Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose
Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana
The Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose is the 10th posture in the Bikram Yoga method. This pose has been associated with a lot of mental and physical benefits. It is considered to be a simple asana by many but when done right it is both challenging and beneficial.
The pose is also known as Dandayamana bibhaktapada janushirasana in Sanskrit.
Step by Step
Step 1: Stand with both feet next to each other. Lift your arms above your head so that they point straight to the ceiling.
Step 2: Take a wide step with your right foot forward. A distance of 4 to 5 feet apart will be ideal.
Step 3: Lift your toes off the ground so the weight of your body rests on your heels. This will allow you to move your right leg slightly so that it is almost directly in front of the left leg rather than to the side.
Step 4: Tuck in your chin and suck in your stomach as you lower your torso. Your arms should be straight out in front of you so that your upper body and arms move as one unit. Try not to bend your knees as you move your torso and keep the legs straight.
Step 5: Lower your torso until your forehead touches the right knee and your fingers touch the ground. The hands should be put together in prayer position. Hips in one line parallel with each other. Spine rounded with compression in the throat.
Step 6: Hold the position for a set time with normal breathing throughout the pose, and then on a inhale slowly come up arms and head together.
For beginners lowering the upper torso so that the forehead touches the knee can be hard. You can, therefore, lower to the level that you are comfortable with. Also, keeping both legs straight can be difficult. In such a case, bend the knee in front slightly for the relief you need. For balance keep the hands separated outside the feet.
Triangle pose, Ardho mukha svanasana, Balasana, Uttanasana
Follow Up Poses
Any seated forward bend poses can be done
Strengthens the abdominal muscles
Strengthens the legs especially the quadriceps and calves
Stretches the shoulders especially the deltoids and trapezius
Slims the belly, buttocks, and waist
Stretches the spine
Uddiyana bandha, Mula bandha, Jalandhara bandha
Tip of the nose
Those without the flexibility can opt to bend the knee of the forward leg slightly to ensure that the pose is done in proper form. The other variation that can be done is the head to knee standing pose in which the yogi does not take a step forward. The torso is bent forwards towards the knees until the head moves in between the knees or as close as possible.
Standing pose, forward bend
Keep your back foot on the floor. If it lifts off when you are bending over then reduce the stance of your step.
Exhaling allows for greater flexibility because in the bent position breath takes up space in your body. Breathe very slowly when you are in position but do not hold your breath.
You can bend your knee at the front leg a little just to get your forehead in contact but keep straightening out as flexibility increases.