Yoga Pose of the Week: Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)

Yoga Pose of the Week: Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)


23 March 2016


Janu Sirsasana is a seated pose which can sometimes be overlooked in training as it can often be viewed as an easier pose to navigate. The ease of this pose will depend entirely on what level you are currently at, and can be deceptive.

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  • Sanskrit Name: Janu Sirsasana
  • Janu: knee
  • Sirsa: head
  • Asana: Pose

How to do:

Head-to-knee pose is part of the Ashtanga yoga primary series and is one of the first of the seated poses. It’s an excellent pose for restoration, and you should feel re-energised after completing it. It’s perfect for stretching out your back, groin and hamstrings and will aid your digestion.

Start Slow

You’ll start head-to-knee while in staff pose and go from there. Bringing your right leg to your side, make sure to rotate the external hip joint. Make sure the whole of your right foot is touching your left inner thigh but don’t let the foot slip underneath the leg. If you’re a beginner or feel quite stiff, you may have some difficulty here but remember not to force it or tense up the rest of your body to compensate. If you’re finding it difficult to keep the bent knee to the floor, you can place a blanket underneath.

When you bend forward to reach your foot, it’s crucial that you don’t bend your back in an awkward position which rounds the spine. This could cause damage and strain. Imagine your chest reaching for your toes, and not your forehead reaching for your toes. If you find it difficult to reach your hands to your foot, you could try using a strap but don’t let it pull you in.


Janu Sirsasana can be extremely satisfying and calm the mind. It offers a therapeutic application for both depression and insomnia. If you suffer from anxiety, this pose can provide time for reflection and is beneficial for fatigue.


There’s a strong emphasis on your knee joints here, so if you have any existing issues or are suffering with a current injury, you should approach with caution. If you feel any pain or discomfort, don’t continue pushing as it may cause further damage.

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