Bring the center of your right shin to the floor, and your calf and foot to touch the right thigh and hip. Point your right toes straight back and spread the ball of the foot so that all your toenails touch the floor. Join the knees. Press your right knee, outer calf, and thigh toward the floor. If your buttocks don’t touch the floor, sit on a block or blanket. If your pelvis tilts to the left, place a blanket under your left buttock.
Lengthen your inner left calf from the knee toward the ankle to extend the left leg upward. Tighten the left kneecap, pull the left quadriceps muscle toward the hip, and stretch the left hamstring from the buttock toward the knee. Roll your outer left hip toward the floor, move it slightly forward, and sit evenly on your sitting bones.
Pull against your raised foot and spread your elbows sideways to lift the sides of your body and keep your trunk upright. Staying on the left sitting bone, exhale, move your head and torso forward, and simultaneously stretch your left leg up and draw it back. Keep your knee firm and move your thighbone toward the back of your leg. If possible, rest your forehead on your left shin. Relax your eyes and soften your temples. Release any tension in your neck and throat. When you pacify your senses, this pose can bring you to a state of deep quiet and profound inner awareness. Hold for 20–30 seconds, release, and switch sides.
Your body speaks to you constantly. Although it is always important to be alert to what it says, pay exquisite attention when moving in ways that test your limits. Your knees and back can be particularly vulnerable in Krounchasana. To protect your back, continuously lengthen your spine upward. To protect your knees, set your pride and ambition aside and take support from props until you no longer need it. Ahimsa (nonharming) is the cornerstone of every yoga practice, so respect the shouts, sighs, and whispers your body sends.
About Our Pro Teacher and model John Schumacher is the founder and director of Unity Woods Yoga Center, serving the Washington, DC, area since 1979. He studied with B.K.S. Iyengar for 33 years and was certified by him as an Advanced Teacher. In his 43 years of teaching, Schumacher has taught teachers and students worldwide. His clear, precise teaching style and engaging sense of humor challenge and inspire students to move beyond their imagined limits.