Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

Revolved Head to Knee Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


The Revolved Head-To-Knee Pose is a combination of a forward bend and a deep twist that relieves aching backs, hips and oblique muscles.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

(Pronounced as "pahree-vrittah JAH-noo SHEER-SHAHS-anna")

The Sanskrit word parivrtta means "revolved,"and janu sirsa means "knee to head." By twisting your torso upward, the back of your head will reach your knee in this advanced forward bend, unlike regular Janu Sirsasana.

How to do Revolved Head-To-Knee Pose

Step One

Sit in Dandasana with your legs extended straight in front of you. Bend your left knee and rotate the left leg out to the floor so that the outside of your left thigh and left calf muscle rest on the mat. Pull your left foot close to your pelvis.

Step Two

Place your left heel against the inside of your left thigh, close to your perineum. Your left big toe should make contact with your inner right thigh. Pull your left knee back as far as you can so that your thighs form an angle greater than 90 degrees. Inhale. As you exhale, twist your torso to the left and reach your right hand out as far to your left side on the floor as you can.

Step Three

Bend forward and press your torso against your bent left leg to stretch your right arm out even further to the side. Now continue reaching your right arm forward as much as possible as you start moving your arm to the right. By the time your right hand can reach your right foot, rotate your entire right arm outward. Grab your right foot by turning your right hand, allowing your right thumb to press into the top of your right foot near the toes. Press your right elbow against your right knee to twist more and lean over your right leg. Bring your right shoulder close to your right thigh.

Step Four

Exhale as you twist the left side of your torso up toward the ceiling while raising up your left arm in the air. Stretch your left arm over your head. Bring your left shoulder against your left ear and try to grab the outside edge of your right foot with your left hand also. Bend your elbows, pull your head in between your arms and try to rest the back of your head on your right knee as you continue twisting your torso. On every inhalation, expand your chest. On each exhalation, twist your torso a little deeper from your pelvis. Press your left leg firmly down into the mat to help ground your twisting movement. Keep the right knee straight. Look up at the ceiling.

Step Five

Stay in this posture for 20 seconds or more if you can. To exit the pose, untwist backward, performing all these steps in reverse. Repeat these steps on the other side and hold the posture there for the same amount of time.

Beginner's Tip:

If you cannot grab your foot with your hands, then loop a yoga belt around the foot of your straightened leg and grab the belt with both of your hands while twisting. Keep the extended leg straight at all times.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Pose Level:

Level 2

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Irregular bowel movements such as diarrhea
  • Pregnancy
  • Knee injuries less than 3 months old, especially those that required surgery

Therapeutic Applications:

  • Backaches
  • Tense legs
  • Nervous system disorders

Benefits:

  • Stretches out tension in spine, shoulders, hamstrings and calves
  • Increases circulation to all the abdominal organs
  • Boosts digestion

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