The word “Janu” means knee. “Sirsa” means head. In this posture, the subject sits with one leg straight on the floor and the other bent at the knee. Hold the extended foot with both the hands and rest the head on that knee.
- Sit with both legs stretched, heels together.
- Place the palms on the floor by the side of the buttocks.
- Make the spine, neck and head erect.
- Close the eyes.
I. Starting position (Sthiti): Dandasana
- Sit on the ground, keep the legs stretched straight in front.
- Bend the left knee and move it towards the left. Keep the outer side of the left thigh and the left calf on the floor.
- Rest the left heel against the inner side of the left thigh near the perineum. The big toe of the left foot touches the inner side of the right thigh. Make an obtuse angle between the two thighs. Do not keep the left knee in line with the left thigh perpendicular to the right leg. Place the left knee as far back as possible in such a way that the body is stretched from the bent leg.
- Extend the arms forward towards the right foot and hold it with the hands. First hold the toes of the right foot, then gradually hold the sole, then the heel and finally extend the arms and hold the wrist of one hand with the other, beyond the stretched foot.
- Keep the right leg stretched throughout by tightening the knee. The back of the right knee should rest on the floor.
- Exhale, move the trunk forward by bending and keeping the elbows apart and place the forehead, then the nose, then the lips and lastly the chin beyond the right knee. Then rest on either side of the right knee. Don’t let the leg tilt. In the beginning the leg may tilt towards the right side.
- Stretch the back completely, pull the trunk forward and rest the chest against the right thigh.
- Remain in this posture and breathe deeply according to your capacity (approximately 30sec- 60 sec).
- Breathe in, lift the head and the trunk, straighten the arms and gaze up for few seconds. Extend the spine and try to keep it concave.
- Release the hand grip on the right foot, straighten the left leg and retrieve the initial position.
- Repeat posture keeping the left leg stretched out, bending the right leg at the knee. Remain in this posture for the same length of time on both the sides.
This asana is known to stimulate digestion. It is also said to tone up the liver, spleen and kidneys. Persons with enlarged prostate gland are also known to be benefited by this posture. Practise this asana with Sarvangasana.
For beginners: If toes cannot be reached, stretch as far along the leg as possible, holding onto your knee, shin or ankle. Gradually and subsequently, with practice, it would be easier for you to stretch each part of your body separately-the buttocks, the back, ribs, spine, armpits, elbows and arms. Concentrate on keeping your outstretched leg completely (thigh, knee and calf) touching the floor.