JANU SIRSASANA - HEAD TO KNEE FORWARD FOLD
June 22, 2021
Janu Sirsasana is a seated forward fold, typically taught in Vinyasa, Hatha yoga class, and Kundalini yoga classes. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words Janu that means Knee, Sirsa which means Head and Asana which means posture. This is the pose that is great for grounding oneself, it strengthens the earth element and it’s helping us to balance our Root chakra. Although the pose itself may look simple, it is actually a pretty complex one since it combines forward fold, twist and side body stretch.
While the name of this asana is telling us about the physical anatomy of the pose, Janu Sirsasana is actually about turning our focus inward and creating space for self reflection. Instead of striving to put our head on our knee we can shift our energy to find the peace and inner stillness while observing bodily sensations. This is a core yoga posture taught in most, if not all, yoga teacher trainings (YTT) and yoga certification programs that are registered yoga schools (RYS).
Benefits & Commonalities of Janu Sirsasana:
- Stretches Quadratus Luborum
- Stretches Hamstrings and groins
- Stretches Shoulders, neck and abdominal muscles
- Stimulates Kidney and spleen meridians
- Improve digestion
- Reduces sciatica
- Relaxes the mind and brings down the energy levels
- Taught in best yoga schools globally
- Commonly taught in all online yoga 200 hour certifications
Step by step instructions as taught within online yoga classes:
- Begin in a seat with your legs stretched out in front of you. If your low back rounds, sit up on some blankets, a pillow or roll up your mat under your sitting bones.
- Bend your right knee and place the sole of your foot near your left inner thigh, top of your foot on the ground. Option to place a blanket under your right thigh or ankle to support.
- Turn your torso toward your left leg. Inhale to lengthen your torso, exhale to walk your hands forward and reach your hands to your left toes. If you need, use the strap to hold your foot.
- Ground down through your left thigh and reach through your left heel. Keep the front of your torso long and your sternum lifted. If there’s room, option to lower your forehead to your extended leg.
- Lengthen your tailbone behind you to encourage your natural lumbar curve.
- Breath deeply. Focus on your inhales and exhales. You can hold this pose up to three minutes. When you want to exit the pose, Inhale, lift yourself up and out of the posture on an inhalation. Return to seated then repeat on the other side.
- Avoid this pose if you are suffering from severe back pain
- If you feel pain in the knee or the knee is injured, make sure you make necessary adjustments.
- If you are pregnant, consult your teacher for guidance or avoid the pose
- If you have questions and are not sure if this yoga posture is right for you, please reach out to a yoga teacher or yoga instructor near you who has completed yoga teacher training (YTT).