An Easy Guide to Janu Sirsasana, or Janu Sirsasana Head To Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana, or Janu Sirsasana Head To Knee Pose, is a difficult pose for beginners to master, as it requires flexibility and strength in the back. It’s worth putting in the time to perfect this pose, however, as it has many health benefits, from alleviating high blood pressure and insomnia to aiding digestion.

Janu Sirsasana

This yoga pose is a real pick-me-up - reducing tiredness, fatigue and headaches - especially the ones that stem from the base of the neck. 

 It is also a great stretch for the whole of the spine, the shoulders, groins and legs. It also stimulates the liver and kidneys - which makes it a good detox.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Janu Sirsasana, or Janu Sirsasana Head To Knee Pose, in easy steps

Step 1:

To begin, sit on the mat with your legs stretched in front of you (Dandasana).

Step 2:

Sit on a blanket or block if you need extra lift in the spine.

Step 3:

Inhaling, bend your left knee and place the sole of the left foot against the inner right thigh - near the perineum. Encourage the knee back as far as possible to get a good stretch. If it’s not on the floor, give it a bit of support with a blanket or a rolled-up mat.

Step 4:

Engage the right leg by pressing out through the heel of the foot, drawing the thigh bones towards the hips, lifting the knee caps, pressing them into the floor. Draw the inner groins towards the sacrum.

Step 5:

Lift through the spine and root through the sit bones.

Step 6:

Exhaling, rotate the upper body slightly to the right, aim for your belly button to be in line with the right thigh.

Step 7:

Inhaling, lift the upper body and push the top of the right thigh into the floor, using the right hand to increase the twist to the right

Step 8:

Reach your hands to the outside of the foot and lengthen the upper body with arms fully outstretched.

Step 9:

Exhale and stretch forward from the pelvis. As your body drops, create space across the upper back by widening your elbows. Try not to tip.

Step 10:

Rest your forehead then chin on your leg, wherever you can get.

Step 11:

Stay for 5 to 20 breaths. Inhale and release the leg. Repeat with the legs reversed.

Mountain Janu Sirsasana

Yoga pose category:  Seated and twists

Level: 2

If you are struggling to reach the foot of the extended leg, try using a yoga strap by loop it around the sole of the foot. Don’t pull yourself forward when using the strap, however –slowly move your hands down the strap until your hands are near to the foot, using the strap as a balance.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Janu - knee

Sirsa - head

Asana - pose 

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Janu Sirsasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:






High blood pressure




Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Janu Sirsasana if you have any of the following health conditions:

Knee injury

Lower back injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.