Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Find length in the sides of your body and a deeper twist as you move step by step into Parivrtta Janu Sirsana
More in YOGAPEDIA Bird of Paradise: 5 Steps to Master this Standing Pose
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
An invigorating spinal twist and chest opener that releases diaphragmatic tension and intercostal muscles, enhancing breathing. It also removes tension along the spine and lengthens the sides of the waist, stretching the abdominal organs, especially the ascending and descending colon, liver, spleen, and pancreas, enhancing digestion and elimination
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana makes the hamstrings vulnerable, especially near the sitting bones where the muscles attach. To be safe, contract the quadriceps very powerfully, sending a message to the hamstrings to stop contracting. Pulling the body down in any forward bend when the hamstrings have not released enough to free the spine may damage the lower vertebrae. Take time warming up in Supta Padangusthasana. Move slowly into and out of all of these poses. And remember to stay humble: Remove the striving for accomplishment and instead go for the experience of whatever you can do in the moment.
Janu Sirsasana, variation
Sit in Janu Sirsasana with your left knee bent. Turn your chest toward the bent knee, fingertips on the floor, right hand in front between your legs and your left hand behind your left buttock. On an inhalation, press your fingertips into the floor and lift the bottom of your belly and the sides of your waist. Exhaling, twist left.
See also Janu Sirsasana
Parivrrta Janu Sirsasana, variation
Inhaling, lift your left arm up, alongside your left ear. Bend your right leg, then bend your torso sideways to the right and hold the outside of your right foot with your left hand. Slowly walk your right hand away from your pelvis, in between your legs, until the back of your right rib cage, or the back of the right back, is on the inside of your inner right thigh. Press your inner thigh into your rib cage.
See also A Pretty Twisted Practice
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, variation
Keeping your right leg bent, turn your right arm to hold your right foot from the inside, thumb down. Pull strongly with your hands, bending your elbows so that the sides of your waist lengthen. Start to bend your right elbow away from your right shin.
See also 5 Revolved Forward Bends
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Revolved Head-of-the-Knee Pose
Slowly straighten your right leg, maintaining the pressure and contact of your right inner thigh against the back of your right rib cage, and pulling the foot with your arms. After your leg is straight, press your right outer elbow into the floor and press your left elbow toward the floor behind you, opening your chest and twisting your waist. Rest the back of your head on your right shinbone, looking at the ceiling.
For a more advanced stretch, extend your left knee farther from your head. Do not try to press your left sitting bone into the floor; instead, let it rise without trying to lift it.
Stay in the pose for 10 to 30 seconds. To come out, release your left hand first. Untwist your spine, bringing your left hand to the floor in front of your chest. Then release your right hand and use your left hand to push up. Change sides.
See also Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
See also 4 Steps to Master Janu Sirsasana