Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)

POSE OF THE WEEK:  Janu Sirsasana aka Head-to-Knee Forward Bend

This pose goes out to all the runners and desk bound yogis because it promotes flexibility in the hip joints, stretches the low back and helps release mental stress. Janu Sirsasana focuses on stretching the hamstrings on the straight leg and adductors on the bent knee one at a time. Your spine is stretched as you reach towards your foot on the straight leg which also helps to build abdominal strength. This pose is beginnerfriendly and can be easily modified by using a strap around your foot to assist with the forward bend at the hip joint (not the low back). Be sure not to forcefully pull yourself when using a strap. Tight hips? No problem, just sit on a cushion or folded blanket when practicing Janu Sirsasana. Give it a try this week, your hamstrings will thank you later! 

Benefits

  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins
  • Improves digestion
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis
  • Strengthens the back muscles during pregnancy (up to second trimester), done without coming forward, keeping your back spine concave and front torso long.

Contraindications

  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Knee injury:  Bend the injured knee slightly and support it on a folded blanket.
Posted on August 22, 2013 and filed under Pose of the Week, Yoga, Yoga Poses.