Janu Sirsasana literally means “Head to Knee Pose”, because, well… that’s where your head (more specifically your chin) will eventually end up if you keep on working at it. This could take years for some of us, or mere seconds for the bendy people, but there’s no need to despair if you’re not there.
Remember, our bodies are all different, this is not a race, and you will still reap the benefits of this pose even if you’re not a human pretzel.
Like one of my teachers used to say, the world will not stop spinning if you can’t reach your _______ to your _________.
So without further ado, let’s get to it. Before we do though, know that there are three variations of this pose A, B and C in the Ashtanga Primary Series. Each variation entails a slightly different foot positioning of your bend leg. The variation shown here is A.
- Stretches hamstrings, glutes and groin
- Stretches hips
- Stretches the spine
- Stimulates internal organs (liver & kidneys)
- Stimulates and improves digestion
- Reduces menopause symptoms
- Reduces menstrual discomfort
- Relieves (mild) headaches
- Calms the nervous system and the mind
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces fatigue
- High blood pressure
AVOID THIS POSE IF YOU HAVE:
- Knee injuries (you can do this pose, but place a blanket or a block under the bent knee for support)
- Lower back injury
If you are having trouble reaching your toes, reach for the shin of the outstretched leg instead, or use a strap. You want to make sure that above all, your back is straight as you are reaching forward with your CHIN and CHEST. Many people make the mistake of trying to reach their foreheads to their chins, which hunches the back and puts pressure on your spine.
FOR STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS OF THIS POSE GO TO: