Head to Knee Pose

Janushirshasana - Head to Knee Pose

Head to Knee Pose — Janushirshasana

Any pose named head to knee pose (“janu” means knee and “shirsha” means head) is liable to be quite intense! Still, classically this pose is considered a restorative pose. This pose opens up the hips and hamstrings, as well as opening the lower back and stretching the torso. This is a strong pose for transmutation of lower energies, drawing energy up the spine into the higher chakras. The energetic effects of this pose are so strong that reducing fear, greed, and paranoia are listed among the benefits.

POSE TYPE
Seated pose

POSE CATEGORY
Forward Bending

ORIGIN
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
Dhirendra Brahmachari

SANSKRIT
Janushirshasana
जानु शीर्षासन

PRONUNCIATION
JAH-noo shear-SHAHS-anna

TRANSLATION
Head (Shirs) to Knee (Janu)
Pose (Asana)

Performance

STARTING
Sit with the left leg stretched out in front of the body, the left foot is flexed so that the toes point toward the body.
The right leg is bent and positioned at an angle on the ground. The knee is pointing outward, and the sole is touching the inner side of the left thigh, with the heal close to the perineum.

ENTERING
Straighten the back, lengthen the spine, and lift the chest. While the torso remains directed towards the stretched out leg, bending forward from the hips towards the left leg.
With both hands catch hold of the left foot from the outer sides.
Alternatively catch hold of your right wrist just in front of the left foot.
Finally striving to place the forehead in front of the knee onto the left shin.

RELEASING
Activate the core muscles, inhale, and slowly release the pose by straightening the spine.

ALTERNATING
Repeat on the opposite side, beginning with the right leg stretched out, opening the torso to the left side.

VARIATION
Begin in the same starting position with the leg placement, straighten the back, lengthen the spine, and lift the chest. Twist and open the torso towards the right side, bending forward towards the left leg, while maintaining the sideways twisting of the upper body to the right side. Finally, catch hold of the sole of the left foot, from outside with the left hand, and from the top with the right hand.
Make sure that the twist of the torso to the right is maintained, while directing the face towards the left knee. Lengthen the spine, striving to place the forehead in front of the knee onto the left shin.

Effects

PHYSIOLOGICAL
– Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins.
– Stimulates the liver, spleen and kidneys.

ENERGETIC
– Activates the Root Chakra.
– The posture is very energizing. It unifies Prana and Apana Vayu and can lead to the awakening of Kundalini energy.
– Sublimates gross sexual energies.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
– Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groins.
– Stimulates the liver, spleen and kidneys.

Contra-Indications

– (Lower) back conditions such as inflammations or injuries.
– Slipped discs.
– Asthma.
– Diarrhea.
– Knee injury: Don’t flex the injured knee completely and support it on a folded blanket.
– Pregnancy: modified practice after first trimester.

Chakra Correlation

Muladhara Chakra - The Root Chakra

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