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What Is Pavanamuktasana?

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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 05 December 2016
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Pavanamuktasana is a type of yogic posture that helps to remove toxic gases from the digestive system. It is a Sanskrit word that combines three different words. Pavan stands for wind, and mukta means release, while asana translates as posture. The literal translation of the word is a posture that helps to release wind from the body. This is a very gentle asana yoga that involves moving one or both legs and holding the posture before repeating it again.

Based on ancient yogic percepts that involve harmony with nature, the pavanamuktasana helps the entire body in various ways. Firstly, it massages the colon and compresses the digestive system, exerting pressure systematically on the belly region. Any excess gas trapped in the large intestine is expelled through this process. Not only does practicing this asana help in relieving the problem of flatulence, but it also helps with conditions such as constipation, piles, and blood impurities. People with uterus disorders, intestinal worms, and rheumatism also find this asana helpful in obtaining some relief.

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Practicing this asana also helps deal with fat around the abdomen and hips. It tones up the thighs and abodomen, removes fat from the hip area, and improves hip flexibility. It also stimulates the liver, spleen, and both large and small intestines. Overall digestion is improved, and the intestines function better liberated from excess gases. The pavanamuktasana is also believed to reduce stiffness in the lower back and spine and is helpful for those suffering from joint pain. Additionally, it normalizes the acids in the system, improves lung function, and prevents heart trouble.

The asana begins with the person lying flat on the back, while keeping the heels of the legs together. If done one leg at a time, the pavanamuktasana begins with the person inhaling deeply, bending the right knee toward the stomach and holding it there with both hands. The head is raised above the ground and the chin is brought forward until it touches the kneecap. It's important to keep the thigh and knee pressed against the belly and chest to get the full benefit of this posture. The practitioner then alternates with the other leg, holding each pose for around a minute and repeating the posture for a couple of minutes.

Best learned under the guidance of a yoga teacher, the pavanamuktasana can also be done with both legs. It is not advised for pregnant women or for those who have had a recent stomach operation. People who suffer from conditions like piles and hernia are advised to perform the pavanamuktasana only after consulting an expert. Some of the important things to remember to gain the full benefit of this asana is to exhale and inhale at the right times and touch the chin to the knees. Keeping the legs together, pointing the toes, and pressing the folded knees down on the abdomen are some other points to keep in mind.

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