Intermediate Yoga

Safely Modify Head-to-Knee Pose

Modify Janu Sirsasana if needed to find safe alignment for your body.

Modify Janu Sirsasana if needed to find safe alignment for your body.

Next in YOGAPEDIAPrep Poses for Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana >

If your lower back rounds…

Yogapedia Jan. 2015 Janu Sirsasana Blanket Modification

TRY placing your sitting bones on firm folded blankets or a firm foam pad. Avoid placing your hamstrings on the blanket or pad. Take several deep breaths, inhaling and lengthening, exhaling and folding deeper.

See alsoForward Bends

If you have knee pain…

Yogapedia, Janu Sirsasana Knee Pain Modification

TRY moving the bent knee toward the straight leg. Having your knee out at a wider angle can create stress on the sartorius muscle, which runs the length of the thigh and connects to the knee.

See alsoAvoid Knee Pain and Injury in Yoga

If you have tight hamstrings…

Yogapedia Jan 15 Janu Sirsasana Modification w Strap Belt

TRY using a strap, placing it around the bottom of the arch of your extended leg. Hold one side of the strap in each hand and use the strap to help you lift the sides of your waist. Remember to only fold as far forward as you can while keeping your spine concave and your chest lifted.

See alsoNot Flexible? You Need This Seated Forward Bend

Stay Humble

Yogapedia Janu Sirsasana Head of the Knee Pose January 2015

Illusions of grandeur, or the desire to get into complicated asanas, are as much asmita, or ego, as illusions of inability or meekness. In order to keep your ego at bay, approach Janu Sirsasana or its more intense brother, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, with humility and focus. Stay present, without trying to move too fast. Try to experience what you are feeling in your body without getting wrapped up in achieving a goal. Just as these poses can heal an unquiet mind, they can also damage the spine when done with aggression or inattention, causing pain and discomfort near the sacroiliac, or SI, joint—the connection between your sacrum and your pelvis. Ask yourself, is it worth it to attain a moment’s gain for a lifetime of pain? In asana? In life?

See alsoChallenge Pose: 5 Steps to Master Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana