Couch Pose

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Couch Pose Mean?

Couch pose is an intermediate Ashtanga yoga supine backbend and a part of the intermediate series of Ashtanga yoga. Entered from hero pose, or virasana, the body reclines onto to the mat into reclined hero pose, or supta virasana, supported by the elbows. The arms extend from the body as the chest expands, and the crown of the head floats or rests lightly on the floor.

To release, the yogi comes out of the posture just as they came in, drawing the chin towards the chest to ensure that no pressure or compression is applied to the neck. Couch pose is known as paryankasana in Sanskrit.

Couch Pose


Yogapedia Explains Couch Pose

Intermediate poses allow yogis who have mastered the fundamentals of yoga to explore new postures and practice advanced variations of postures they already know. Couch pose is performed from hero pose as its start, and it can be attempted when the yogi can comfortably recline in the posture without experiencing strain in the ankles or knees and without the legs opening too wide, which compromises the lower back. In couch pose, the back bends and the chest expands and lifts using the strength of the lower and mid back and abdomen. With the arms extended above the head and the forearms crossed, the front and sides of the body are stretched, however, the yogi needs to keep softness in the top of the chest and throat to avoid pressure in the neck.

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