This entry was posted on Dec 27, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.
Ahead bends have a fame for drawing us inward and inspiring introspection. Whereas I doubt there’s scientific proof of this, practitioners report that these poses have a chilled impact. Practising ahead bends, similar to Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee Pose), Paschimottanasana (Seated Ahead Bend Pose) or Upavista Konasana (Seated Angle Pose) towards the top of an asana apply could even assist us internalize and combine the poses that got here earlier than. Ahead bends may help our our bodies wind down and slide effortlessly into Savasana (Closing Leisure Pose).
Ahead bends are mentioned to confer the next advantages:
- calm the mind and nervous system
- relieve nervousness, complications and fatigue
- decrease blood strain
- enhance digestion
- stretch the muscle tissues and connective tissue of the again physique
This publish will discover Janu Sirsasana, a ahead bend that additionally has components of a twist.
What Is Janu Sirsasana?
Usually referred to as “Head-to-Knee Pose,” I want a lesser-known translation from the Sanskrit: “Head-of-the-Knee Pose.” The previous implies that the purpose is to carry your head near or onto the knee of your prolonged leg. The latter emphasizes the other, bent knee, that grounds and extends, stabilizing your pelvis and making a extra dynamic stretch.
As with all ahead bends, it’s vital that you simply fold ahead out of your hip joints—not your waist. The pelvis and backbone ought to transfer collectively. Bending your backbone ahead whereas tilting your pelvis again could cause intervertebral disc damage. So, in case your hamstrings are on the tighter finish of the spectrum, just remember to all the time elevate your pelvis on a folded blanket. Bending the knee of your prolonged leg can even assist stop future again issues. Extra on this under.
Easy methods to Observe Janu Sirsasana
- To apply Janu Sirsasana, sit on a yoga mat, and have a blanket, yoga block and strap useful.
- Sit along with your legs outstretched in entrance of you. Bend your proper knee and use your proper hand to attract your proper foot in towards your proper groin. Lengthen your proper knee out to the aspect, and stretch outward by the appropriate thigh and knee. In case your proper knee is uncomfortable right here, place a yoga block below your thigh to raise your leg.
- Flip barely towards your left leg and place your proper hand on the skin of your left leg. Rotate your trunk towards your prolonged leg. Take a couple of breaths to permit your physique to search out the twist. This isn’t a deep twist. You’re merely turning towards the leg sufficient in order that your torso is principally aligned with it.
- Then stretch your sit bones again, fold ahead out of your hip joints, lengthen each your back and front torso, and prolong your torso out over your left leg. Stroll your fingers alongside the ground towards your toes. When you might have prolonged ahead so far as your hamstrings will permit, then loosen up your torso, shoulders and neck, folding gently over your leg.
- Breathe deeply, inflating your again physique along with your inhalation, and permit your physique to melt into the pose. Loosen up and take 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Modifications and Refinements
- To reiterate an important instruction, if you bend ahead, it will be significant that the motion come from the hip joints, not from the backbone. You may decide whether or not your again physique is versatile sufficient to bend ahead safely by putting your hand in your low again and feeling your backbone whereas sitting upright along with your legs prolonged out in entrance of you. In case your lumbar vertebrae are poking out, your backbone is already flexing, which suggests you’ll very possible bend from the backbone relatively than the pelvis.
- On this case, place a folded blanket below your sit bones to raise your pelvis. Check once more, and bend ahead just a little to see in case your pelvis is ready to lead the motion. If one blanket isn’t sufficient, you possibly can attempt two. If two blankets aren’t sufficient, you possibly can nonetheless bend ahead—from the pelvis—however relatively than permitting your physique to curve down, keep upright and loop a strap round your left foot (as within the picture above), then pull gently in your strap with each fingers to carry your torso upright. Lengthen your sit bones again and the highest of the pelvis ahead.
- While you’re in Janu Sirsasana, tune into your intention. Are you striving to maneuver your head nearer to your knee (don’t!)? Are you shoulders tight or relaxed? Do you’re feeling as in case you are inflicting the pose on your self or permitting it to unfold naturally? Discover the concept of merely respiratory deeply—increasing your again physique on the inhalation and enjoyable into your pose simply as it’s on the exhalation.
A Window into the Current
If Janu Sirsasana is to provide us a window into ourselves, it might occur provided that we’re current to the reality of the pose we’re at the moment practising. When our minds are skipping ahead to the pose we consider we must be in, we are able to’t be at peace within the current. Nothing magical occurs when your head touches your knee. The reality resides on this pose, on this second, not in some idea about what we predict a pose ought to appear like. Loosen up and let Janu Sirsasana provide you with a window into this second.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the writer of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each printed by Rodmell Press. Her third guide is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Pink Rock Rondo, whose DVD received two Emmy awards in 2010.