Apanasana (Knees to Chest) – Overview

Lesson Overview

  • Features: Apanasana (Knees to Chest), and related poses such as Pavanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving)
  • Objective: Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.
  • Description: Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.


“pavana” = wind

“mukta”  = to liberate or to free

Wind-Relieving Pose


Knees to Chest

Also known as: Moving Outwards and Eliminating Force Posture

  • Some sources refer to this pose as Apanasana and others call it Pavanmuktasana.
  • Other sources designate Pavanmuktasana as the name for drawing in one knee and Apanasana as the name for drawing in both.
  • Pavanmuktasana is also the name given to a joint freeing series used in yoga therapy.

Heart of Pose

  • Forward Bend


This pose celebrates Vayu, the Lord of the Wind. (Vayu is a synonym for pavana, and both are associated with prana.) In the Vedas, Vayu is the deified wind, or the breath of the gods… When we practice Pavanmuktasana, we affect the pranic body, particularly the pranamaya kosha or energy sheath. – Rama Jyoti Vernon, Yoga: The Practice of Myth and Sacred Geometry 2014 pgs 41-42  link

See also: Back, Core & Side-Waist Flows to see more Apanasana variations.

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See Also

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