Yoga Teacher Software
  • Create better class plans in 5 min
  • Uses drop and drag technology
  • Access 1700+ shared class plans
  • Archive your class designs
Join Now

Knee to Chest | Apasana

Begin from corpse pose (savasana).   On the inhale, bend the right knee and interlock the fingers below the knee.  The left leg remains extended and on the mat/ground.   On the exhale, roll the head and shoulders off the ground, bringing the nose towards the right knee.  Hold for 1-3 breaths.   On the inhale, roll the head and shoulders back to the start position and release the right leg.  Repeat 3 times with the right leg and then three times with the left leg.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments:

Awareness is focused on the use of breath to support the movement of the spine and contracting of the abdominals to massage the digestive organs. Use descriptive instructions such as – Long inhale into a deep stretch of the left hip, leg and abdominals as you draw the right the right knee towards you. Slowly exhale, bringing nose towards the knee. Hold here to focus on what’s happening on the inside. The right leg presses into the abdomen and gently massages the colon. Finish and end the pose with another deep inhale into the stretch upper back and right hip, leg and abdominals are released back to lying down position.

Technical Comments:

As this pose works directly to massage the digestive organs – specifically the colon – it is important to bend the right leg first – to massage the ascending colon. Then move to the left and the descending colon.

Benefit Comments:

  • Strengthens lower back muscles
  • Improves flexibility of upper back and spine
  • Massages abdomen and pelvic muscles
  • Improves function of colon
  • Remedy for painful wind and constipation
  • Massages reproductive organs

Watch out for:

  • Extended leg coming up off the floor (Place blanket or folded mat under thigh/ back of knee )
  • Neck and back pain (head and shoulders remain on floor)

Contraindications

  • High blood pressure
  • Neck and back pain (Head and shoulders remain on ground)
  • Slipped disc and sciatica
  • Advanced stages of pregnancy

Modifications

  • Place blanket or folded mat under thighs or backs of knee to help legs extend
  • Place blanket or folded mat under head and shoulders to help forward roll of back
  • Keep head, shoulders and back in reclining start position to avoid any pressure on neck and upper back
  • Press thighs to outside of belly and chest to avoid pressure on abdomen during first trimester pregnancy
  • Place blanket under lower back during second trimester of pregnancy
  • Lie on side during third trimester

Variations

  • Bring hands to outside of bent knee foot in a reclining lunge
  • Progress to stage 2 of this pose – bending both knees
  • Dead bug – with both knees bent, bring hands underneath and press thighs to side of chest
  • Dead bug rock – add knee circles or rocking
  • Thread-the-needle-asana – crossing one leg over the other

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Corpse pose – savasana (knees bent or straight)
  • Revolving abdomen stretch – jathara parivartanasana (knees bent or straight)
  • Shoulder bridge – Dwi Pada Pitham

Written by: Brenda Hamlet RYT 200

Brenda is a yoga teacher and journalist in Oxford, England. More information about Brenda can be found at www.pret-a-yoga.com