Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
janu = knee
sirsa = head
Step by Step
Sit on the floor with your torso upright and your legs wide. Bend your left knee and snug the heel into your left groin. Then slightly bend your right knee and slide the heel a few inches toward the right buttock.
Exhale, lean to the right, and press the back of your right shoulder against the inside of your right knee. Lay your right forearm on the floor inside your right leg, palm facing up. Lengthen the right side of your torso along the inside of the right thigh. Turn your right palm toward the inside edge of the foot and take hold of it, thumb on the top of the foot, fingers on the sole.
Remember, the pose is anchored by the femur bone of the left leg. Press the left femur firmly to the floor, as you inhale and slowly extend your right knee. Keep the back of your shoulder connected to the inner knee as you extend it; you'll find that your torso is drawn out by the straightening knee. When your knee is straight, twist your torso toward the ceiling.
Inhale your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, lean it back slightly, and then, with another inhale, sweep it behind your left ear and take hold of the outside edge of the right foot. Press the elbows away from each other, using them like a crank to help twist the upper torso further. Turn your head to look at the ceiling.
Hold for a minute. To come out, first untwist your torso, and without coming to upright, sweep it to the left midway between the legs. Then inhale and lift to an upright position. Remember not to come up directly from the twisted position.. Repeat these steps to the other side for the same length of time.
Watch a video demonstration of this pose.
Stimulates abdominal organs such as the liver and kidneys
Contraindications and Cautions
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose), with the bottom arm on the inside of the forward leg
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee Pose)