How To Do a Head to Knee Pose?

‘Janu‘ means ‘knee,' ‘Sirsa‘ means ‘head,' and asana means pose in Janu Sirsasana.The trunk is bent down in this position, and the head brushes the leg in the final stance, giving it the name Janu-sirs-asana. It requires the body to fold, curl, and stretch to the right. The forward curve is linked to the ability to focus on oneself. 

It is a restorative posture since it promotes inner harmony and calmness. The exercises help to smooth out the back, groins, and hamstrings. Janu sirsasana is an asymmetric forward bent position in which you extend and twist at the same time. It is a beginner-level posture that belongs to the main Ashtanga yoga series. 

Head-on-knee Posture, Head-to-Knee Forward Bend, or Seated Head-to-Knee Pose are some of the other terms for it. The spine, lower back, hips, and hamstrings are the major goal muscles in this position.

The Idea of The Head to Knee Pose

The name is derived from the Sanskrit words 'Janu,’ which means 'knee,' 'Sirsa' which means 'head,' and 'asana,’ which means 'posture.' This is a forward fold in which the head is brought towards the knee while the upper body is bowed from the hips. This posture is perfect for opening the hips and hamstrings at the same time. 

Head to Knee Pose is a foundation pose, so it can create other head-to-knee poses. In a Yin yoga session, you might see a similar pose. Half-Butterfly yoga is a form of yin yoga. 

The distinction is that in Yin yoga, instead of using muscle strength to get into a forward bend, the pupil relaxes into the posture. As a result, the back is rounded and softer, and the legs are more flexible. In a Yin yoga session, the pose is performed for 3 to 5 minutes.

How To Perform The Head to Knee Pose

Step 1:

Begin in Staff pose (Dandasana), with your spine long and both legs straight out in front of you. Bring your right heel to the inside of the left thigh by bending the right leg. Your right foot's outer (pinky toe) tip should be on the carpet, and the heel should be only in front of the groin.

Step 2:

Face your left foot, and your torso turned to the left. Maintain a flexed and engaged left foot, and force down energetically through the sole to engage the left knee.

Step 3:

Stretch your arms up beside your ears while you inhale. Reach towards the ceiling with your fingers and lengthen equally on all sides of the neck.

Step 4:

On the next exhale, maintain the duration of your spine by hanging at the hips and folding forward over your stretched knee. Allow the hands to fall anywhere they can — on the ground on either side of the extended knee, on the calf, or even on the left foot.

Step 5:

To step further into the fold, avoid the temptation to collapse the chest and circle the spine. Maintain a relaxed shoulder position away from your ears, broaden your collarbones, and stretch your sternum toward your left foot's toes. Hold the posture for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Return to an upright posture on an inhale, switch the legs, then repeat to the opposite foot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Forward Bend From The Neck To The Knees?

Stretching the hamstrings, lengthening the neck, strengthening the back muscles, and massaging the internal organs benefit the head-to-knee forward bend posture. The central nervous system is calmed, agitation is reduced, and anxiety and slight depression are relieved in this posture.

In Yoga, How Can I Do The Dancers Pose?

Exhale and bend your left leg, raising your left foot near your buttock. With your left palm, grip the outside of your left foot. To make the standing leg solid, tuck your right hip in and engage your right thigh and knee. Maintain a straight torso, an open chest, and a long tailbone.

Is It Inappropriate To Stoop To Brush Your Toes?

The fact is that leaning over and brushing your toes is a typical urban misconception that your hamstrings are healthy and resilient. We don't want to try a wide forward curve from a seated stance with a rounded back and shortened hamstrings.


By adjusting the strength of your forward fold, you may render this position as critical or demanding as you want. Allowing the body to round and softly fold over the extended leg will render the posture more passive and calming by reaching the chest vigorously toward the extended leg’s foot. 

If you go for a passive variation, make sure all muscles are smooth and calm rather than fully involved. If reaching the foot of the extended leg is difficult, wrap a band over the ball of the foot and hang on to the ends with the arms completely extended. 

Keep your neck long, and your chest lifted as you begin to loosen up, and instead of pulling your upper body forward, lightly walk your hands around the harness.