Head-to-knee forward bend (Janu Sirsasana)

by | Jun 12, 2020 | Yoga Poses


Reviewed by  Dr. Andrew Grover,  CPT


  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis
  • Relieves anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort
  • The liver and kidneys are stimulated.
  • Menstrual and menopausal disorders are reduced.


  • Make sure the bent-leg foot doesn’t slide under the straight leg. You should be able to look down and see the sole of the foot. 
  • Keep the bent-leg foot active too. Broaden the top of the foot on the floor and press the heel toward the inner groin of the straight leg.


How to do

  • Adjust the surface under your seat so that your sit bones are firmly anchored.
  • Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot to your right inner thigh.
  • Square your torso over your extended right leg. Begin to bring your torso down to your leg by angling your pelvis forward so that the bend initiates from your hips instead of your lower back.
  • Keep your right foot flexed while pressing the back of the right thigh down toward the floor.
  • When you reach your maximum forward bending limit; you can maintain your straight spine and long neck in an active position, or you can relax your heart and head down toward the extended leg, allowing the spine to round. 
  • If your hands reach your foot, hold your foot. If not, you may hold on to your ankle or calf, or place your hands on the floor wherever they reach.
  • On each inhale, extend the spine long. On each exhale, deepen the forward bend.
  • Stay here for five to 8 – 10 breaths and then straighten both legs, shake them out, and repeat the pose on the other side.


  • Avoid this pose if you’ve recent or chronic back or knee injury or inflammation.
  • If during this asana you have any kind of leg cramps or you have pain in your knees, then you should immediately leave that posture, do not forcefully try to do this asana. 

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