Janu Sirsasana - Head-to-Knee Forward Bend

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The name head to knee forward bend comes from Sanskrit

 

Janu = knee

Sirsa = head. 

 

In Janu Sirsasana, we stretch the spine, shoulders, hamstrings and the groins. What I love about Janu Sirsasana is the calmness and the spiritual centering that it brings me. If you can focus on the anja chakra , the place behind the eyebrows while in Janu Sirsasana, you will feel a sense of relief and bliss.

 

It’s by far one of my favourite poses. 

It can also be adapted into a spinal twist and with the stretched  leg open more wide (pictured, the simple version is with the leg stretched forward while the other one knee is bend, heel close to perineum). 

All forward bends require surrender and patience. It’s no different in this one - Janu Sirsasana requires you to go slowly, to fold from the hips. Avoid rounding the back and trying to quickly bring your upper body down. Take your time with this pose. If you do it regularly, your spine will get more flexibility, your hip joints will loosen up and the pose will feel more comfortable creating a lovely space for your body-mind connection. 

 

Benefits 

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression

  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins

  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys

  • Improves digestion

  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

  • Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort

  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis

  • Strengthens the back muscles during pregnancy (up to second trimester), done without coming forward, keeping your back spine concave and front torso long.

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Asthma

  • Diarrhea

  • Knee injury: Don't flex the injured knee completely and support it on a folded blanket.