Janusirsasana: Meaning, Steps, and Benefits

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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 Name Janusirsasana
Sanskrit Name जानु शीर्षासन
IAST jānu śīrṣāsana
English Head to Knee Forward Bending Pose
Origin Modern
Level Intermediate
Group Pascimottanasana
Type Forward 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.

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. Bend one leg and place the heel against the perineum and 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. Release the hand and come back exhaling to the original position.

Step 4

Repeat the above steps with the other leg. Practice this for four to five times.


Beginners may keep the final position for at leaste 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.

This pose also a spinal twist also. 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. 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 supportive therapy for ailments like diabetes, prolapse, menstrual disorders,
  • Mastery over this posture enables one to practice advanced poses like Lotus Posture, Adept’s Posture, Seated Forward Bending Pose, and Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose.