Photo: Krishnamacharya (he was 83 years old when that pic has been taken).
More information: Krishnamacharya’s Mysore Yoga…. Home
Janu – Knee
Shirsha – Head
Asana – Posture
Family: Sitting posture, hips opener, forward fold.
Accessible to anyone.
There are three versions.
Janu Shirshana A (picture illustrating the article)
Janu Shirsana B – sitting on the heel.
Janu Shirshana C – bending the toes.
Parivritta Janu Shirshasana is a twisting.
Janu Shirsahana is not a “difficult” asana, and that is probably why some students are not committed to it (in comparison with a challenging balancing pose).
All of the series A, B and C are forward fold.
However, there is a slightly rotation from the torso.
a) From Dandasana, bend at the right knee and bring the right heel toward the pubic bone.
b) Pressing the right foot against the left thigh and the right heel against the genitals. Note: the deeper the practice will be, sole of the foot will be facing up, therefore only the toes will be touching the inner thigh while the foot will be fully pressing against the pubic bone (activation of Mula Bandha).
c) Lengthened the torso forward.
d) Start lengthening the torso from the upper body (cervical spine, then thoracic) and not only by moving from the lumbar spine.
For the torso to meet the left leg, it need to perform a slight rotation toward the leg.
The right leg is bended, the right knee is pressing against the floor, for it the pelvis need to do a “translation” bringing and anchoring the right sit bone to the floor.
In case the folding knee can not touch the floor
a) take a yoga block to sit on it, which will bring the knee lower than the pelvis. While folding forward, avoid the hyper extension of the leg.
b) use a yoga block to put below the knee as a support.
In that case, there is no need to fold forward. The “goal” of this posture is to bring flexibility to the hips. The range of movement will be minimise by the use of the block as the knee will be higher than normal.
Bring your soul to it
There is no asana practice without any intention to it. Or it is called stretching.
The asana has to take place in your body, therefore you need to bring it alive from within.
If there is no intention, no support, no anchor, nothing will happen.
It does not mean that there is an urge of pushing, stretching to go in… it is more about the meditative state into the asana, there is always a different possibility for changing the range of movement. Using the minimum ressources of our body but with a maximum result.
We should never ever put 100% of our physical limits into the practice.
Keep 30% just for you.
Keep a “lazy” practice, but not a “sloppy” practice.