Yoga Pose Breakdown: Janu Sirsasana – Head-to-Knee Forward Bend

Sanskrit Name: Janu Sirsasana  (JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna)
Janu = Knee
Sirsa= Head
Asana = Pose

Get Started: 

  • Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you with the option of placing a blanket under your buttocks
  • Bend your right knee and draw the sole of your foot to your left inner thigh
  • Lay your outer right leg on the floor, with your shin at a right angle to the left leg. Again, feel free to use a blanket if your knee does not come comfortably to the ground 
  • Press your right hand against your inner right groin and place your left hand on the floor beside your hip
  • Turn your torso slightly to the lift and lift your torso as you push down and ground your right inner thigh
  • Align your naval with your left thigh 
  • Reach out with your right hand to take hold of the inner left foot
  • Lengthen your torso, and press the top of the left thigh into the floor and extend actively press the top of the left thigh into the floor as you actively extend through your left heel
  • Using the pressure of your left hand, increase the twist to the left
  • Eventually, reach your left hand to the outside of your foot and lengthen your torso forward from your groins
  • Maintain a long spine

Benefits: This poses stretches the spine, shoulder, hamstrings and groins while stimulating the liver and kidneys and improving digestion. It helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and calms the brain, helping to relieve mild depression. That said, it also relieves anxiety, fatigue, headaches and menstrual discomfort. It is therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia and sinusitis. It also strengthens the back muscles during pregnancy. 

Contradictions: You may want to avoid this pose if you have asthma that is acting up, diarrhea or a knee injury.

Know Your Asana:  This pose is part of the Ashtanga Primary Series and is common throughout yoga systems. 

Photo Cred: iStock