"Do not hold on things and people. By 'letting go' we are relieved, both physically and emotionally. "
Pawanmuktasana or Pavanamuktasana is the air-free, anti-flatus pose. As the name suggests, is an excellent pose for releasing gas from the digestive tract. It is best practiced in the morning, before any other asanas.
Our bodies accumulate stress of all kind daily. When stress is released there come feelings of peace and relaxation. The practice of Pavanamuktasana releases flatulence and helps alleviate indigestion and constipation.
Dynamic Variation 1: (Ekapada– one legged pose)
Lie supine at full length on a mat, feet together and hands resting beside the body.
Mind is calm and body relaxed. Inhale.
The sequence of steps:
Exhaling, bend the right leg at the knee and draw it towards the abdomen. Clasp the knee (or the shin) with both the hands and pull the knee up to the chest.
Wrap the forearms just below the knee (the fingers clasping the opposite elbows), and keep it firmly pressed against the chest. Complete the above steps in 3 seconds, while exhaling.
Ensure to rest the head and neck on the floor.
Try to maintain the left leg straight.
Maintain this pose for 6 seconds with breath suspended (final position).
Returning to starting position: Inhaling, in 3 seconds, gently release the clasped hands and slowly straighten the leg to bring it back to the starting position.
Without pausing, repeat the above steps with the left leg to complete 1 round.
Pavanamuktasana or the Wind-Relieving Pose
Dynamic Variation 2: (Dvipada–with both the legs).
Starting position: Same as explained above.
The sequence of steps: Same as explained, above, except that bend and clasp both the legs, simultaneously.
Static technique: (Dvipada–with both the legs).
Starting position: same as explained above.
The sequence of steps:
Follow the steps as explained, above, to attain final position.
Maintain the final position, breathing normally – slow and rhythmic.
Practice 4 rounds of the dynamic variation, with pause in-between rounds.
In case of static pose, maintain the final position for 30 seconds, gradually taking it up to 1/2 minutes with regular practice. Breathing should be normal–slow and rhythmic. Practice once/session.
Beginners not accustomed to regular exercises are advised to start with Pawanmukasna slowly and carefully until the abdominal muscles have gained sufficient strength.
In case of a knee problem, it is advisable to hold the thighs (just above the back of the knee joint).
Abdominal surgery or inflammation,
during menstruation and pregnancy.
Benefits of Pawanmuktasana – the anti-flatus pose:
This posture gives significant relief to flatulence by quickening the movement and expulsion of the intestinal flatus.
Favorable improvement in cases of flabby abdomen, sub-normal functions of the abdominal viscera and pelvic organs.
Relief in case of chronic constipation and sluggish liver.
Shoulder muscles, triceps, gluteus maximus and hamstrings are stretched.
Offers deep internal pressure massage.
Inculcates a feeling of “letting go”.