Janu Sirsasana (jah-noo shur-shah-sah-nah; Sanskrit: जानु शीर्षासन; IAST: jānu śīrṣāsana), Head-to-Knee Pose, Head-to-Knee Forward Bend,
Head of the Knee Pose or Head-on-Knee Pose is an asana. It is part of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series and is commonly practiced as a seated asana
in many styles of yoga.
The name comes from the Sanskrit words janu (जानु, jānu) meaning “knee”, shirsha (शीर्ष, Śīrṣa) meaning “head”, and asana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Although it bears a similar name, Janu Sirsanana bears little resemblance to Sirsasana (Headstand).
In a seated position, one leg is extended with toes pointing upward, and the other leg is bent with knee pointing away from the straight leg and the sole of
the foot in by the groin. The torso turns and folds over the extended leg.
Janu Sirsasana is a spinal twist, as well as a forward fold. The potential is to free up constriction in different parts of the back and to loosen the
Janu Sirsasana differs from Paschimottanasana in its asymmetry in the legs and hips, and in the twisting action this asana imparts to the spine.
There are many variations to the practice of Janu Sirsasana. These include:
- Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose) begins in the same seated leg position as Janu Sirsanana, but with the torso revolved to face toward the bent leg, then bending sideways over the straight leg.
- Janu Sirsasana B is set up the same as Janu Sirsasana (also known as “Janu Sirsasana A”) but with the foot of the bent leg placed under the thigh of the straight leg.
- Janu Sirsasana C is set up the same as Janu Sirsasana A, but with the foot of the bent leg turned so that the heel points upward and the toes press down into the earth.
- Strengthening and Stretching the shoulders, spine, groins, and hamstrings.
- Stimulating the liver and kidneys.
- Improving digestion system.
- Relieving stress, anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort, the symptoms of menopause.
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis.