You do not have to bend it like Beckham to feel healthy and great. Simply try the Janu Shirasasana or the One-Legged Forward Bend. Taken from the Sanskrit words for the knee (janu) and head (Sirsa), this pose is a seated spinal twist and a forward fold position that has numerous benefits. It is also called the Head-to-Knee Forward Bend.
Steps to perform the Janu Shirasasana:
- Sit straight with the legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your spine completely straight.
- Fold your left leg at the knee and let your foot gently touch the inner thigh of your right leg.
- Take a deep breath and lift both your arms above your head, towards the sky and slowly towards the right.
- Exhale and lean forward at the hip, keeping your chin pointed towards your feet.
- If possible, try to grasp your big toe and move forward, keeping your elbows pointed to the ground.
- Now stay like this for a few breaths.
- Inhale and start to come up while breathing out.
- Bring your arms down to your sides.
- Replicate this stretch on the other side of the body.
Things to keep in mind while doing this pose:
- Make sure to do this pose on an empty stomach.
- When you start by sitting up straight, make sure your spine is erect.
- When you twist, turn and fold over the extended leg.
- Don’t try to stretch too far as it could lead to injuries.
- Try to hold for 30- 60 seconds on each leg.
- Once you hold on to your toes and bend forward, stay in the position and keep breathing slowly and deeply.
- The back, hips and hamstrings can take a while to open up, so practice this asana regularly to get more benefits out of it.
Benefits of the Janu Shirasasana:
- It stretches and strengthens the shoulders and spine and well as the abdomen area and groin.
- This pose improves digestion.
- It stimulates the kidneys and the liver.
- Helps to relieve anxiety and depression.
- Useful for menstrual problems.
- It is also believed to be quite therapeutic for insomnia, sinusitis and blood pressure.
- For those who have knee injuries, it is not recommended.
- Do not attempt this if you have a lower back injury.
- It is also not recommended for those with asthma and diarrhoea.
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- One-Legged Forward Ben (Janu Shirasasana). Art of Living.org.https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-poses/one-legged-forward-bend
- Janu Sirsasana. Yogajoural.comhttps://www.yogajournal.com/poses/head-to-knee-forward-bend
- Janu Shirasasana (One-Legged Forward Bend). Beauty Health Tips.inhttps://beautyhealthtips.in/yoga-asanas-poses-for-thyroid/
- Chapter 12 – One-Legged Forward Bend – Janu Shirasasana. Yoga for Beginners: Essential Poses for Yoga Beginners By Amy Gilchrist