Wind Relieving
PAVANAMUKTĀSANA (पवनमुकासन)
(Pah-Vahn-Ah-Mook-Tah-sah-nah)

 


‘Pavan’= wind, ‘mukta’= relieve, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Knees to Chest Pose (Apanasana)
Reclining Both Knees to Chest Pose
Apasana
Pawanmuktasana or Pavana Muktasana
Wind Release Pose
Wind Releasing Pose
Wind Removing Pose
Wind Liberating
Purifying Pose
Gas Release Pose
Resting Gas Release Pose
Double Leg Wind Relieving Pose (Dwi Pada Pavanamuktasana)
Downward Air Pose
Abdominal Breath Pose

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Supine / Stretch / Hip Opener / Restorative

1. Start in Corpse Pose (Savasana), except with your palms face down on the mat (Supine position).
2. Bend the knees to bring your heels towards your buttocks. Keep your legs close together.
3. Take a deep breath and then exhale as you engage your core muscles and quadriceps to begin lifting your thighs toward the chest. Continue lifting your legs, folding at the hips, bringing your thighs to your chest and your knees toward your chin.
4. Keep your legs together and mildly point your toes as you rest your thighs on your chest.
5. Wrap your arms around your legs, just below the knees or on the shins, and hug your knees to your chest. Hold onto either your hands, wrist, forearm, or elbows.
6. Keep your shoulders relaxed, with the head and neck on the mat in alignment with the spine. The shoulder blades should be flat to the floor.
7. Hold the pose for several breaths, allowing the weight of your arms to pull the thighs down. Continue to relax and allow your shoulders and tailbone to fall toward the mat.
8. When ready, slowly release your legs, lowering the heels back down to the mat and then lengthening the legs into Corpse Pose (Savasana).

Common Adjustments
• Thighs not to chest
• Arms over stretched / Elbows hyperextended
• Tension in the neck and shoulders
• Shoulders and/or shoulder blades not flat to the floor
• Legs not close together
• Head / Neck lifted off the mat
• Lower back arched

Modifications
• Students with tight hamstrings or shoulders, cannot bring their knees to their chest, or cannot lower their shins to the back of their thighs, can either a) hold behind their knees, b) place a strap over the shins and hold the straps as an extension of their arms, or c) they can place a bolster on their chest to wrap their legs and arms around.
• Students with a tight neck or experience discomfort can place a blanket under the head for support.
• Students with lower back pain or discomfort can place a blanket below the lower back for support.
• For students who have severely tight hips, hamstrings, and/or calf muscles, have them practice Half Wind Relieving Pose (Ardha Pavanamuktasana) with one leg to the chest and the with the other knee bent so that the foot is resting on the floor close to the buttocks. Alternatively, the leg that is not to the chest can be extended out. If this version is done and there is tension in the knee or thigh, place a bolster or pillow under the knee for comfort.
• Students who would like to relieve back tension and reduce stress, can gently rock from side to side while in Wind Relieving Pose. This also massages the back.
• Pregnant students should avoid this pose due to abdomen pressure.
• For students who would like a challenge, they can practice Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana) or Wide Happy Baby, while reaching their knees to the floor. Or practice this pose and then bring their head to their knees.

Counter Poses
• Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
• Corpse (Savasana)
• Reverse Corpse (Advasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana)
• Supine Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
• Plow (Halasana)
• Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
• Hero (Virasana)
• Supine Hero (Supta Virasana)

Anatomy
• Chest (Pectorals Major and Minor)• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Biceps and Triceps• Abdomen (Core)
• Hips (Iliopsoas)• Upper (Cervical), Middle (Thoracic), and Lower (Lumbar) Back and Spine
• Quadriceps and Hamstrings• Calf muscles

Benefits
• Stretches and strengthens the chest, spine, abdomen, biceps, triceps, hips, hip joints, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
• Opens the chest, hips, pelvic floor, and the lower back and is therapeutic for students with cervical spondylosis and diabetes.
• Lengthens the spine and helps with posture and alignment. This also helps to relieve low back stiffness and pain.
• Calms the mind, body, and nervous system, which helps relieve fatigue, anxiety, stress, mild depression, insomnia, and tension. Tension is especially relieved in the shoulders, neck, head, spine, and back.
• Massages internal organs which improves digestion and relieves constipation, gastric problems, and flatulence.
• Helps with breath awareness and relaxation, as well as relieves headaches.

Contraindications
1. Students who have a neck, shoulder, back, hip, hamstrings, or knee injury, have a severe migraine, high or low blood pressure, a slipped disc, a hernia, are in advanced stages of spondylitis, or have problems related to internal organs of the lower abdomen should avoid this pose or practice with modifications and guidance.
2. Students in their menstrual cycle or in the later stages of pregnancy should avoid this pose.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra TwoSacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Three:Solar Plexus, Self-Power, or Manipura (lustrous gem) Chakra. This is the combustion, power, and energy chakra. Its goals are vitality, strength of will, and purpose. Its location is the solar plexus.



Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbooks

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 11 – Restorative Postures as “Pavanamuktasana – Purifying, or Wind Relieving Pose”.
    • Watch the Chapter 11 video “Pavanamuktasana” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthew, this posture can be found in Chapter 11 – SUPINE POSES as “APANASANA – Apana Pose, Wind Release Pose”.

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