Classic Yoga

Janusirsasana: Meaning, Steps, and Benefits

Introduction

Janusirsasana is a modern Yoga posture. Also, it is spelled Janu Sirsasana. 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.

This yoga pose first appeared in Yoga Makaranta of Sri Krishnamacharya in the year 1934. However, a similar pose by the name Maha Mudra was in existence during the medieval Hatha Yoga period. Furthermore, it is also a variant of Seated Forward Bending and is often called Ardha Pascimottanasana Hence, it is a modern variant of traditional yoga pose.

This article provides a detailed information alongwith its meaning, steps and benefits.

Janusirsasana Information

Pose NameJanusirsasana
Sanskrit Nameजानु शीर्षासन
IASTjānu śīrṣāsana
EnglishHead to Knee Forward Bending Pose
OriginModern
LevelIntermediate
GroupPascimottanasana
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. Everyone 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

Precautions and Contraindications

Persons who have the following issue should avoid this posture.

Also, Pregnant Ladies should not perform this practice.

Janusirsasana Preparatory Poses

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

Janusirsasana Steps

Step 1

Sit with legs stretched out. Inhale slowly to the optimum capacity. Then, bend one leg and place the heel against the perineum. Similarly, place the sole under the thigh of the opposite leg.

Step 2

Then, slowly bend forward and grasp the stretched foot or get hold of the big toe. Exhaling, touch the knee with the forehead.

Step 3

Hold the breath. This is for advanced practitioners who have experience in holding the breath. Others continue with slow normal breathing. Be in the same position to the extent possible. After a while, release the hand and come back exhaling to the original position.

Step 4

Similarly, repeat the above steps with the other leg. Practice this for four to five times.

Duration

Beginners may keep the final position for at least 30 seconds. However, the adept may extend the duration for two to three minutes.

Follow Up Poses

This being the forwarding pose, one should follow up with any one of the backward bending poses listed below.

Also, this pose is a spinal twist. There is no follow-up practice required for a 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. Alternatively, one may use straps for reaching out.

Also, it is difficult for beginners to touch the knee with their heads. They should reach out to the maximum possible extent. However, it becomes easier with regular practice.

Advanced Pose Considerations

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

Janusirsasana Benefits

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