Brad's Iyengar Yoga Notebook
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
The preparatory leg actions in Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana are much the same as discussed for Janu Sirsasana except that you want to take your rear leg, thigh, and knee back much further in this pose than in Janu Sirsasana.   In fact, in this pose you actually move your rear sitting bone back behind your straight leg one, unlike Janu Sirsasana.   If you are sitting on blankets, this means you will now need to angle them to allow your rear knee to come back more.   (In regular Janu Sirsasana, you may keep your support blankets flushed with the front of the room.)   A good preparatory movement for Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana is to take your front-leg hand and place it on the outside of your rear thigh and place your rear hand on the floor behind your hips.   Use the strength of your arms to twist your torso in the direction of your rear leg and spend some time working on this twist.   Note this is twisting in the opposite direction than the preparation discussed in the Janu Sirsasana section.
You will come into this pose in three stages:
(1)   The first stage of this pose is just take the leg position, keeping your torso upright, and twist.
(2)   In the second stage, you take your ipsilateral ribs down toward your straight leg and resting your ipsilateral elbow on the floor inside of your straight leg, take that hand to the inside of your front foot if possible or use a belt, and have your rear hand just on your hip.
(3)  Finally try to take your rear hand over your head and grasp your forward foot or use a belt if necessary and twist your torso upward toward the ceiling.
To begin Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, after grounding your forward leg and drawing your torso upward strongly as discussed previously for Janu Sirsasana, you begin to take the forward side of your torso toward the inside of your forward thigh.   Place your forward side hand on the floor just inside your forward leg and reach with it toward your front foot as you bring your torso downward.   Your first step is to try to get your elbow to the floor inside your forward knee.   You can rest your elbow on a block inside the forward knee if it does not quite reach the floor.   If you are able to, supinate your forward hand, rotating first to face the ceiling and then more to grasp the inside of your front foot.   Use your elbow on the floor inside your front knee to help rotate the rear side of your torso more upward toward the ceiling.
As you continue to take your torso downward toward the floor, try to take your forward shoulder to the inside of your front knee.   It may help to bend your front knee slightly to help you get your shoulder inside that knee and turn your torso upward more and then re-straighten your knee.   Continue to take your torso down as much as possible.   Deliberately shift your weight onto the sitting bone of your straight leg to help you get your torso more forward over that leg.   Try to take your side ribs inside your thigh.   Lengthen your torso and attempt to touch the crown of your head to your front foot.   Take your rear arm over your head and your hand to your front foot only when you cannot extend any further with the strength of your torso and legs alone.
As your torso comes down, your rear buttock will become light on the floor or even pull off the floor slightly.   Tuck your tailbone in and move your dorsal (thoracic) spine into your body.   Press your lower elbow into the floor and use it to turn your torso upward more and more.   In this pose, you want to twist your torso upward more and more toward the ceiling just as in Parivrtta Trikonasana.   Roll your upper side ribs up toward the ceiling and then roll them back even more so you begin to get the feeling of almost falling over backward.   Your lower kidney draws into your body and forward toward your front foot.   Your upper kidney rolls back.
When you come up, raise your top arm straight up high and use it to pull your torso up out of the pose.