Janushirasana Yoga Pose: Benefits & Modifications

Janushirasana yoga pose, or head to knee pose, is one of my favorites. It’s a simple seated forward fold that has many benefits. When creating my own yoga sequences, it is almost always included.

Janushirasana yoga pose has a ton of benefits. Also listed is modifications, how to, and contraindications.

How to Do Janushirasana Yoga Pose

  • Sitting on your mat. Keep your left leg straight, bend the right leg and tuck the foot into the thigh of your left leg.
  • Center your shoulders over your left leg. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Sitting up as tall as possible.
  • Exhale and start to fold over your left leg. Keeping your spine long.
  • If you can reach your foot, do so and extend your elbows out to the sides as your arms bend.
  • If you can not reach your foot, you can hold onto your leg or place your hands on the floor on each side of your leg (or check below for modifications).
  • Slowly lower your forehead to your leg, again remember to keep a straight spine.
  • Stay in the pose for a few slow breaths.
  • Inhale to slowly come out of the pose. Sitting up tall.
  • Repeat on the right side.

Modifications

The following modifications of Janushirasana are from the video below made by the wonderful Yoga with AJ. Feel free to watch the video to see the modifications in action. In the video, there are also helpful poses to warm up for Janushirasana.

  • use a band or yoga strap around the foot if you are unable to reach your foot, remember to have your elbows extend out to the sides when your arms start to bend
  • place a yoga blanket or rolled up yoga mat under the bent knee
  • sit on a yoga blanket or a rolled up yoga mat, this should be placed under your sit bones, not under your hamstrings

Benefits of Janushirasana Yoga Pose

  • calming
  • stretches the hamstrings, groins, shoulders, and spine
  • improves digestion
  • stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • relieves anxiety, headache, symptoms of the menstrual cycle and menopause
  • therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, and sinusitis

Contraindications of Janushirasana Yoga Pose

  • asthma
  • diarrhea
  • knee injury

Another yoga pose that I have highlighted on my blog is Chakravakasana or cat-cow. This is an amazing pose for warming up your body for a yoga practice and has many other benefits. Check out Chakravakasana Yoga Pose: A Wonderful Warm Up Pose for more details.

Namaste,

Abby

Disclaimer: Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Check with your doctor before beginning any fitness/health program to avoid/reduce the risk of injury. Perform these exercises at your own risk. Abby is not responsible or liable for any injury sustained as a result of using any fitness/health program presented or advice discussed on the Journeys of Yoga blog. Please see my full disclosure for more details.

Abby is a teacher (RYT 200) and student of yoga, passionate about her yoga journey and helping others on theirs. She is the blogger behind Journeys of Yoga, a second-grade teacher and a contributing writer at TryBelle Magazine. Learn more about Abby. You can also contact her here.