This entry was posted on Dec 27, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.
Ahead bends have a popularity 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. Training ahead bends, comparable 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 observe could even assist us internalize and combine the poses that got here earlier than. Ahead bends may also help our our bodies wind down and slide effortlessly into Savasana (Remaining Leisure Pose).
Ahead bends are stated to confer the next advantages:
- calm the mind and nervous system
- relieve anxiousness, complications and fatigue
- decrease blood strain
- enhance digestion
- stretch the muscle tissues and connective tissue of the again physique
This submit will discover Janu Sirsasana, a ahead bend that additionally has parts of a twist.
What Is Janu Sirsasana?
Typically known as “Head-to-Knee Pose,” I choose 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 alternative, 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 may cause intervertebral disc harm. So, in case your hamstrings are on the tighter finish of the spectrum, just remember to at all times elevate your pelvis on a folded blanket. Bending the knee of your prolonged leg can even assist forestall future again issues. Extra on this under.
The right way to Follow Janu Sirsasana
- To observe 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. Prolong your proper knee out to the facet, and stretch outward by means of the precise thigh and knee. In case your proper knee is uncomfortable right here, place a yoga block beneath your thigh to raise your leg.
- Flip barely towards your left leg and place your proper hand on the surface of your left leg. Rotate your trunk towards your prolonged leg. Take a number 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 mainly 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 arms alongside the ground towards your toes. When you’ve gotten 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 a vital instruction, once you bend ahead, it is vital that the motion come from the hip joints, not from the backbone. You possibly can decide whether or not your again physique is versatile sufficient to bend ahead safely by inserting 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 slightly than the pelvis.
- On this case, place a folded blanket beneath your sit bones to raise your pelvis. Take a look at once more, and bend ahead slightly to see in case your pelvis is ready to lead the motion. If one blanket will not be sufficient, you’ll be able to attempt two. If two blankets aren’t sufficient, you’ll be able to nonetheless bend ahead—from the pelvis—however slightly 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 arms to carry your torso upright. Prolong your sit bones again and the highest of the pelvis ahead.
- If you are 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 are feeling as in case you are inflicting the pose on your self or permitting it to unfold naturally? Discover the concept of merely respiration deeply—increasing your again physique on the inhalation and stress-free into your pose simply as it’s on the exhalation.
A Window into the Current
If Janu Sirsasana is to offer us a window into ourselves, it might occur provided that we’re current to the reality of the pose we’re at present practising. When our minds are skipping ahead to the pose we imagine we ought to 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 expect a pose ought to seem like. Loosen up and let Janu Sirsasana offer you a window into this second.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started educating in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Follow and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third e book 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 folks sextet Pink Rock Rondo, whose DVD gained two Emmy awards in 2010.