Asana: Janu Sirsasana

6 Jan

Janu Sirsasana (head of the knee pose) is a seated forward fold.

This pose stretches the hamstring muscles, tones pelvic floor and deep abdominals (through breathing), lengthens the muscles of the spine, and strengthens the trunk.  Breathe slowly and fully as you practice, expanding on the inhale and drawing navel toward spine on the exhale; sit up and bend the knees to rest.  Notice sensation in your body, and please come out of the pose if you feel pain.

Janu Sirsasana

  • Eases stress by relaxing the heart and the mind
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Gradually corrects the curvature of the spine and rounded shoulders
  • Eases stiffness in shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers
  • Tones abdominals
  • Relieves stiffness in legs and strengthens leg muscles

Roger Cole, PhD’s article about finding balance in Paschimottanasana ~ Round Control ~ also applies to this pose.  The most common tendency for beginners I see is to round the spine in this pose, which is why I teach it as a neutral spine hip hinge.  However, this is not the full pose, and as you will read in Cole’s article, balance between rounding and neutral is where practitioners can find the best benefit.


Approach these asanas slowly and mindfully. If something hurts, back out of the pose gently and reassess. Do not ever push through pain. The techniques and suggestions presented in these videos are not intended to substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. Jessie Tierney and YogAscent/Horseback Yoga videos and website assume no responsibility for injuries suffered while practicing these techniques. If you are new to exercise or yoga, are elderly, have any chronic or recurring conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, arthritis, heart disease, and so on, seek your physician’s advice before practicing to determine necessary precautions.

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