Standing Head-to-Knee Pose

Definition - What does Standing Head-to-Knee Pose mean?

Standing head-to-knee pose is an important posture in the Bikram yoga sequence for building strength, stability and flexibility. It can be a challenging posture for beginners because of the balance and hamstring flexibility required.

In this standing posture, one leg is lifted straight out in front, parallel to the ground, the hands hold the lifted foot and the torso bends forward over the lifted leg. A gentler variation can be with the lifted leg bent, holding the knee, or without the forward fold.

Standing head-to-knee pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, dandayamana janushirasana.


Standing Head-to-Knee Pose

Yogapedia explains Standing Head-to-Knee Pose

The benefits of this challenging balance pose include:

  • Improves core strength and stability
  • Stimulates the abdomen
  • Strengthens the standing leg
  • Lengthens hamstrings
  • Engages all the major muscle groups.

It is also practiced by many for its benefits in improving concentration and endurance.

One modification of this pose involves hooking a strap around the extended foot and using this to extend the arms. This can help to straighten the leg and find balance, especially if the hamstrings are tight. Different drishtis, or gaze points, can be used to shift the focus of standing head-to-knee pose and make the balance more challenging, such as looking to the leg, straight ahead or closing the eyes.

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