Janu Sirsasana (Head-To-Knee Pose)

English Name(s)

Janu Sirsasana, Head To Knee Pose

Sanskrit

जानुशीर्षासन / jānuśīrṣāsana

Pronunciation

JAH-new shear-SHAH-suh-nuh

Meaning

janu: “knee”
sīrṣa: “head”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Janu Sirsasana (JAH-new shear-SHAH-suh-nuh) stretches the entire back of the body where all the major muscles are. This asana stretches the hamstring and gluteal muscles and is best done after standing asanas to remove fatigue from the legs. This asana also massages all the vital organs.

Energetic Benefits

All forward extensions bring calmness to the mind. Because the heart is brought close to gravity the heart beats slower and calmer. This calmness is then received by the central nervous system and then brought to the brain. We are generally frontal body orientated: we are more conscious of the front of our body than the back body. Forward extensions bring our awareness to the back body and this creates a more reflective mind than an outward mind.

Contraindications

Avoid this asana is you have any disc-related conditions. Learn first to extend the spine rather than bend the spine downwards. Concave the midback to sustain the length in the lower portion of the spine. Women who are pregnant or menstruating should avoid going all the way down in this pose. Keeping the back concaved will sustain the space in their abdomen. Those with any stomach pain or cramps should avoid this pose. Sit higher on a folded blanket or a block if your hamstrings are tight.

Going into the Pose

 

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Meera Watts

Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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