Janu Sirsasana 

(Head to Knee Pose)

Janu means knee. Sirsa means head.

  

This pose (asana) stretches the bladder meridian, one of the organs associated with the winter.  The bladder meridian begins at the inner corner of the eye, runs over the head, down the neck and back, through the back of the legs and ends on the toenail of the little toe. When looking at its route we see that the accumulation of physical and emotional tension often runs along this pathway. Eye strain, tension in the neck and back are common symptoms which all occur along the pathway of the bladder. 

Begin seated with your legs stretched out in front of you. 

Bend your left knee and place the sole of the left foot so that it is touching the thigh of the right leg. The left leg should make a 90° angle against the right thigh. Work towards bring the heal of the right foot to the perineum.

Inhale, stretch the arms up, exhale, bend forward over your leg keeping your shoulders rolled back and the chest opened and lifted.  Keep the lower back long and avoid rounding the spine just to get your head closer to your leg. 

Explore!  Take a tie, belt or yoga strap.  Come into the position described above.  Take the tie, belt, or strap and place it just below the ball of your foot.  Lift up the lower spine and ribcage as you inhale and as you exhale keeping the spine long as you fold forward over your leg.  Make sure your shoulders don’t roll forward and that the chest is open and broad.

Inhale to come up.  Straighten your legs out in front of you. Do you notice the difference in your legs?  Does one feel different then the other?

Now, switch legs. 

Pay attention to the difference from one side of the body to the other.  Does one side feel more opened?  One of the many gifts of yoga is the creation of body awareness.  As we create this awareness of our bodies with our breath and the asanas (poses) we are more able to stay in the present moment, which in turn, creates less suffering.

Enjoy! Namaste!

Inspired by Acu-Yoga: Designed to Relieve Stress & Tension by Michael Reed Gach