Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Head-to-Knee Forward Bend, or Janusirsasana.
- Begin by sitting with both legs stretched out in front of you on your mat.
- Bend the right leg, bringing the right foot in towards the groin.
- Sit firmly in your seat, ensuring contact between your sits bones and the mat. It might help you use your hands to lift the buttocks.
- Engage uddiyanabandha, bringing the belly button in and up towards the spine. This will help you fold more deeply. This is not an instruction to hold the breath. Continue to breathe fully.
- Fold over the extended leg.
- Hands can rest on the thigh or shin, or grip the feet. For a deeper stretch, you can hold a block behind your feet or use a strap.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
- After you are done, try the pose on the other side to even out the body.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.