Kneesto Chest Pose

Knees Chest Pose Vatayanasana
Fig. 13.8: Knees-to-Chest Pose

As a counterpose to the Locust Pose (or any other backward bending exercise), you can do some "knee hugs." Lie comfortably on your back on the floor. Lift your legs off the floor as you bend your knees and hug them into your chest by clasping the area of the upper shins just below the kneecaps with your hands. This Knees-to-Chest Pose is known alternatively as pavanamuktasana, apanasana, or vatayanasana ("Wind-Relieving Pose"). Hold yourself in this position for several complete breaths.

If you would like to deepen the stretch in Knees-to-Chest Pose even further, then lift your head up and bring your forehead as close to your knees as possible. Hug your upper body against your lower body. When you're ready, release your back down to the ground as you continue to hug your knees close to your belly. Gently rock your knees from side to side. Make clockwise circles with your knees, then reverse and make counterclockwise circles. Make "windshield wipers" of your legs as you move them from side to side. Feel the wonderful massage you are giving your lower back and spine. When you are ready, gently begin to rock back and forth on your spine. As you inhale, rock backward onto your spine. As you exhale, rock forward on your spine. Continue massaging your spine with this forward and backward rocking movement for several breaths.

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