Joy in Movement

Janu Sirsasana/ Head to Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana is a forward bend that can be rewarding for practitioners of all levels. It provides a great way to access the hamstrings while also stretching the spine and shoulders.

Start in Dandasana with both feet extended out in front of you. Place your left foot to the inside of your right thigh. Janu Sirsasana has a subtle element of spinal twisting to it, so I like to start by twisting slightly off to the right to square the torso over the extended leg. When your bellybutton is in line with your knee, reach forward with your hands, tying to extend the upper body out over the leg. Ground the right leg into the mat as you come forward. Imagine that your right heel is extended forward while your right sit bone is extending back. Pull the inner thigh back towards your hips and make sure the extended leg doesn’t end up with an outward rotation.

If the left side of your rib cage is further away from your extended leg then the right side of your rib cage, back out of the pose slightly, square the upper body over the leg again and only go as far forward as allows you to maintain this relationship between upper body and extended leg.

If you find that you are struggling to stay in the forward bend, you can add height under your seat and also use a strap around your extended leg. If the left knee doesn’t reach the floor, you can also add a blanket or a bolster for support. Try not to use your arms as the primary force to move deeper into the pose and instead use your core to extend and lengthen your upper body.

Hold for as long as feels comfortable, then repeat on the second side.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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