Noose Pose, Pasasana, (posh-AH-suh-nuh)
pasa (noose) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Rope Pose, Pasasana
Pose Type: Twisting, Stretching, Strengthening, Balancing
Form a ring with your arms and come low to the ground in this challenging spinal twist
Noose Pose Fundamentals
Challenge your balance, patience, and stability in this advanced spinal twist. Noose Pose got its name as it literally resembles a noose or a loop that tightens a rope. This shape is created by bounding the arms around bent knees. For the same reason, it is also commonly called Rope pose.
Pasasana can be intimidating, as it presents an intense challenge both for your strength and flexibility. But instead of fearing it, approach it with the idea of building confidence and personal power. The challenge of the pose may help you cultivate your strength and learn how patient, powerful, and strong you really are.
However, know that it is also possible you will never perfectly nail Noose pose. That’s quite common, as it doesn’t only require a lot of time of dedicated practice – there are also anatomical reasons why you might not reach that picture-perfect version.
Noose pose challenges your sense of balance, and you shouldn’t approach it if you didn’t already build a stable foundation with yoga. Work towards Pasasana by first developing your deep squat, balance, and twists separately, and only when you feel rooted and strong in all these elements, should you begin to work on this pose.
We cannot tell you when you are ready for Noose Pose. A teacher can help you with that, but also your own yoga experience. When you develop a deep understanding of your body, you will be able to know with complete confidence that you are ready for the pose, and not attempting it before time.
Even when you attempt it – be patient with yourself. It may take months, or even years, to achieve to master Pasasana. But the practice alone brings benefits, especially if you do it strategically and with respect towards your body.
This advanced pose was first mentioned in the 19th-century text called Sritattvandhi, a text which explores icons and figures found in South India, but also illustrates 122 yoga poses.
Later, the pose was popularized by two renowned yoga teachers, both pupils of Krishnamacharya; B.K.S Iyengar, and Sri Pattabhi Jois. For this reason, you will encounter this pose in both Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga sequences.
Noose Pose & Energetics
When mastered, this pose will not only have physical benefits. It is also believed to help clear the energy channel in the body, and allow prana, or vital energy, to freely flow and reach every cell in your body.
Noose Pose stimulates the Solar Plexus Chakra, which is another reason why it may bring a sense of inner confidence and power.
Noose Pose Benefits
- By putting pressure on joints, including ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and wrists, the pose may help improve their stability.
- Strengthens the shoulders, hips, and back; lengthens the chest, and improves overall flexibility in the body.
- By opening the chest and the heart, the pose helps you breathe deeper, and may also help you better understand how to activate the intercostal muscles or the breathing muscles which sit between the ribs.
- It may improve the circulation of blood and oxygen in the body, reducing fatigue and calming the mind.
- Stimulates internal organs, boosting detoxification, but also improving blood flow to the organs. This may improve the function of the digestive system.
How To Do Noose Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Begin standing in Mountain Pose to establish proper alignment in your feet. Keep the toes together, and heels slightly apart. Balance your weight between all four corners of the feet.
2. Bend your knees, and with your thighs active, come into a full squat, bringing your buttocks to the ankles.
3. Move your knees slightly to the left to open up space for the twist. Turn your torso to the right, keeping the belly and the ribs close to the thighs.
4. Lift your left arm and shoulder and place the shoulder to the outside of the right shin. Press with your arm to your thigh to encourage more opening in the chest.
5. Turn the left palm down and wrap it around the right leg. Then move your right arm behind your back and grasp the wrist with your left hand. Use this bind to deepen the twist.
6. Hold the pose for 3 to 5 breaths, and release. Remain in the center for a moment, then move to the other side.
Tips And Tricks:
- If tight shoulders prevent you from binding your hands around your thighs, don’t force anything. Instead, twist and bring your hands to your chest. In this manner, you will slowly and safely develop flexibility for the full expression of the pose.
- This pose is complex, and it might be difficult to master all the elements at once. You can start easing into the pose, by first practicing the twist while sitting on a chair or practicing next to a wall to help you with balance.
- Another option would be to have a belt by your side, to help expand your grip if you are close to the bind.
- Activate your hamstrings while lowering to the squat. By keeping both the thighs and hips engaged, you will protect your knees and will gain more benefit for your strength.
- Squeeze your knees together, and keep your ribs close to your thighs. Always balance your weight on your heels.
Noose Pose Variation:
Noose Pose Variation: Heels Elevated
If your heels don’t reach the floor when you are in a low squat, support them with a rolled-up towel or a blanket. If you have no prop nearby, you can also roll up your mat and place that under the heels.
Although your heels are lifted, you should still balance through your heels – you shouldn’t balance your weight on the balls of the feet or the toes.
This variation will help you learn to hold the pose with proper alignment, and will also help you build stability. Except for elevating the heels, all other steps for this variation are the same as in the full expression of the pose.
Noose Pose Variation: Hips Elevated
If it’s difficult to balance the pose, you can also practice with a block. Sit on a yoga block, and keep your knees bent in front of you and the soles of the feet on the floor.
Engage your abs and move your knees to the right, to open more space for the twist. Then, slowly move the torso to the left, and place the left hand on the floor. Wrap your right shoulder around the outside of the left knee, and fold your chest down towards the thigh. Remain here, or put your hands in a prayer position if you want to work more on your balance.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Uneven Knees. When you are twisting, one knee may want to come forward. Work on keeping your knees together, which will also help keep your hips square.
If you have any type of injury in the lower back, neck, or hips or had recent surgery on the internal organs, it would be best to avoid this pose. Since virtually every joint and muscle is active in the pose, it might be best to consult with a yoga teacher before you attempt the pose, even with an old injury or surgery. Those who struggle with inflammatory bowel disease, spondylitis, arthritis, or high blood pressure should also refrain from practicing this pose.
Revolved Side Angle Pose
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