This asana gives a lovely lateral torso stretch and works into the tiny muscles between the side ribs. The hamstrings and inner thigh muscles are lengthened, the hips and shoulder sockets are loosened and blood circulation is increased to the spinal column, relieving tension in the back. This enjoyable forward bend also stimulates the abdominal organs, such as the liver and kidneys and improves digestion.
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana – Step by Step
1. Start off by sitting in Staff Pose (Dandasana). Bend the left knee and place the sole of the foot against the inner right thigh, keeping the right leg straight.
2. Twist the trunk to the left, turning and revolving the shoulders and bending forward from the hips.
3. Stretch the right arm along the side of the extended right leg, turning the forearm and wrist upward to the ceiling and extend until the hand grasps either the inner side of the foot, or the outerside. You can place the elbow to the inside of the knee, if your stretch allows.
4. Holding the foot with both hands, lengthen the torso and revolve the torso upward, so as to look to the ceiling.
5. Hold the pose for about 20 to 30 seconds, rotating the rib cage and deepening the side stretch, making sure your breathing is calm and even all the time.
6. Inhale as you release the hands and come back to the second position, revolving the torso and shoulders back straight over the outstretched leg, keeping the back “passive”.
7. Repeat the pose on the other side, trying to stay in the stretch for the same length of time.
Using an alternative strap to grasp around the foot and deepen the pose, is a lovely way for beginners to get started.
Sourced from Complete Yoga Magazine