Pavanamuktasana, or wind removing pose, as it is mostly remembered. Yes we may giggle at the name, but this posture helps stimulate your digestive system, working deep into the hip joints and creating wonders for your body. This posture massages the ascending, descending and transverse colon, helping the body to absorb nutrients from food more readily. Feeling relieved…?? You will!
You’ve had your two minute savasana and stillness, now we’re ready to crack on with the floor series…
Bringing your right leg up, interlock your 10 fingers (including your thumb) into a nice, tight grip. Exactly 2 inches below the knee. Not on the knee cap, it must be below the knee. If you have the strength and flexibility, try to keep the back of your head on the floor.
Once you have the correct grip, pull your right knee down, all the way, towards your right shoulder, avoiding the ribcage. Keep your both hips and both shoulders on the floor. Try to avoid rolling over to your right side. Alignment is key. If you are unable to touch your knee on your shoulder, it may help to bring your knee further outside, towards the deltoid.
Make sure that your left leg is as straight as it can go, so that the calf muscle is touching the floor. If this is not possible just yet, then flex your left foot back towards your face. Chin down towards the chest, to get the back of the neck flat on the floor, no gap underneath. Bring your elbows close to your body, with the shoulders relaxed, touching the floor. Pull down harder to your point of resistance and ‘freeze’ there. Keeping the eyes open and breathing normally throughout.
Stillness is key here. You may hear your teachers say ‘Freeze. Don’t move. You can’t even blink your eyes’, creating ‘maximum pressure in your lower abdomen’. This is because wonderful things are happening to your body in this posture. Your right leg in this position is massaging your ascending colon, whilst your left leg on the second side in this position, massages the descending colon. So allow your body to do it’s magic.
Change. Arms and legs on the floor.
2nd Part: REPEAT (above) on the LEFT…
Once you have worked both legs individually, immediately bring both your legs up, grabbing the elbows around each other. The elbows should go over the legs, a couple of inches below the knee. If the elbows aren’t accessible to you yet, hold where you can. Grabbing your wrist still gives you all the benefits of the posture. Every class, try to move your grip further towards the elbows and one day this should be yours. Maintaining a ‘nice , tight, firm grip. Compact.’ Your feet should be side-by-side, in a relaxed position, with the chin down and neck flat on the floor. Eyes open throughout and breathing normal.’FREEZE’-again. Here in the 3rd part of this posture you are massaging your transverse colon.
‘Eventually, in the future, when you improve your skeletal system (the bone joints) enough, then only, your total spine is going to be flat on the floor.’
Change. Legs down. Arms down. And breathe.