Pose Of The Week: Janusirsasana A, A.K.A. "Head to Knee Pose"
Hi yogis! Happy Sunday, and welcome to your pose of the week, Janusirsasana A. This is one of the first seated forward folds in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series.
Let's start on the right side:
Step 1. Bring the sole of the right foot to the inner left thigh, heel as close to the pelvic floor as possible. Situate the bent knee about 90 degrees out from the straight leg, or wider if you have the mobility. Make sure your knee joint is totally closed. Keep the toes actively pulling back toward the face.
Step 2. Suck the lower belly in and up and engage the pelvic floor. Try to keep this activated awareness throughout the whole pose.
Step 3. Create space in the spine, slightly twist the torso toward your left leg, and hinge from the hips to fold over the leg. You're reaching the center of your chest onto the leg rather than the side of your rib cage. If that doesn't happen today, just keep practicing. :)
If possible, wrap the hands around the foot and hold your wrist. Otherwise grab the foot or shin with your fingers, keeping a long spine. Be mindful of your shoulders sneaking up into your ears!
Step 4. Repeat on the left side.
**Continue to pull the tailbone back back back while you reach the heart forward forward forward toward the toes, creating length and openness in the entire back body, heel to head.
**It's important not to round the spine in an attempt to reach the head onto the leg. The ideal order of contact between the leg and the torso is this: belly, ribs, chest, chin. No need to rush this. The benefits of this pose come from lengthening the spine and keeping the chest broad and expansive, not forcing yourself to bend in half.
Janusirsasana is a wonderful, foundational forward fold. It lengthens the whole back body, opens the hips, stimulates the internal organs, and creates a sense of inner awareness in the body and mind. Take time for this pose everyday to experience all of it's health benefits.