Benefits and how to do the head and knee stretch

The head-and-knee stretch is a basic yoga movement that combines bending and twisting to stretch the entire body.

The head-and-knee stretch is known in Sanskrit as Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana. This is a very common move in yoga sessions and is usually taught in the middle of the session when the body has been fully warmed up. You can also incorporate the head-and-knee stretch into your seated yoga sequence.

The benefits of stretching the head and knees

The Head and Knee Stretch stretches the hamstrings, opening the shoulders, chest, and groin. This one-sided stretch can also help expand the chest, thereby improving breathing rate and ability to breathe.

According to many ancient yoga documents, stretching the head and knees also has the effect of improving digestion, reducing headaches and insomnia. This is also a posture that helps calm the mind. It feels good to stretch your entire body, especially if you do sit-ups all day or if you strain your hamstrings from playing sports like running.

Detailed instructions on how to do head and knee stretches

Head and knee stretch pose

Stretching the head and knees is very suitable for office workers and people who sit a lot

  • Start in Compass Pose or Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
  • Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left thigh
  • Inhale, extend your arms and move them towards the ceiling
  • Exhale and lean as far to the left as you can, bringing the back of your left forearm to the floor. If you can’t, you can put your left arm on a yoga block
  • Exhale, twist your waist, slowly rotate your upper body away from your left leg, expanding your chest toward the ceiling. Eyes looking up
  • Raise the right arm so that the right biceps rests on the right ear. Keep right arm straight
  • Bend the left knee slightly. Hold the pose for about 5 breaths, then return to the starting position, then, switch sides.

Note when performing the action

To effectively perform the head and knee stretch, you need to note a few things:

  • Don’t rotate your neck too much as this can cause your torso to twist more deeply
  • To avoid muscle tension, try to keep your torso and head straight, your head not bent, and avoid arching your spine.
  • Avoid doing it if you have a hamstring injury or a herniated disc. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist before exercising if you have a hip, back, shoulder, or knee injury. In addition, you should also avoid doing it if you have diarrhea.
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Variations of head and knee stretch

Head and knee stretch pose

The head and knee stretch can be done in different ways depending on your ability

  • Basically, you can do this move in a cross-legged position if you find it difficult to do with one leg straight out. Specifically, lower your left shoulder toward your right knee. The left hand can cross the body and grab the right knee. Raise your right arm and lean to the left.
  • Or you can also use an assistive device, such as a blanket under your hips, to keep your spine straight
  • If you have mastered it, you can increase the difficulty by using your raised right hand to grab the left foot, but make sure this move does not affect the twist. It’s more important to focus on opening your chest toward the ceiling instead of trying to grab your toes.

The above is a useful information about stretching the head and knees. If you have practiced many times but are still concerned about whether you are doing it right or if you want to learn more basic yoga poses, don’t hesitate to download and connect with your yoga teacher. Professionals for detailed instructions.

Reference source

How to Do Revolved Head to Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana) in Yoga Accessed: 2/23/ 2021

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