Thursday, July 10, 2008

Janusirasana - The Head-to-Knee Pose

"Janu" means "knee" and "Siras" means "head" in Sanskrit. The head is made to rest on the knee in this posture, hence the name.


1. Sit erect in Sukhasana.
2. Stretch the legs forward.
3. Spread the legs and keep the heels about fifteen inches apart.
4. Bending the right knee outward and sliding the outer edge of the right foot along the floor, draw it in towards the left thigh.
5. With the help of the hands, press flat the right sole against the inside of the left thigh. The upper end of the right heel must press the perineal space and the bent right knee must rest on the floor.
6. Keep the trunk and head erect.
7. Inhaling, raise the hands above the head with the palms facing outwards.
8. Exhale completely.
9. Keep the knees stiff.
10. Take a deep breath.
11. Exhaling, draw in your abdomen and bend the trunk and head forward and downward from the waist against the left thigh, keeping the head between the upper arms. While doing so, extend forward the forearms and fingers towards the extended left foot and clasp the ball of the foot firmly with the interlaced fingers of both hands.
12. Inhale deeply again.
13. Exhaling, press the knee of the extended left leg on the floor and bending the elbows outward, slowly bend down the head and trunk further.
14. Pulling the trunk forward, rest your forehead on the left knee-joint.
15. Lower the elbows gradually and rest them on the floor.
16. The entire back of the stretched leg and the back of the knees must touch the floor closely.
17. Maintain this position comfortably as long as you can hold out your breath or until any strain is felt at the back of the extended leg.
18. Inhaling, get back slowly to the starting position in the reverse order.
19. Repeat the identical movements with the right leg stretched out.


* Janusirasana has a beneficial effect on the sciatic nerve and on the solar plexus.

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