We did twists and spine lengthening this week in class. When I have a class that is a bit more advanced, I have them try Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, for an intense arm/torso/hip/inner thigh stretch. Everyone tried it, but most of them groaned...especially when I demo-ed stretching the upraised arm towards the foot. "Oh, right," was the exact quote.
Once I had everyone stand up and move into Trikonasana (Triangle), though, I got to thinking about how similar these two poses are. Legs are spread, spine is lengthened and then twisted, arms reach down and overhead. The knee cap has to keep lifting so that the thigh engages and keeps the extended foot pointing up, tailbone stays pointed towards the floor.
So let's try Revolved Head-to-Knee this week. After a workshop a couple of years ago, I posted a long discussion of this pose, if you need some instructions. Since we did Triangle recently, see how this one compares. I actually prefer to do it at the end of my gym workout; I find that having exercised for 30 mins. beforehand really helps my ability to lengthen and twist.
If reaching overhead makes you groan, try wrapping your belt around the extended foot and holding on to both ends in the position. You can still twist and extend, but the torso won't be folded as much. And think about the actions of Triangle...it makes this pose less intimidating.
See what you think!