Video Transcription – Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
Namastey! My name is Sandeep. Today, we are going to learn Head to Knee Forward bend or Janu Sirsasana. Janu means knee and the sirs means head, so we allowing it to fall towards the knee. This is a seated forward bend asana.
Friends, when you see it anatomically, this asana impacts the hamstrings, the groin, the lower back, the whole of the spine also the arms, the kidneys, the liver also it impacts our brain. This particular asana helps to relieves the stress, calms the mind, calms the brain and also in mild depression. It stretches the groin, the hamstrings beautifully also the lower back, the upper back along with the shoulders.
When you see this practice, it stimulates the kidneys, the liver as compresses the abdomen. It also allows to relief the symptoms of menopause. It also relives headache, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue especially it helps to strengthen the back during the second trimester. The only thing to keep in mind is when you bend forward, you keep your back straight, you don’t round your back, you don’t hinge your back. It is also good for pregnancy and for sinusitis. And now those have asthma and those who have diarrhea they should not do this practice and those who are into pregnancy especially when they find leaning forward difficult avoid it or they should lead only keeping in mind back should remain straight. Not compressing the abdomen.
So now let’s watch how to do the practice. So, in this practice, you first start with Dandasana, so sitting in Dandasana. In Dandasana, the feet are active, the arches are maintain, the quads are in use, the hands are side by the hip, spine nice and tall, neutral pelvis, neck is tall, head is also tall, chin parallel to the floor. Now, bend your left leg and the knee. So when you bend left leg and the knee, those who have knee issue, they will not bend the leg too much, they will not flex the knee too much. Just respect the body and if the knee is too high, support the knee with the block or with a bolster or maybe with the blanket. Make yourself comfortable in the position and don’t struggle in the position friends. So one leg straight other leg is bend. The leg which is bend for example right now the left leg which is bend, the sole of the left feet will touch the right inner thigh, the heel will come closer perineum.
The reason I am showing you this in front so that you can watch the position of this leg and still you are sitting on the sitting bones. The leg which is straight that remains to feel active throughout. Now, let’s do it from the side. So, you bend your leg, bring the heel closer to the perineum allowing the knee to drop, support the knee, if the knee is hanging. The other leg, the left leg is straight right now. Now, aligning your naval button towards the left centre of the thigh as if, we are moving a little towards the left side. Keeping both the hands, both the palms on the thighs, make sure the back is straight. Now, when we start leading forward, it is not important to round the back and grip the toes of the soul of the feet.
That is not important first. It is very important, how we leaning forward. This is possible for us to come forward with the straight back and can we move from the groin actually to come forward. So understand when we lean forward, you are actually standing your spine up, you are opening the upper torso, your upper external region and you are leaning forward from the groin, not from the hip, not from the waist, not from the lower back. You are moving from the groin as if the groin is push behind and you are falling forward. So when you fall forward, you should feel as if its lower abdomen that is going to first comes to the thigh not the naval button nor the upper abdomen not even the rib cage. It is the lower abdomen which is going to come first close to the thigh even if it comes less, even if you are able to reach less, that is fine. That is what we want to keep in mind. We want to do it in the right way, aligning the body nicely. So, inhale, extend yourself, when you exhale, come forward, keep the back straight, pushing from the groin actually, inhale, and when you exhale come forward.
If you find difficult, to come forward, you can hold on to the shin or you can even use a belt or a strap to hold so that don’t round your back. Lengthen the back as much as you can. Keep breathing and make things a little easier. Inhalation extension, exhalation is falling forward with ease. Back should remain nice and flat. Inhale, exhale moving from the groin. Inhale when you exhale if you are able to touch the toe, that is fine, don’t let the shoulder go up to the ears, don’t round your shoulders, drop the shoulders, let the shoulder blades from behind also drop down towards the tail bone. We should feel as if the tail bone is going down towards the floor and the pelvis is lifted up as if the hip points are lifted up. Inhale exhale, when you find that you cannot go beyond the point, just remain there. Hold on, extendedly elbows out and away from the floor but the shoulders, an eye relaxed open shoulders are not coming close to the ears, they are away from the ears. Keep holding this position.
Now, can we use gravity, can we use our exhalation to fall down with ease, use the force of the gravity. Exhale and the body fall down with ease. Inhale, exhale as the body fall down opening the elbows further out. Hold here for the next 2 to 3 breathes. Don’t go forward now, just remain become comfortable with the stretch. Keep breathing, after exhalation, now breathe in, straighten the back and slowly come back to the centre and release the right leg. Next do with the opposite side. This particular practice head to knee forward bend brings a nice as well as intense extension in the back of the legs also the spine.
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Thank you for watching. Namastey!