Yoga Poses

Knee ear pose Karnapidasana

Steps

Knee to ear pose is an advancement of halasana (plough) pose. It is an intermediate inversion and practiced with the knees bent to fully extend the spine as well as stretching the neck and hips. Knee ear pose is also known as ear pressure pose for its benefits to blocked sinuses and ears. This pose is known as Karnapidasana in Sanskrit.

From savasana with the hands, palms down by the sides. Press the palms into the floor and using the abdominal muscles raise the legs slowly over the head. Bring the toes to the floor behind the head. Turn the palms upward and place the hands behind the ribcage to support the back. Bend the knees and hold for as long as comfortable. Return to the start position by straightening one leg, then the other. Bring the palms back to sides, palms pressing down. Using the abdominals, slowly roll down one vertebra at a time, buttocks, then legs, returning to savasana.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Imagine your mat is sticky as you slowly peel your buttocks and back and away, like a strip of adhesive from the floor.

Technical Comments

When raising the legs, press the palms down as if you are pushing the floor away from you, draw the navel to the spine and roll the back away from the floor.

Benefit Comments

  • Full extension and stretch of spine
  • Improves flexibility of shoulders and neck
  • Strengthens back and abdominal muscles
  • Massages internal organs, improving circulatory, liver and kidney function

Watch Out For:

  • Forcing of toes to floor or knees to ears to reach final position (let gravity do the work and/or place chair, bolsters, blocks under knees and feet.
  • Straining of abdominals or back (raise one leg at a time)
  • Compression of neck (lie with back nd neck stretched out on floor, place blanket under shoulders and neck if needed)

Contraindications

  • Hernia
  • Slipped disc
  • Sciatica
  • High blood pressure

Modifications

 
  • Place feet on chair or wall
  • Place blocks or blankets under thighs, knees, upper body and neck

Variations

 
  • Hold ankles
  • Fold arms around backs of knees
 

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Corpse pose (Savasana)
  • Fish pose (Matsyasana)
  • Camel pose (Ushtrasana)
  • Reclining hero’s pose (Supta vajrasana)

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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