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Janusirsasana (Head to Knee Pose): Basics, Steps, Benefits & More

Janusirsasana is a part of Ashtanga yoga. It is a seated twisting and forward bending asana.

The modern yoga pose Janusirsasana is first seen in the 20th century that is described in Krishnamacharya’s. He was one of the most influential yoga teachers OR the father of modern yoga.

Janusirsasana Basics

Sanskrit PronunciationJanusirsasana
(JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna)
Meaning‘Janu‘ means ‘knee’, Sirsa is ‘head’, and ‘asana’ means ‘pose.’
Pose TypeSitting, Forward-Bend, Side-Bend, Twist, Stretch
Pose LevelBeginner
Style of yogaAshtanga yoga
Other NamesHead-on-knee Pose, Head-to-knee forward bend, or Seated head to knee pose
StretchesEntire back body
Strengthening The legs, arm, and back
Duration30 second to 3 minutes


The name Janusirsasana is derived from Sanskrit words. there Janu means Knee and Sirs stand for Head and Asana mean yoga posture. whose meaning has inspired the name ‘Head to Knee Pose‘.

In this Yogasana, touch the head with knee, hence it is also called Head to Knee Pose. There are three main variations of Janusirsasana.

Head to Knee Pose is, as the name suggests, a seated twisting yoga pose that re-energizes the body, enhances the flexibility of thighs, hamstrings, thighs, hip joints, back, hands, and shoulders. And is a challenging posture, especially for men. It aids in semen also and is very beneficial to relieve anxiety.

Janusirsasana is also known as Ardha Paschimottanasana. we can be practiced as a preparatory pose before practicing Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend).

Practice Guide for Janusirsasana

This guide provides practitioners with a systematic breakdown of the pose, offering clear instructions on body positioning, alignment, and breathing techniques.

Preparatory Poses

Steps to do Janusirsasana (Head to Knee Pose)

Start in Dandasana (Staff Pose)

  • Sit on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you, keeping the spine erect. This is the Dandasana or Staff Pose. If you find it challenging to sit up straight, sit on the edge of a folded blanket.

Bend Your Right Knee

  • Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot against the inner left thigh, letting your right knee drop to the side. Ensure that your left leg remains active by flexing the left foot and pressing the thigh down into the floor.

Square Your Torso Over the Left Leg

  • Turn your torso slightly to the left, aligning it with your extended left leg. Take a moment to ground yourself and ensure that both sit bones are evenly pressing down into the mat or blanket.

Inhale and Lengthen Your Spine

  • Inhale deeply and raise your arms overhead, lengthening your spine. Feel the stretch through your entire back and side body.

Exhale and Fold Forward

  • Exhale as you fold forward from the hips over your left leg. Keep your spine long and your neck in line with your spine. Reach for your left foot with both hands, but don’t worry if you can’t touch it. You can hold onto your shin or use a yoga strap around your foot to help you maintain the length in your spine and still get the stretch.

Deepen the Pose Gently

  • With each exhale, gently deepen the forward bend. Focus on moving your navel towards your knee, rather than simply lowering your head. It’s more important to keep the spine long than to reach your head to your knee.

Hold and Breathe

  • Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes, breathing deeply and evenly. With each inhale, slightly lift and lengthen the torso, and with each exhale, deepen your forward fold.

Release and Repeat on the Other Side

  • To come out of the pose, inhale and lift your torso, stretching your arms forward and up. Exhale to lower your arms. Straighten your right leg back to Dandasana, and then repeat the pose on the other side, bending your left knee.

Follow-up Poses

Benefits of Janusirsasana (Head to Knee Pose)

  • If you are suffering from kidney disease or you have become infected with urine then you should regularly practice Janusirsasana with medication.
  • By regular practice of Janusirsasana calms the mind, brings down anxiety levels, and also relieves mild depression.
  • It also stimulates the various organs of the body as well as deeper stretch.
  • Janusirsasana helps in symptoms related to the sciatic nerve and reduces sciatica pain.
  • It brings great stretch to the shoulders, spine, hamstrings, neck, and eventually improving flexibility too.
  • It is the best way to release the symptoms during the menstrual cycle and reproductive organs are stimulated too.
  • It is a challenging posture, especially for men. Which aids in semen and curing impotency too.
  • Janu Sirsasana helps in reducing the extra fat layer due to heavy contraction in the abdominal muscles.
  • Stimulates the abdominal muscles and aids in digestion that helps in flushing out toxins from the body. It also heals the respiratory system by reducing tension from the ribs and diaphragm muscles.


According to the experts, this asana is considered best when yogi practiced early in the morning. Mornings are preferred as the food is digested as well as the body has the energy to perform the asana. Due to some reason, you cannot practice it in the morning, you can practice this asana in the evening as well. But at least keep a 3-5 hour gap between your practice and meal.

  • In the case of diarrhea or asthma must avoid this asana.
  • Avoid this pose if you have any back or knee injuries.
  • Pregnant women and fractured bones are also not advised to practice these postures.
  • Don’t practice this pose in case you have osteoporosis as it can lead to an increase in the risk of fractures.
  • During practice, if you if uncomfortable, exit the pose and again practice under the expert or yoga teacher.


Janusirsasana is a challenging asana especially for men.

This asana works amazingly well in stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins as well as stimulates the various organs of the body. Janusirsasana relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort.

Although this asana looks similar to a headstand, it is very different from it.


The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional