Supta Pawanmuktasana (leg lock pose)

Supta Pawanmuktasana (leg lock pose)

Technique

Stage 1

  1. Lie in the base position.
  2. Bend the right knee and bring the thigh to the chest.
  3. Interlock the fingers and clasp the hands on the shin just below the right knee.
  4. Keep the left leg straight and on the ground. Inhale deeply, filling the lungs as much as possible.
  5. Holding the breath, raise the head and shoulders off the ground and try to touch the right knee with the nose.
  6. Remain in the final position for a few seconds, retaining the breath and counting mentally.
  7. While slowly exhaling, return to the base position.
  8. Relax the body. Repeat 3 times with the right leg and then 3 times with the left leg.

Practice note

Ensure that the straight leg remains in contact with the ground. It is important to start with the right leg because it presses the ascending colon directly. Follow with the left leg which presses the descending colon directly.

Stage 2

  1. Remain in the base position.
  2. Bend both knees and bring the thighs to the chest. Interlock the fingers and clasp the hands on the shin bones just below the knees.
  3. Inhale deeply.
  4. Holding the breath, raise the head and shoulders and try to place the nose in the space between the two knees.
  5. Hold the breath in the raised position for a few seconds, counting mentally.
  6. Slowly lower the head, shoulders and legs while breathing out.
  7. Practice this 3 times.

Awareness

On the breath, mental counting in the final position, pressure on the abdomen and the movement.

Contra-indications

Not to be performed by persons suffering from high blood pressure or serious back conditions, such as sciatica and slipped disc.

Benefits

Supta pawanmuktasana strengthens the lower back muscles and loosens the spinal vertebrae. It massages the abdomen and the digestive organs and is, therefore, very effective in removing wind and constipation. By massaging the pelvic muscles and reproductive organs, it is useful in the treatment of impotence, sterility and menstrual problems.

Variation

Repeat the practice as described in stages 1 and 2 but change the breathing pattern slightly. Instead of inhaling before raising the body, exhale deeply and hold the breath out in the final position for a few seconds, counting mentally. Lower the head, shoulders and leg(s) while breathing in. Practice 3 rounds for both stages 1 and 2.

Benefits

This variation gives basically the same benefits as the main pose but has a more profound influence on the spine and pelvic region.