The Benefits of Janu Sirsasana (The Head to Knee Pose)

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By Rishikul Yogshala

September 30, 2019

Janu Sirsasana is a seated asana and is a part of Ashtanga Yoga. It is a Sanskrit word where Janu means knee and Sirsa means head, and asana means posture. While doing this asana, your head touches the knee and so it is also called Head-to-Knee Pose, Head on Knee Pose, and Head on Knee Forward Bend Pose. This asana is usually compared to Sirsasana pose, but it is entirely different from it.

Beginners can engage in this activity without any second doubts about being a professional yogi or a sportsperson. It is not required as anybody can perform this asana. Open up your chakras like the Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra) with this pose. This pose re-energizes the body while fixing anxiety issues as it has a calming effect on the body. If practiced early in the morning, it works as a great boost to fire up the zeal for the rest of the day.

Benefits of Janu Sirsasana (the head to knee pose)

There are plenty of benefits of the head to knee pose. Let’s go through some.

  • Practice this pose to calm your brain and to relieve stress. Yoga has saved generations to encourage wellbeing with a deep sense of calmness. It reduces anxiety levels in the body and also the mind. Rhythmic breathing while doing this head to knee pose is the secret behind relieving mental and physical stress.
  • Stimulates the kidneys and liver by placing pressure on the body organs by using acupressure therapy. Many organs like the stomach, uterus, pancreas, kidney, and spleen get stimulated by performing this pose regularly.
  • Improve your digestive system with the help of this pose as the lower abdomen works to strengthen your immunity and fasten your metabolism rate.
  • Stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, groin, and shoulders while practicing this pose. The movements involved in the process of Yoga helps individuals in oiling up their bones and letting go of the stiffness or resistance in the body. To continue a functional body for a long time, movements and stretching play an extremely important role.
  • Other benefits of Janu Sirsana include relief from insomnia, high blood pressure, and sinusitis. Since Janu Sirsana requires both breathing and head to knee bend, it opens up the clotted channels in the body to allow energy flow to pass and spread all over the body in a balanced way by removing the over-concentration on specific points. This activity further leads to controlling the high blood pressure, treating the insomniac patients, and solving the sinusitis problems.
  • It helps to strengthen the back muscles during the time of pregnancy. This is done by keeping the front torso elongated and the back spine concave. It stretches the whole back of the body which incorporates all the major muscles. It also stretches the gluteal muscles and hamstrings and is also known to remove fatigue from legs as it’s the best standing asana!
  • Highly effective if you practice this head to knee pose before reaching your menstrual cycle. It eases the menstruation process and helps in running the course smoothly without any complications or excessive pain.
  • It is an additional exercise that works well for the runners! Before and after starting a race, runners usually open up their body muscles with the practice of Janu Sirsana as it helps in warming up and cooling down the required sections of the body like the legs. The deep stretch is highly contributive to the whole event.
  • Harmonize your body with the mystical properties or the health benefits of the head to knee pose. As the stretch happens on both sides of the body like the hips and lower back, it increases out the balance in the human body.  
  • It reduces sciatica and encourages an even blood flow in the nerves. Janu Sirsasana helps in transferring the fresh blood to the sciatic nerve and the slow breathing process eventually reduces pain in the body.

How to do:

  • Sit with a straight back on the floor.
  • Stretch your right leg out and bend the left knee placing the left foot’s bottom on the inner part of the right thigh.
  • Legs should be touching the floor.
  • Ensure that the navel and chest is in line with the right leg.
  • Support the body with your hands by placing them besides the hips.
  • Take a deep breath and extend the torso and belly to the top of the head.
  • Stretch the arms up and bend down and try to reach for your toes or ankles. Don’t overstretch if it is becoming difficult.
  • Stay in the position and breathe.
  • Take a deep breath and gently release. Repeat with the left leg stretched out.

Contraindications of the Pose:

  • Those suffering from asthma and diarrhea should avoid the asana.
  • People with lower back injury or lumbar disc herniation should avoid the pose. 
  • In case of knee injury, a blanket can be used as a support.

Yoga works as a perfect exercise which not only covers your physical health but also mental and spiritual. It makes your higher self-reach the places where it didn’t, by gaining clarity and increasing the body movements, flexibility, and a peaceful state of mind. So, adopt the wisdom of nature and imbibe the qualities of a healthy being to nurture the joyful moments of your life. With Janu Sirsasana pose, let your head rush wash away the unwanted thoughts, and allow your stretches to calm down all your body parts!                                                                                                                                                                  

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