Janu Sirsasana A
Definition - What does Janu Sirsasana A mean?
Janu sirsasana A is a seated forward fold that also involves a slight spinal twist due to the asymmetrical positioning of the legs. One leg is bent with the knee out to the side and the body is folded forward over the other leg, which is straight. The sole of the foot of the bent leg rests against the inner thigh of the straight leg, with the heel close to the groin.
This asana forms part of the primary series in Ashtanga yoga, where all of the three variations of janu sirsasana A, B and C are performed in sequence.
The Western name for janu sirsasana A is head-to-knee pose A.
Yogapedia explains Janu Sirsasana A
Janu sirsasana comes from the Sanskrit root words janu, meaning “knee,” sirsa, meaning “head,” and asana, meaning "pose."
Like many forward bends, janu sirsasana A is considered a restorative pose because of its calming effect. It is also said to re-energize the body, relieving stress and anxiety. In addition, this is a good posture for letting go and clearing any emotional attachment as the body releases deeper into the forward bend with every exhalation. Some say that powerful emotions or fears are stored in the base of the spine and these can be cleared through consciously surrendering into janu sirsasana.
This posture can be used to help students connect with themselves. Due to the introspective nature of the posture, janu sirsasana A can be a good place to practice svadyaha, or "self study," helping the practitioner to experience more awareness and connection with the inner self.
Janu sirsasana is said to help activate and balance the muladhara chakra as it can release any tension held in the legs or lower abdomen. It is also associated with stimulating the bladder meridian in Chinese medicine, which helps one to manage change in life.