Head to Knee Pose
Janushirsana (Head to Knee Pose) is an intermediate level yoga asana performed in the supine position. The name Janushirsana is derived from the Sanskrit words 'Janu' meaning knee and 'siras' meaning head and 'asana' meaning posture respectively. Janushirsana stretches the spine, liver, spleen, hamstrings, groins, and shoulders. Consistent practise of this asana increases the flexibility in the hamstrings. This Head to Knee Pose stimulates Solar Plexus (Manipura Chakra), Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra) and Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra).
Steps to do Head to Knee Pose / Janushirsana
- Sit in Dandasana.
- Bend the left knee placing the left foot to the right inner thigh. Inhale, raise your hands up.
- While exhaling, bend forward (keeping your hands and whole back in one line) from the lower back.
- Pull the abdomen in, catch hold the foot firmly. Face towards the knee/shin.
- Hold the posture with normal breath. Inhaling, raise your hands and torso up.
- Exhaling, release the hands down and stretch out the left leg.
- Repeat the same on the other side.
Tips for beginners
- Sit upright on a pillow or blanket that has been folded, if you find it difficult to tilt your pelvis forward. Work on keeping your spine long by sitting up straight rather than folding forward.
- To maintain a long spine when folding forward, try wrapping a strap around the ball of your foot. Just make sure not to pull it firmly.
- This asana makes your spinal cord flexible.
- Strengthens hamstring, increases flexibility in hip joints.
- Tones and massages the entire abdomen and pelvic region.
- Removes excess fat in the abdominal region.
- Stimulates the nerves and muscles of spine.
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue, headache and mild depression.
Watch out for
- Avoid this asana, if you have asthma, abdominal ulcer, diarrhea or sciatica.
- If you have any back injury, slipped disc, severe back pain, avoid this asana.
- Women who are pregnant or menstruating should avoid going all the way down.
- If your hands extend past your foot, you can hold the wrist of one hand with the other hand.
- Increase the angle between the two legs to deepen the practise of this posture. This is achieved by moving the bent knee backward.