Janushirshasana - Head on Knee




Jānuśīrṣasana.  Jānu जान : knee || lat. genu. śīrṣa शीर्ष : head, skull; upper part, forehead; anterior part, beginning.


Heel to the perineum for the left leg. The right leg is stretched forward. Grab the sole of the right foot with both hands. While exhaling, stretch the right leg forward. The leg remains stretched while (1) the stretched leg is pulled in front of the trunk using the traction of the arms and (2) the forehead is brought to the knee while straightening the torso backward.

The breathing occurs in Visamavritti while Mula Bandha is activated. The focus is on the link between the root and the forehead, while following the count of the breathing. The position is kept in immobility and the perception is on the energy that circulates in the stretched leg, while being aware that the heel of the left leg does not loose contact with the perineum.

During an exhalation, loosen the position and come back to the original one. Observe the internal action and then switch legs.


Variant I



The leg remains stretched on the ground and sideway. The other leg is flexed, with the heel coming to the perineum. The position of the legs should aim to the maximum open angle.

In this starting position, the trunk is straight, the eyelids are closed and the eyes fix the glabella point, and the elbow are stretched wit the hands as support on the ground behind the trunk. Exhale while leaning forward slightly. Inhale and straighten up the trunk by raising the arms wit the elbows stretched towards the ceiling. Hold for a moment in full-lung retention and turn towards the stretched leg. During the following exhalation, grasp the foot with the hands and lean the head as much as possible towards the knee. In this final position, the right nostril can, for example, be closed by leaning on the left knee, and the prana of the abdominal bhastrika is brought to the left.

Energy work: Visualize the circuit of the energy going through the stretched leg according to the following:

During the exhalation, it goes from the root to the hands following the back and the front. During the inhalation, it goes to the hands holding the foot to the root. The energy in this way travels in a loop using the stretched leg. The breathing continues for at least 1 to 2 minutes, followed by a complete exhalation with expulsion of residual air. At that moment, stay in empty-lung retention and apply a powerful [Uddyana Bandha – Mula Bandha – Jalandhara Bandha] lock. Perceive the energy going upward in the spine. The eyes go into Shambavi Mudra while the head slightly rotate upwards. The empty-lung retention is then intensified while fixing with intensity the upper point. Eyelids remain closed.

Finally, go out of the posture. Relax the breathing and go upwards slowly while inhaling and raising the arms stretched upwards. Rotate frontward and then exhale while bringing the arms down. Practice the integration posture.

The posture is then practiced on the other side. The energy is launched in the other circuit and careful attention is paid to balance the right and left energy work.

Note: This is a powerful and very difficult posture. In addition, pay attention to rotate the trunk first before going down. When going up, first go up and then rotate the trunk to go in the middle position. In this way, the lower back is better protected.