Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa)

janu shirshasana
जानु शीर्षासन

jānusubstantive neuterknee
śīrṣasubstantive neuterhead
āsanasubstantive neuterseat, posture

Directly from downward dog in the previous sequence of movements.

Vinyāsa 7: Inhale, Exhale, Inhale:
Inhale from downward dog as you slide your legs through and balance on your hands. Use the exhale to lower yourself down slowly between your arms. Now, place the ball of the right foot on the floor so that the heel rests in the left groin. Press the right thigh diagonally forwards so that the outer edge of the foot resting in the groin is stabilized. Grasp your right wrist with your left hand in front of your left foot. Lengthen the spine. 

Try this: The foot placement here is challenging at first. To facilitate this, you can place your right thigh over the right arm and grasp the ball of the foot by going under the shinbone until you get a good grip. Pull the foot up in the direction of the shin and then lower the ball of the right foot down. It will come pretty close to the left thigh with this approach. Then gently press the pelvis toward the balls of the feet. The right thigh should point forward at about a 45 degree angle. In this way your foot will be stabilized between the thighs.

Vinyāsa 8: Exhale, 5 Breaths:
Exhale bending both elbows to the sides as you tilt your pelvis forward. Stay here until the fifth exhalation. 

Try this: You can use a simple law of lever in this pose. The more you press your foot into the groin, the more length in the thigh. The result is more spaciousness in the right hip joint. Eventually, the knee will be able to sink further to the ground.

Vinyāsa9: Inhale, Exhale:
Inhale as you stretch both arms and straighten your back. Stay here for the exhale.  

Vinyāsa 10 bis 13:
Follow the flow of movements that you already know up to downward dog. 

Vinyāsa 14 bis 20:
Repeat the sequence of movements on the second side until you are again in downward dog.

In the traditional count, change here directly into the flow of movements of the next posture.

Effect: Jānu Śīrṣāsana in the C variant is a perfect continuation of the B variant. It continues to develop hip spaciousness and also requires work with Bandhas. In this version the pressure of the heel is in the lower abdomen. This brings the focus of the practitioner to Uḍḍiyāna Bandha where you are moving inwards and upwards. Jānu Śīrṣāsana helps to cultivate this key Bandha essential to the Aṣṭāṅga Yoga practice. 

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