Wind Relieving Pose, Pavanamuktasana, (pah-van-ah-mook-TAHS-uh-nuh)
pavana (wind) + mukta (freedom) + asana (pose)
Also Known As: Knees-to-chest, Apanasana, Gas Release Pose
Release your tensions, and …. your winds, in this restorative yoga asana.
Wind Relieving Pose Fundamentals
You will literally relieve your “winds” in this reclined yoga pos which literally translates to release or freedom from winds.
Use this pose whenever you feel bloated… but maybe skip it in a group class.
Wind Relieving Pose is accessible to everyone and brings a sense of relief, not only physically but also energetically and mentally.
It massages the internal organs of the abdomen and releases tension in the lower back.
It also helps relieve all the pent-up gases, which can otherwise lead to severe issues, so please practice somewhere where you can freely “release them” without shame, to truly get the benefit of this pose.
Mentally, this pose will bring a sense of relaxation, comfort and remind you to take care of yourself.
It will ground you and make you feel more secure and emotionally stable by balancing the Root and Sacral chakras.
Wind Relieving Pose Benefits
- The main benefit of this pose, as the name suggests, is relieving toxic gasses from the body.
- Improves the function of the digestive system, reducing indigestion, constipation, acidity, and bloating.
- Releases tension in the hips, lower back, and thighs.
- Tones ab muscles and improves flexibility in the spine.
- Improves lung and heart function, and increases the flexibility of the diaphragm, which allows you to breathe deeper.
- Regulates hormonal imbalances, helping stabilize your mood and emotions.
- Relaxes the body and mind, and brings a sense of calm and release.
How To Do Wind Relieving Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
- Begin lying on your back and pull your knees towards the chest.
- Hug your knees, and grab opposite elbows, wrists, or hands.
- Tuck your chin, but keep the head on the floor; try to press your entire back into the floor.
- Press your lower back into the floor, simultaneously pulling your knees towards the belly.
- Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths, then release and completely relax in Corpse Pose.
Tips And Tricks:
- For those with larger stomachs or chests, entering the full expression of this pose might be difficult, especially wrapping both hands around the knees. Instead, draw the knees in but keep them slightly to the sides of the body and hold them with one hand each. Alternatively, you can wrap a strap around the shins.
- Draw your tailbone down, and keep the entire back, from the head to the hips on the floor, lengthening the spine.
- When you enter the pose, you can use your breath and add a pulse: slightly release the grip on the inhale, and pull the knees back to the chest on the exhalation. Repeat for a couple of reps.
- Keep your face, jaw, and neck relaxed.
Wind Relieving Pose Variations:
Wind Relieving Pose Variation: Knees Apart
This variation is perfect for those with a larger chest or belly.
Instead of keeping the knees together, open them to the side, and hold them with the same-sided hand. Bring the knees close to the sides of the abdomen.
Wind Relieving Pose Variation: Supine Wall Squat
This is a great alternative for the Wind Relieving Pose for those with a larger frame, pregnant women, or those who want an even more passive version of Wind Relieving Pose.
It is also recommended for those who are recovering from illness and are looking for a more restorative practice.
Lay your arms flat on the ground, relaxing the palms. Then place your feet on the wall, bending the knees. If the pose is too deep, just move your hips slightly away from the wall.
Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then move away from the wall into Corpse Pose.
Wind Relieving Pose Variation: Single Leg
This is a common variation of Wind Relieving Pose. You can use it as a prep or to completely replace the asana.
To perform this asana, bring one knee to the chest, holding it with both hands, and keep the other leg extended on the floor.
Performing this asana can help improve the functioning of the digestive system by stimulating all parts of the colon.
It is recommended to always start with the right knee drawn to chest and the left leg extended, and end with the left knee bent. The reason is that the right knee with compress the ascending colon, and the left knee will place pressure on the descending colon.
In this way, we stimulate digestion, and release all toxins and gas.
You can bring the nose to the knee to deepen the stretch.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Flex the feet. Always flex the feet in poses where the legs are bent to protect the knee joints.
Breathe deeply. We often forget about our breath in supine poses, but this is where we can get a ton of benefits from them. Not only will deep breathing help with releasing the gas in Wind Reliving Pose but will also make it more restorative for both the body and the mind.
Keep the shoulders relax. It’s normal to tense the shoulders in this asana because you are squeezing the knees with your hands. However, try relaxing the shoulders to the floor and using gravity to gently pull the knees down.
Avoid this asana if you are suffering from a hernia or abdominal and spinal surgeries. Also, refrain from the pose in case of sciatica. If pregnant, practice with your knees wide.
For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.
Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.