How to do:
- Sit facing the front mirror with your right leg out cornerwise
- Bend your left leg so your heel is up by your groin and sole of your left foot creates some pressure on the inner right thigh- your two legs should form a 90-degree angle like an "L"
- Bring your arms over your head and turn at the waist to your right
- Grab your right foot (you may need to bend the knee) and interlock your 10 fingers a couple inches below the toes
- Pull your toes toward your face to try and flex the foot and get your heel off the floor
- Tuck your chin to your chest like rabbit pose, suck your stomach in and put your forehead on your knee (again, you may need to bend the knee)
- Bend your elbows down next to your calves
- Bring your left elbow and left shoulder down a bit more until both shoulders are level with the floor
- At the end, bring your head a little closer to your stomach and push your knee down one more time (got a cramp in the abdominal muscles? good news, you're on the right track!)
- Release your foot and repeat to the left side
- When you switch your legs from the right to left sides, put your hands on the floor for support- then bring your arms over your head again once you've put the legs in position. This helps prevents strain on the lower back during the transition.
- Your body is really warm and relatively limber by this point in class, and you may be a bit tired from all your efforts! Pay very close attention to your form, alignment and breath so as not to overstretch or "tweak" your back.
Among the many specific benefits of Head to Knee pose are:
- Boosted circulation to liver, pancreas, and spleen and kidneys
- Better circulation to bowels to improve digestion and relieve chronic diarrhea
- Improved concentration and mental endurance
- Ehanced flexibility of ankles, knees, hip joints
- Stretching of the sciatic nerve to help relieve or prevent sciatica
- Stretching of deltoids, trapezius, and hamstrings, especially erector femoris
- Forward flexion of lower spine, especially last 5 vertebrae
- Toning of biceps and quadriceps