Practice Side Flexion and Spinal Rotation with Parvritta Janusirsasana

parvritta janusirsasanaParvritta Janusirsasana, or Rotated head to knee pose, is a great opportunity to practice side flexion and spinal rotation. Both of these movements are crucial for optimal spinal health, and they are not usually combined together. This is a mutli-tasking pose.

When we practice side flexion, we maintain a healthy psoas, iliocostalis lumborum, quadratus lumborum, and many other spinal muscles. Spinal rotation benefits our bodies by creating a reset for the central nervous system and massaging the internal organs. Plus, if you’re going to have a healthy spine, it’s going to have to rotate.

Here’s how to do this pose to improve your spinal health.

Parvritta Janusirsasana

  1. Use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Begin in Upavistha Konasana.
  3. Bend your right leg and place your foot on the inside of your thigh.
  4. Place your right hand on your hip and your left hand on your thigh.
  5. Inhale to lengthen through your spine.
  6. Exhale and bend to the left, trying to keep your shoulders stacked on top of each other. As you bend to the side, allow your left hand to slide along your leg. Keep your right hand on your hip to make sure that your hip stays grounded as you move. You can do several repetitions of this preparatory movement.
  7. Inhale to come back to center.
  8. Exhale and flex to the left again. As you bend to the side, think of letting your rib cage rotate through. The goal is for your sternum (breastbone) to rotate toward the ceiling. Allow your left hand to slide along your leg. After you feel your rib cage rotate toward the ceiling, release your right hand from your hip.
  9. Broaden your collarbones, and reach your right hand toward your left foot. Your hand may reach your foot. This, however, is not your goal for the pose. Your goal is to have a side bend where your sternum and rib cage rotate toward the ceiling.
  10. Hold for 5-8 breaths.
  11. When you are finished, come up to center. Extend your right leg, and return to Upavistha Konasana.
  12. Follow steps 3-11 for the other side.

Parvritta Janusirsasana Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What is your favorite way to rotate? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.