Wind Relieving Pose or Pavanamuktāsana (Pah-Vahn-Ah-Mook-Tah-sah-nah) is known by many names. Some addition names it is known by are:

  • Knee(s) to Chest Pose (Apanasana) **this is the name your textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE” uses”
  • 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

This asana is great as a warm-up or to end your class and can be practiced a few different ways. Your textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE,” demonstrates this asana being practiced by laying on your back and bringing one knee up to your chest. You then hold onto your knee as you bring your head toward your knee. However, it can also be practiced by bringing both knees to your chest and wrapping your hands/arms around your knees/shins. For an example of this variation, see the picture and video below.

Some of the benefits of this asana is that it is great for stretching and strengthening the back and spine while opening the chest, hips, and lower back. This asana helps restore energy and relieves fatigue by calming the mind, body, and nervous system. This also helps relieve anxiety, stress, mild depression, insomnia, and tension. Tension is especially relieved in the shoulders, neck, head, spine, and back. Other benefits are that it helps with breath awareness and relaxation as well as can help relieve headaches.

Even though this is a beginner asana, that has many benefits, there are still some contraindications, which you should be aware of as well modifications that are available to help students relax into this asana.

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.

• Students with tight hamstrings or shoulders, cannot bring their knee(s) 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 shin(s) 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. (The modification you use depends on the variation of this asana that you choose to use)
• 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. (This is the variation discussed in the textbook with a couple of added modifications)
• 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. (This is best practiced in the variation where both knees are brought to the chest)
• Pregnant students should avoid this pose (in any variation) due to abdominal pressure.

Lastly, see below for a breakdown of the chakra that is affected in this asana along with how this asana affects your dosha balance.

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.

VataThis dosha is balanced in this asana.
PittaThis dosha is increased in this asana.
KaphaThis dosha is increased in this asana.

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