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How to Stretch Your Hamstrings and Foot With Janu Sirsasana C

Strike a Yoga Pose: Head to Knee C

Here's the last of the three variations of the forward bend Janu Sirsasana. All three of these poses increase flexibility in your hamstrings, but this variation will also stretch out the muscles in your feet. Some instructors also believe this pose will massage your inner organs, which keeps them healthy, but I'm not sure I buy that one.

Sanskrit Name: Janu Sirsasana C
English Translation: Head to Knee Pose C

  • Begin in a seated position with both legs straight out in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and hold onto your right foot with your left hand. Bring your right arm under your right leg and reach around to grab on to the arch with your right hand.
  • Pull your toes down gently and place the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh so your right heel is pointing up. If this part of the pose is difficult (which it is for most people), just stay here. If even this part of the pose hurts too much, do Toe Breaker instead to stretch the muscles in your feet.
  • If your right foot is feeling good, sit up nice and tall, lengthening through the spine, and fold your torso over your left leg. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your leg or on your shin. If your hamstrings and hips are more flexible, reach for your foot — the right hand holds the left wrist.
  • Rest your forehead on your leg and stay here for five breaths, and continue lengthening the spine as you relax the shoulders away from your ears.
  • Then release your hands, sit up, and either take a vinyasa to switch sides, or just switch sides from here. This time the left knee will be bent, and the left hand will hold the right wrist.

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