Janu-Sirsasana (Head to knee pose)
Janu-Sirsasana is a combination of three Sanskrit words where Janu stands for Knee, Sirsa means Head and Asana represents Pose. It clearly means that this yoga pose is performed by focusing on head and knee as major parts.
Note that, Janu-Sirsasana is considered as a part of Ashtanga Yoga series and it is performed in a seated position. In the full expression of this pose, head touches the knees so it is also named as Head to Knee pose.
This asana leads so many health benefits and the best one is that it enhances calmness in mind and body so that person can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Sit down and spread your legs forward. Keep your spine erect and head pointing straight. Bend your left leg and place between the thighs. Right leg must be kept straight. With your hands hold your right leg, and touch your nose or head to your right knee. Do not bend your knee. Remain in this position for around two minutes and then get back to your original position. Relax for two minutes and repeat the asana with right leg.
Repeat the exercise for five times with each leg.
Things to know before performing Janu-Sirsasana:
This asana must be performed in the morning with an empty stomach. It is essential to maintain a gap of around 4-6 hours between food and Janu-Sirsasana. This asana appears little challenging to men as it takes some time to open up hamstrings, hips and lower back to perform a full range of motion. Experts believe that Janu-Sirsasana is capable enough to boost flexibility of shoulders, arms, back, hip joints, thighs, and hamstrings. It is preferred to perform this asana by the end of the sequence when practitioner’s body gets warmed up.
If you are performing this pose as a beginner, it is important to be more careful about your body movements. However, there are few medical conditions that are not suitable for performing Janu-Sirsasana. In case if you are suffering from asthma or diarrhea; it is good to avoid doing this asana. Those who have certain knee injury are advice to do not bend too much. It is even good to take a folded blanket for ensuring proper support to your body. Also, patients that are suffering from serious lower back injury or lumbar disc herniation are advised to avoid this asana.
One should also avoid performing Janu-Sirsasana or head to knee pose if he/she has high blood pressure or is already facing troubles due to some heart disease. This asana is also not suitable for pregnant and menstruating women.
Here is an important thing to note that all forward extensions enhance calmness to the mind. When the heart comes closer to gravity, it naturally starts beating slowly in a relaxing fashion. This calmness is automatically circulated to the central nervous system. Janu-Sirsasana has the ability to improve your consciousness towards the back body and it also helps to develop a highly reflective mind.
Benefits of Janu-Sirsasana:
Janu-Sirsasana activates the digestive enzymes; and stimulates the stomach, liver, spleen and gall-bladder. Rectifies the abnormalities of the breathing system, reduces obesity and makes your back lean and slender. Diabetic individuals benefit a great deal from this asana. This asana is very helpful in fighting cough and cold caused by sudden climate change. This asana assists in reducing stomach fat and is very favorable for women of any age.
Important Tip: However, pregnant women must not do this exercise.