Today we explore Jānu Śīrṣāsana C (Head and Knee Pose ) from the Ashtanga Yoga primary series, or Yoga Chiktsa.  In Ashtanga Yoga, you start the practice with Sun Salutations and then move through the standing sequence.  Once you finish the final standing sequence posture, warrior two, you take a vinyasa to the seated postures.  One of the seated posture you find in Ashtanga’s first series is Janu Sirsasana C.  It is a posture that requires mobility in the hip and ankle and can be challenging for some students to take the first time they explore this pose.

Janu Sirsasana C

Like Janu Sirsasana B, Janu Sirsasana C is a unique posture in the Primary Series.  I lovingly call Janu Sirsasana C the toe crusher posture.  Chiefly because this asana requires that you press the heel of your foot into your inner thigh while you press the rest of your toes into the floor.  Therefore, this posture requires a good amount of hip mobility.  If you are like most people, you will benefit from looking at step by step variations or modifications for this posture to help you safely work your way to the full expression of this beautiful asana.

To learn about the different variations available, be sure to check out Olotita’s recent youtube video for step by step instruction for these modifications as they will prove to be extremely helpful in opening your body safely.  The result will be astounding.  You’ll safely learn to take the full expression of Janu Sirsasana C.

Janu Sirsasana C provides a wonderful stretch in your hamstring, your back, hips and side body.  This pose also opens the foot and ankle and is a great hip opener.  And just like Janu Sirsasana A & B, Janu Sirsasana C helps you incorporate concepts of tensegrity. Afterwards, you’ll find more subtle ways to ground your body as you begin to hinge forward in the posture.

Variations of Janu Sirsasana C

In Olotita’s Janu Sirsasana C video, we will explore three variations of this asana. Specifically, this will help you work your way to the full expression without rounding your lower back, over stretching your hamstrings or losing your active engagement.  But even more importantly, the first two modifications help you keep your body more upright.  They also teach you how to use your upper body to work to open the foot and ankle. The full expression can feel like too much pressure, or a crushing sensation in your foot.  So please don’t attempt the full expression the first time you take the posture.  Instead, please go slowly and build up your bodies ability to sustain this posture through the variations provided.


No matter what you do, please do not fold forward in this seated posture until your foot is pressing into your inner thigh. Until your toes press into the floor and your knee is at a 60 degree angle.  And while your knee touching the ground.  If you fold forward with your knee lifted off the ground, you will put too much undue pressure on your knee! Know that the more you take the posture, the more comfortable you’ll become with it.  The key to advancing with any yoga posture is consistency.  The more you practice, the more you’ll see your body acquire the balance, flexibility, strength, stamina or endurance needed for the posture.

If you’ll remember from Janu Sirsasana A tutorial video, A asks for a 90 degree angle from your knee. Janu Sirasasana B is a 60 degree angle.  Comparatively, Janu Sirsasana C is a 45 degree angle from your knee.

The More You Know…

To learn more about the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, also known as Yoga Chiktsa or Yoga Therapy, explore the tutorials and guided classes in this playlist, my yoga studios website and my primary series poster.

Each tutorial video is here to help you go a little deeper in your understanding of the body mechanics.  Additionally, these videos give you greater understanding of the movements, and your own body in space.

Krista Shirley

I am a level II authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher. I am passionate about sharing these teachings with all who wish to learn.  I’ve been teaching Ashtanga Yoga around the globe since 2006.  I suffered a terrible medical battle 2019-2021 and had to take time away from teaching, but as I’ve healed my own body I’ve been able to resume what I love most, which is sharing this beautiful practice with the world.

If you want to join me in person, I teach daily classes at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida. I also offer virtual sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship.  Check out for more details.

Find a Teacher Near You:

If you do not live in Central Florida and want to find an authorized teacher in your area, check out my teacher Sharath Jois’ website. You’ll find a list of all teachers authorized and certified by his yoga centre in India. 

Stay in Touch:

I invite you to join my free private facebook group. Click here to request to join  The Wholeness Collective.

❤️Be sure to signup for our newsletter to stay on top of local events and classes, Nysa products sales, new offerings, new products and more! ❤️ ❤️

❤️We appreciate all your support. If you’d like to donate to our channel: Paypal. Please put “donation” in your message. Thank you.


❤️CLASSES & PRIVATE INSTRUCTION: If you would like to book your spot for my upcoming group engagements or work privately with me on an individual basis please visit:

❤️SOCIAL: You can catch other content by following me on:

Instagram: Krista Shirley Yoga

Instagram: theyogashala_

Facebook: theyogashala

Facebook: KristaShirleyYoga

❤️For other inquires please contact:

❤️Thank you for liking, subscribing, and sharing our videos!❤️

❤️❤️ ❤️


If you are new to this channel or this yoga asana series, I invite you to check out the other videos from this yoga series.