Meaning of Janu Sirsasana
Janu in literal sense means Knee, and Sirsa means the head. As the name suggests this asana is a forward bend. Janu Sirsasana is a spinal twist suitable for all levels of aspirants.
Practice of Janu Sirsasana
* One must compose oneself for this asana by sitting on the floor with the buttocks lifted on a folded blanket and the legs straight in front.
* With Inhalation, bend the right knee, and draw the heel back toward the perineum.
* Rest the right foot sole lightly against the inner left thigh, and lay the outer right leg on the floor, with the shin at a right angle to the left leg. One can support the right knee with blanket, if required.
* Press the right hand against the inner right groin, where the thigh joins the pelvis, and the left hand on the floor beside the hip.
* Exhale and turn the torso slightly to the left, lifting the torso while pushing down on and grounding the inner right thigh.
* Line up the navel with the middle of the left thigh.
* One can just stay here, using a strap to help one lengthen the spine evenly, grounding through the sitting bones. When ready, drop the strap and reach out with the right hand to take the inner left foot, thumb on the sole.
* Inhale and lift the front torso, pressing the top of the left thigh into the floor and extending actively through the left heel.
* Use the pressure of the left hand on the floor to increase the twist to the left. Then reach the left hand to the outside of the foot.
* With the arms fully extended, lengthen the front torso from the pubis to the top of the sternum.
* Exhale and extend forward from the groins, not the hips. Be sure not to pull forcefully into the forward bend, hunching the back and shortening the front torso.
* Bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor while descending.
* Lengthen forward into a comfortable stretch. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, the head last.
* Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.
* Come up with an inhalation and repeat the instructions with the legs reversed for the same length of time.
If unable to comfortably reach the extended-leg foot, use a strap. Loop it around the sole of the foot and hold it with the arms fully extended. Be sure not to pull forward when using the strap; walk the hands lightly along the strap while keeping the arms and the front of the torso lengthened.
Effects of Janu Sirsana
* This asana calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression.
* The posture stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins.
* The functioning the liver and kidneys.
* Improves digestion.
* Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
* Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, and menstrual discomfort.
* Strengthens the back muscles during pregnancy (up to second trimester), done without coming forward, keeping the back spine concave and front torso long.
Precautions in the practice of Janu Sirsasana
Practice with caution if the knee is injured. Do not flex the injured knee completely and support it on a folded blanket. Otherwise, the asana should be avoided in the case of Asthma & Diarrhoea.
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