Day 10 - Posture 10 Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

This is the pose that is reputed to bring great mounds of benefit to your health, in class I'm told it dams up the thyroid so that it may function better. The sinuses clear-up and we will find that we get sick less and less often, of course I am referring to none other than Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose. In Sanskrit this pose is known as Dandayamana Bihaktapada Janushirasana.

I absolutely love this pose. In this post I will explain just how to perform this pose and I will also share my secret for squaring up your hips so that you get correct alignment in Step 4. Correct alignment is crucial if you would like to receive the most benefit from performing this pose.

How to do Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose:
Step 1 ~ Start by standing with your feet together in Tadasana on your yoga mat.

Step 2~ Raise your arms above your head and place your hands into prayer (steeple grip). If you suffer from high blood pressure or a similar condition, you can bring your hand into prayer with your thumbs pressing in towards your heart.

Step 3 ~ Step your right foot forward so that your feet are at least 3 ft apart (about the width of a doorway).

Step 4 ~ Keep your hips facing forward. Your right knee should be facing the mirror (this will help your hips stay square). The left foot should turn out approximately 45 degrees so that you can comfortably keep your hips square. Hips still not square? Make karate chop hands and place the blades of your hands(pinky finger side) against your hip, as if you are holding a pair of guns in a holster around your waist. Are your thumbs facing directly forward or are they skewed towards a corner of the room? Use your hands as a compass to help align your hips correctly.

Step 5 ~
  • Tuck your chin into your chest. Keep legs and arms straight as you lower. Think out and forward before you think downwards. This is the trickiest aspect of doing Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose, try looking out to a spot just in front of your mat and letting that be your drishti or point of focus- this might help too.

  • Come into table top with a flat back. Then curve inwards and touch your forehead to your knee.This is a compression pose, so please remember to keep breathing.

  • Feel a bit tight? Bend your right leg and move the left foot further back to make it easier.

  • Keep pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. Your arms should be in prayer with your fingertips touching the ground. If this is too difficult put both hands on the ground about shoulder distance apart to steady yourself for the remainder of the posture.  Hold this position for as long as is comfortable, ideallly 30 - 40 seconds.

Step 6 ~ Coming out of the pose: In order to raise yourself back into Tadasana, place your hands into prayer position out in front of the toes of your right foot. Now come up with a flat back. Keep your arms close to your ears. Round up slowly. Remember to keep your abdominal muscles engaged.

An easier alternative would be to place your hands on your hips and come up with a flat back.

Step 7 ~ Time to do this pose for the other side. Remember take your time, Yoga is about the journey and feeling what is going on in the body right now, as apposed to 'getting it perfect'.

Thank you for reading my blog post. We have have all come a pretty long way here. No doubt you are finding it easier and easier to perform each pose. By now muscle memory and your use of Ujjayi breath is allowing you to flow from one pose into the next. It only get's better. Click here to read more of my tutorials on How to perform Hot Yoga's 26 Postures correctly.

A video of Dandayamana Bihaktapada Janushirasana will definitely help make this pose a little more concrete in your mind before you try it out. I liked this video:

Disclaimer - Please read disclaimer before attempting any of the exercises,yoga poses or advice expressed in this blog.

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