Knees-to-Chest Pose

Last Updated: October 26, 2018

Definition - What does Knees-to-Chest Pose mean?

The knees-to-chest pose is a basic grounding posture that calms the mind and relaxes the body. It's known in Sanskrit as apanasana, which translates as “downward-moving life force pose.”

The posture begins from a supine position, then both knees are drawn into the chest and the arms are wrapped around the knees or the shins. The pose may also be practiced one leg at a time with the other leg extended straight on the ground.

Knees-to-Chest Pose

Yogapedia explains Knees-to-Chest Pose

Knees-to-chest pose serves as an effective counter pose for back bends. It also offers these benefits:

  • Relieves digestive problems, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and gas
  • Eases menstrual pain
  • Stretches the lower spine and back muscles
  • Opens the hips
  • Massages the pelvic organs
  • Eases anxiety, anger and high blood pressure

Yogis with knees problems should avoid holding the knees or shins, opting instead to grasp the hamstrings. Pregnant yoginis, particularly those in the third trimester, may find the pose uncomfortable and if so, should avoid it.

Finally, the head typically rests on the ground for this pose with the chin slightly tucked, but for a fuller expression of the pose, bring the nose to the knees.

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