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    Head-to-Knee Pose with Stretching Pose: Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana
    (Note: these are two poses grouped together)

    Purposes and Benefits:

    • Balances blood sugar levels and metabolism
    • Nourishes kidneys and enhances kidney function
    • Boosts circulation to liver, pancreas, and spleen
    • Betters circulation to bowels; this advances digestion and relieves chronic diarrhea
    • Improves concentration and mental endurance
    • Expands solar plexus
    • Enhances flexibility of ankles, knees, hip joints, and sciatic nerves
    • Stretches deltoids, trapezius, and hamstrings, particularly erector femoris
    • Extends lower back, especially last 5 vertebrae
    • Strengthens biceps and quadriceps

    How to Do:

    • Face mirror and start by doing these: Extend right leg out 45 degrees; Bend left leg until left sole pushes against right inner thigh; Bring left heel up to crotch (Legs form 90 degree angle)
    • Inhale, raise arms overhead, twist toward right, and stretch down over right leg
    • Hold right foot with hands tightly interlaced; bend right knee if needed
    • Pull toes back toward face until toes are flexed
    • Tuck chin into chest and round your back until forehead touches right knee
    • If needed, bend right knee to touch forehead to knee
    • Otherwise, if right leg is straight, flex right foot until its heel lifts away from floor
    • Begin bending elbows straight down toward floor
    • Keep spine evenly aligned over right leg by rolling left shoulder and elbow down farther
    • Let eyes stay open, remember to breathe, and hold pose for 10 seconds
    • Repeat pose on left side by doing these: Keep left quadriceps engaged to safely extend hamstring; Engage abdominals to safely stretch lower spine;
    • Extend legs out in front, and in 1 fluid movement, lie back and immediately sit up while inhaling
    • Wiggle hips back, and pull back flesh of buttocks to prepare to bend torso forward with lengthened spine
    • Hold big toes with first 2 fingers of each hand, and flex feet by pulling toes back
    • Inhale while lifting and lengthening spine
    • Exhale while stretching forward and work toward lifting heels up away from floor
    • Touch forehead to toes
    • Bend elbows to floor, draw in stomach, and point chest and face toward legs
    • (Spine must be straight and not rounded; bend knees slightly if needed)
    • If hamstrings burn and lower back feels stiff, breathe and exhale to relax muscles into deeper stretch
    • Hold pose for 20 seconds