Head To Knee Forward Bend / Janu Sirsasana
Janu means the knee. Sirsa is the head. In this posture sit with one leg stretched out on the ground and the other bent at the knee. Then catch the extended foot with both the hands and place the head on the knee.
1. Sit on the floor, with legs stretched straight in front.
2. Bend the left knee and move it to the left, keeping the outer side of left thigh and the left calf on the floor.
3. Place the left heel against the inner side of the left thigh near the perineum. The big toe of the left foot should touch the inner side of the right thigh. The angle between the two legs should be obtuse. Do not keep the left knee in line with the left thigh at a right angle to the extended right leg. Try and push the left knee as far back as possible, so that the body is stretched from the bent leg.
4. extend the arms forward towards the right foot and hold it with the hands. First catch the toes of the right foot, then gradually catch the sole, then the heel and finally extend the arms and catch the wrist of one hand with the other, beyond the outstretched foot.
5. Keep the right leg stretched throughout by tightening the knee. See that the back or the right knee rests on the floor.
6. Exhale, move the trunk forward by bending and widening the elbows, and rest first the forehead, then the nose, then the lips and lastly the chin beyond the right knee. Then rest on either side of the right knee. The right foot will tilt to the right in the beginning. Do not allow the leg to tilt.
7. Stretch the back fully, pull the trunk forward and keep the chest against the right thigh.
8. Stay in this position with deep breathing from half a minute to a minute. One can also do the pose holding the breath after each exhalation.
9. Inhale, raise the head and trunk, straighten the arms and gaze up for a few seconds, extending the spine and trying to make it concave.
10. Release the hand grip on the right foot, straighten the left leg and come back to position 1.
11. Repeat the pose keeping the left leg stretched out and bending the right leg at the knee. Stay in the pose for the same length of time on both the sides.
This asana tones the liver and the spleen and thereby aids digestion. It also tones and activates the kidneys, the effect on which can be left while one performing the pose as explained above.
Persons suffering from enlargement of the prostate gland will benefit by staying longer in this pose. They should practice this asana along with Sarvangasana.
The pose is also recommended for people suffering from low fever for a long time.
Source : Light on Yoga by BKS. Iyengar.