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Janu Sirsasana (/ˈɑːn ʃərˈʃɑːsɑːnɑː/ JAH-noo shər-SHAH-sah-nah[1] Sanskrit: जानु शीर्षासन; IAST: jānu śīrṣāsana [dʑaːnu ɕiːrʂaːsənə]), Head-to-Knee Pose,[2][3][4][5] Head-to-Knee Forward Bend,[6] Head of the Knee Pose,[7][8] or Head-on-Knee Pose[9] is an asana. It is part of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series and is commonly practiced as a seated asana in many styles of yoga.


The name comes from the Sanskrit words janu (जानु, jānu) meaning "knee", shirsha (शीर्ष, śīrṣa) meaning "head", and āsana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat".[10] Although it bears a similar name, Janu Sirsanana bears little resemblance to Sirsasana (Headstand).


In a seated position, one leg is extended with toes pointing upward, and the other leg is bent with knee pointing away from the straight leg and the sole of the foot in by the groin. The torso turns and folds over the extended leg.

Janu Sirsasana is a spinal twist, as well as a forward fold. The potential is to free up constriction in different parts of the back and to loosen the hamstrings.

Janu Sirsasana differs from Paschimottanasana in its asymmetry in the legs and hips, and in the twisting action this asana imparts to the spine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Budilovsky, Joan; Adamson, Eve (2000). The complete idiot's guide to yoga (2 ed.). Penguin. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-02-863970-3. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Janu Shirshasana A - AshtangaYoga.info". Archived from the original on 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  3. ^ Long, Ray (22 January 2011). Yoga Mat Companion 2: Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends. Greenleaf Book (Distributor). p. 114. ISBN 978-1-60743-942-4. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  4. ^ Fishman, Loren Martin; Small, Eric (20 June 2007). Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis: A Journey to Health and Healing. Demos Medical Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-932603-17-0. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  5. ^ Long, Ray (August 2009). The Key Poses of Yoga: The Scientific Keys, Volume II. Greenleaf Book (Distributor). p. 100. ISBN 978-1-60743-239-5. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Yoga Journal - Head-to-Knee Forward Bend". Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  7. ^ Active Interest Media, Inc. (November 1988). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 35. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  8. ^ Active Interest Media, Inc. (March 1982). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 42. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  9. ^ Ramaswami, Srivatsa; Hurwitz, David (13 June 2006). Yoga Beneath the Surface: An American Student and His Indian Teacher Discuss Yoga Philosophy and Practice. Da Capo Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-56924-294-0. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Janu Shirshasana A - AshtangaYoga.info". Retrieved 2011-04-09.

Further reading[edit]

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