Janu Sirsasana / Head beyond the Knee Pose

Benefits: This pose tones the liver, spleen and kidneys.  It also provides a deep stretch to the hamstring and calf muscles.

Step by Step

1.  From Dandasana/Seated staff pose – bend the right knee out to the side.  Square hips to the front.

2. Extend through the left heel.  Inhale and raise arms overhead.  Rotate from the lower abdomen and and turn your torso toward the left, line up your breastbone with the left thighbone.

3.  Keep the spine long as you exhale and fold the upper body forward and grasp the left foot with both hands (or if less flexible, the ankle or shin).

4.  Increase the challenge by taking the right knee back and as far out to the side as possible.

5.  As you stay in the pose, breathe deeply and keep moving the floating ribs forward.  Roll the shoulders away from the ears and press the back of the left knee to the floor.  Keep flexion in the left foot.  Try to stay for ten breaths or longer.

6.  Increase the intensity of the stretch in the right lower back by pressing the right thigh and knee to the floor.

7.  Inhale to come out and repeat on the other side.