Janu Sirsasana Yoga Pose

Janu Sirsasana

Janu sirsasana is a series of asymmetrical seated forward bends. From Sanskrit, janu means “knee,” sirsa means “head” and asana means “pose.” The intention of the pose is to fold the body so that the head moves closer to the knee. In the full expression of the posture, though, once the hamstrings and back of the body are open enough, the head will actually move beyond the knee and to the shin.

There are three main variations of janu sirsasana involving slightly different positioning of the bent leg in relation to the body. All three of the variations are included in the primary series of Ashtanga yoga.

The Western name for janu sirsasana is head-to-knee pose.

Janu Sirsasana improves posture and counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting. It can be helpful for recovery after sports and activities that include running. It stretches the back of your body, including your back muscles, and can help relieve low back tightness and low back pain. Also, it can bring calm to the mind and help with depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

  • Begin in Dandasana.
  • Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot high on your left inner thigh.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine; exhale and take your right hand to the outside of your left thigh and your left hand behind your left hip.
  • On an exhalation, bend at your hips and lean forward over your left leg. Reach for your left foot.
  • If it is available to you, clasp your left wrist with your right hand.
  • Inhale and reach your sternum forward; exhale and revolve your right ribs toward your left knee even more.
  • To exit the pose, inhale and lift your chest. Straighten your right leg, returning to Dandasana.