Do you like sitting on the floor?
Sometimes I get weird looks when I say I'd rather sit on the floor than in a chair. And surprisingly even more these days.
Who knew that this week I'd enjoy sitting on the floor so much with revolved head to knee pose (parivrtta janu sirsana). Quite frankly, I've been doing some variation of this pose for years, even back to my early synchronized swimming days. I didn't realize that it is actually a yoga pose and probably originated as one.
Revolved head to knee pose is an asymmetrical seated side bend. It stretches the spine, side abdominals, hamstring and shoulder. In this week's practice, I completed two versions that varied due to the arm position.
With the first version, I was guided to place my hand of my upper arm on the side of my head (sort of making a triangle of my arm with my head). This significantly increased the stretch not only to the side but to the chest as well. It was a glorious stretch! The second version was more of the true pose with my upper arm/hand clasping the big toe of the straight leg. This too was a great stretch but just not as effective in stretching the chest.
I was pleasantly surprised that I could still bend so far with my pregnant belly!
This pose is was perfectly placed in prenatal practice as it aids in some of the "discomforts" of pregnancy. It stimulates the abdominal organs such as the liver and kidney, which are in overdrive right now. It aids in digestion which is also slowed during pregnancy. And it relieves common late pregnancy issues such as mild back pain, eases anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and headaches. It is almost like the yoga teacher knew to include this one in practice!
Revolved head-to-knee pose is not only physical but a pose where peace resides. Once in the pose, it is nothing short of glorious to feel the body open in this way. This quote just says it best:
"[The] opening in the side body, firmness in your base, and mobility in the low back offer a state of measured calm that is carried into the rest of your practice and beyond."
Amazing how one pose, which I've done many times in the past, can bring such ease today,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.