Knee Crank in Yoga – Janu Chakra

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Knee Crank in Yoga - Janu Chakra

Janu Chakra, also known as Knee Crank in Yoga, is a seated forward bend that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and lower back while also improving the flexibility of the hips and knees. The pose helps stimulate the abdominal organs, helping to improve digestion and elimination.

English NameKnee Crank
Sanskrit NameJanu Chakra
Hindiजानु चक्र
Base positionSitting
Body PartKnees
CategoryPawanmuktasana series 1
Category (English)Antirheumatic yoga poses
BenefitsStrengthens the knee joint, and strengthens abdominal muscles. Helps relieve menstrual cramps.
Janu Chakra

How To Do the Knee Crank in Yoga – Janu Chakra

  • Sit in the base position with the legs outstretched and the feet together. Place the hands beside and slightly behind the buttocks.
  • Lean back a little, using the arms to support the back. Keep the spine straight.
  • Bend the right knee and bring the thigh near the chest. 
  • Place the hands under the right thigh and interlock the fingers or cross the arms holding the elbows.
  • Raise the right foot from the ground.
  •  Rotate the lower leg from the knee in a large circular movement; try to straighten the leg at the top of the upward movement.
  • The upper leg and trunk should be completely still. 
  • Rotate I0 times clockwise and then I0 times anti-clockwise. 
  • Repeat with the left leg.

Breathing pattern while doing Knee Crank – Janu Chakra

  • Inhale on the upward movement. 
  • Exhale on the downward movement.

Benefits of Knee Crank – Janu Chakra

Overall, Janu Chakra is a gentle, seated pose that can help improve flexibility, tone the abdominal muscles, and promote relaxation and stress relief. It is a great pose to include in your regular yoga practice, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting or standing throughout the day.

  • Improved flexibility: Janu Chakra stretches the hamstrings, calves, and lower back, which can help improve flexibility in those areas.
  • Strengthened abdominal muscles: The pose is believed to stimulate the abdominal organs, helping to tone and strengthen the muscles in that area.
  • Increased blood flow: As you fold forward in Janu Chakra, you may feel a gentle stretch in your hips and thighs. This can help increase blood flow to those areas, promoting healthy circulation throughout the body.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety: Like many yoga poses, Janu Chakra can help promote relaxation and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Improved digestion: By stimulating the abdominal organs, Janu Chakra may help improve digestion and elimination.
  • Relief from menstrual cramps: Some women find that Janu Chakra can help relieve menstrual cramps and discomfort.


While Janu Chakra is generally safe for most people to practice, it may not be suitable for individuals with knee or hip injuries. If you are new to yoga or have any health concerns, it is always best to consult with a qualified yoga teacher or healthcare professional before attempting this or any other yoga pose. People with weak abdominal muscles, back conditions, high blood pressure or heart conditions should not attempt.

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