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Flow into Yoga: Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

<p>Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose &nbsp;| Submitted</p>

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose  | Submitted

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose or Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana is the 10th standing pose in the Bikram Series. Even though the pose may seem simple, it requires a considerable amount of flexibility to perform properly.

To achieve:

  1. With the feet together, raise the arms up overhead. Keep your palms open and flush against each other while crossing your thumbs. Elbows should remain completely locked.
  2. Step the right leg 4-5 feet to the right and turn the right foot 90 degrees. Follow with the torso, hips, arms and head. Now turn the left foot in approximately 45 degrees to keep both hips squared forward.
  3. Tuck the chin into the chest. Keep the arms and legs straight. Now round down from the hips until the forehead touches the right knee. If your forehead cannot touch the knee with a straight leg, bend the right leg until the forehead can touch the knee. The left leg and arms stay straight. Your hands can separate on the floor to maintain balance.
  4. Use your abdominal muscles and keep the belly lifting to round the spine and work on straightening the right leg. If you can keep the forehead on the right knee, straighten both legs and bring the hands together into prayer position, then start to work on aligning the hips by twisting the hips to the right.
  5. Keep the eyes open. Keep breathing. Remember the chin stays tightly tucked into the chest.
  6. Release by keeping the arms straight by the ears and rounding up slowly. Remember to engage the abdominal muscles the entire time.
  7. Turn to face forward. Turn again to face the left leg. Repeat left side.

Breathe and keep the forehead on the knee, the internal benefits from this posture will be significant. This pose in particular flushes out and stimulates the internal body by compressing both the throat and the abdomen, revitalizing the kidney and stimulating the thyroid gland. In turn, the immune system and metabolism regulate and improve. The physical benefits are not to be underestimated either. Standing Separate Head to Knee improves the flexibility of the spine, sciatic nerve, hamstrings and calves. The shoulders, legs and abdominals are strengthened. This pose also slims the abdomen, hips, waistline and buttocks. 

Lyndsey Hemmesch is an instructor at Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge in Burr Ridge.

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