Janu sirsana comes from the Sanskrit root words janu, meaning “knee,” sirsa, meaning “head,” and asana, meaning "pose."
Like many forward bends, janu sirsasana C is considered a restorative pose because of its calming and re-energizing effects. It can also be a good posture to practice letting go and clearing any emotional attachment as one releases into the forward bend. Some say that powerful emotions or fears are stored in the base of the spine and these can be cleared through consciously surrendering to janusirsasana.
This posture can be used to help students connect with themselves. Due to the introspective nature of the posture, janu sirsasana can be a good place to practice svadyaha, or self study, helping the practitioner to experience more awareness and connection with the inner self. This more challenging variation of the asana can provide a reminder to students to practice ahimsa, or non-violence, and to only practice the posture once the body is open enough to allow it without injury.
Finally, 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.