Janusirsasana: Meaning, Steps, and Benefits

Janusirsasana: Meaning, Steps, and Benefits


Janusirsasana is a modern Yoga posture. We could not find any reference to this posture in medieval Hatha yogic texts. Yet, considering the benefits it offers, it is an important yoga posture. It is sometimes called as Ardha Pascimottanasana also.

Janusirsasana Information

Pose NameJanusirsasana
Sanskrit Nameजानु शीर्षासन
IAST jānu śīrṣāsana
EnglishHead to Knee Forward Bending Pose
TypeForward bending, Spinal twist

Janusirsasana Meaning

Janusirsasana is the combination of three Sanskrit terms: Janu, Siras or Sirsa, and Asana. Janu means knee. Siras means head. Every one knows what Asana is. Hence, Janusirsasana is Knee Head Pose. For easy understanding it is commonly translated into English as Head to Knee Forward Bending Pose.

Janusirsasana step-by-step Procedure

Safety and Precautions

Persons who have the following issue should avoid this posture.

  • Disc dis-orders
  • Sciatica

Preparatory Poses

The following poses help you prepare for Head-To-Stand Forward Bending.

Janusirsasana Steps

  1. Sit with legs stretched out
  2. Bend one leg and place the heel against perineum and the sole under the thigh of the opposite leg.
  3. Slowly bend forward and grasp the stretched foot or get hold of the big-toe
  4. Touch the knee with the forehead
  5. Be in the same position to extent possible
  6. Release the hand and come back to the original position
  7. Repeat the above steps with the other leg
  8. Practice this for four to five times
The following breathing pattern may be practised during the above steps.
  1. Before step two, inhale slowly to the optimum capacity
  2. Start the third step with slow exhaling and continue exhaling through step four
  3. In step five, hold the breath. This is for advanced practitioners who have experience in holding the breath. Others continue with slow normal breathing.
  4. In step six, exhale slowly

Follow Up Poses

This being the forwarding pose, one should follow up with any one of the backward bending poses listed below. This pose also a spinal twist also. There is no follow up practice required for twist, if the pose is done equally with the alternate legs stretched. However the practice of a backward bending pose is compulsory.

Beginners Tips

Beginners will find it hard to hold the foot or big toes. Until getting mastery, they should reach out to the possible extent and hold that part of the leg. Or one may use straps for reaching out.

It is also difficult for beginners to touch the knee with their heads. They should reach out to the maximum possible extent. In due course with practice, it will become easier.

Advanced Pose Considerations

There is an advanced variation to this pose: Revolved Head to Knee Pose.

Janusirsasana Benefits

  • It stretches the hamstring muscles
  • This Pose increases the flexibility of the hip joints
  • It removes the disorders of abdominal and pelvic region including Pancreas, Kidney, and Adrenal Gland
  • This pose removes the belly fat and aid in weight management
  • It is used as a supportive therapy for ailments like diabetes, prolapse, menstrual disorders,
  • Mastery over this posture enables one to practise advanced poses like Lotus Posture, Adept’s Posture, Seated Forward Bending Pose, and Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose.
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