How to Do Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose in Yoga (Guide to Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)

Revolved head-to-knee pose is a seated pose that stretches and soothes the entire body.

Particularly great for easing lower back pain and improving flexibility in the hamstrings, this pose is also a wonderful way to connect to your entire body.

“Revolved head-to-knee pose is a particularly yummy pose to sink into after a day spent sitting,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “It should feel amazing on your lower back – if it feels like too much, ease out of the pose until you’re comfortable.”

Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Pose Type: Seated Yoga Poses, Twist Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Beginner pose
Targets: Lower back, hamstrings, core, chest, psoas
Benefits: This pose creates a deep stretch in the hamstring and lower back while bringing your attention to full-body alignment.
Preparatory Poses: Head-to-knee pose, staff pose, seated forward fold pose.

How to Do Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start by sitting on your mat with both of your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Keeping your legs straight, move your feet apart as far as is comfortable so that you’re in a wide-legged seated position.
  3. From here, bend your right knee to bring your foot into your midline.
  4. Keep your left leg straight and your foot flexed with your toes pointing towards the sky.
  5. Grow tall through the spine.
  6. Place your left hand on the floor next to your left ankle, and slowly bring your side body towards your leg until you’re able to come down onto your forearm.
  7. Take a few breaths here to gently stretch your lower back and hamstring.
  8. Bring your left hand to your left foot.
  9. Reach your right arm overhead to clasp your left foot.
  10. Try to focus on keeping both of your sit bones rooted into the ground.
  11. Bring attention to your shoulders and chest – bring your shoulders back and down as though you’re trying to open your chest towards the sky.

Beginner’s Tip

The important thing with this pose is to keep an open chest – so focus on this as you move into the pose.

If your shoulders start to close in around your chest, stop where you are and release the pose until you’re at a place where you’re able to keep your chest open. This might mean that your lower hand only reaches as far as your knee or ankle, and that’s ok!

Instead of reaching for your foot with the other arm, simply stretch that arm overhead and let gravity do its work.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have recent or ongoing pain or injury in the hips, knees, shoulders or arms.

Variation

A variation for this pose is to simply remain upright with one leg bent, and the other leg stretched out to the side. By practicing this, you’ll increase flexibility in the hamstring and start working your way towards revolved head-to-knee pose.

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