Knees-to-chest pose

Pawanmuktasana or Apanasana

Categories:
Forward bend, Relax

The knees-to-chest pose relieves lower back pain and massages the abdominal organs – reducing bloating, stomach pain and overall tension in the body.

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Step by step explanation

The knees-to-chest pose can be done by

  1. Start by lying on your back. Bring both knees into your chest and wrap your arms around the knees. Hug the arms close together and with the hands try to hold on to the opposite hands, elbows or forearms.
  2. If you find it difficult to clasp both hands around your knees, you could bring the legs a little bit outward, so the legs don’t push as much on the belly and rest your hands on your knees.
  3. Tuck your chin a little towards your chest, but make sure the back of your neck keeps resting against the floor. At the same time, press the tailbone and lower back to the floor and pull your legs a little closer towards the chest.
  4. Next, ground the shoulders into the floor, so the whole of your spine is parallel to the floor. From here you can relax your legs, feet, and hips.
  5. Breathe deep into your belly, pressing up against the thighs. You can close the eyes here.
  6. After staying for at least five, long and deep breaths, slowly release the legs and come back to lying on your back.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • Do not practice this pose when you have injured abdominal muscles, injured or painful spine, or are recovering from a hernia, or when in pregnancy.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • If you find it difficult to clasp both hands around your knees, you could bring the legs a little bit outward, so the legs do not push as much on the belly and rest your hands on your knees.
  • You could try the same pose with one leg at the time, so there is always one leg straightened. If your hips feel very tight, bend the straight leg and place the foot of that leg on the floor.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses