Head to Knee with Stretching


Head to knee and stretching

24. and 25. Head-to-Knee Pose with Stretching Pose: Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana
(Note: these are two poses grouped together)

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Balances blood sugar levels and metabolism
  • Nourishes kidneys and enhances kidney function
  • Boosts circulation to liver, pancreas, and spleen
  • Betters circulation to bowels; this advances digestion and relieves chronic diarrhea
  • Improves concentration and mental endurance
  • Expands solar plexus
  • Enhances flexibility of ankles, knees, hip joints, and sciatic nerves
  • Stretches deltoids, trapezius, and hamstrings, particularly erector femoris
  • Extends lower back, especially last 5 vertebrae
  • Strengthens biceps and quadriceps

How to Do:

  • Face mirror and start by doing these: Extend right leg out 45 degrees; Bend left leg until left sole pushes against right inner thigh; Bring left heel up to crotch (Legs form 90 degree angle)
  • Inhale, raise arms overhead, twist toward right, and stretch down over right leg
  • Hold right foot with hands tightly interlaced; bend right knee if needed
  • Pull toes back toward face until toes are flexed
  • Tuck chin into chest and round your back until forehead touches right knee
  • If needed, bend right knee to touch forehead to knee
  • Otherwise, if right leg is straight, flex right foot until its heel lifts away from floor
  • Begin bending elbows straight down toward floor
  • Keep spine evenly aligned over right leg by rolling left shoulder and elbow down farther
  • Let eyes stay open, remember to breathe, and hold pose for 10 seconds
  • Repeat pose on left side by doing these: Keep left quadriceps engaged to safely extend hamstring; Engage abdominals to safely stretch lower spine;
  • Extend legs out in front, and in 1 fluid movement, lie back and immediately sit up while inhaling
  • Wiggle hips back, and pull back flesh of buttocks to prepare to bend torso forward with lengthened spine
  • Hold big toes with first 2 fingers of each hand, and flex feet by pulling toes back
  • Inhale while lifting and lengthening spine
  • Exhale while stretching forward and work toward lifting heels up away from floor
  • Touch forehead to toes
  • Bend elbows to floor, draw in stomach, and point chest and face toward legs
  • (Spine must be straight and not rounded; bend knees slightly if needed)
  • If hamstrings burn and lower back feels stiff, breathe and exhale to relax muscles into deeper stretch
  • Hold pose for 20 seconds
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