Patanjali’s Yogasutra dates back to around 200 BC to 400 AD. According to the Yogasutra, there are eight limbs of yoga, popularly known as Ashtangas (a Sanskrit word for 8 limbs). These 8 limbs of yoga later became the backbone of modern yoga.
Karnapidasana yoga is one of the rare yoga poses which helps you practice the 5th limb of the Ashtangas known as pratyahara. Pratyahara limb describes the withdrawal of the senses, meaning simply focusing on the inner core by shutting out all the outer distractions.
If you have been planning to perform Karnapidasana yoga pose, you are at the right place. In this article, we have jotted down everything about it – from the meaning to benefits and steps to precautions. Make sure you follow this article till the end and get the most value out of it!
The word Karnapidasana originated from the Sanskrit language, simply translating to, ‘Karna’ – Ear, ‘Pid’ – Pressure or Pain, and ‘Asana’ – Posture or pose. Thus, Karnapidasana meaning in English is Ear Pressure Pos’ and Knee to Ear Pose.
Ear Pressure Pose is one of the advanced yoga poses which demands expertise over Plough pose and Shoulder Sand pose. Once you master these poses, your neck, hips, hamstrings, glutes, core, back, arms and shoulders become strong and flexible enough to follow the steps of Karnapidasana.
Karnapidasana yoga pose also helps in keeping your mind calm and unites you with your inner world. When practised along with tips and precautions, Karnapidasana can offer a great deal of relaxation and calmness.
Since Karnapidasana is an advanced yoga pose, it also comes with a wide range of benefits. From improving your body’s strength to establishing a strong body-to-mind connection, there is a lot you can expect through a regular practice. Some of the benefits are as follows:
- Stretches and Strengthens Muscles
The muscles involved during the practice of Karnapidasana are the abs, pelvis, neck, and shoulders. During this yoga, you stretch all these muscles, which in turn, helps in boosting the blood flow throughout the body. An improved blood flow further strengthens the muscles effectively.
- Improves Body Posture
When practiced in an ideal stance, Karnapidasana yoga offers a flexible and strong core (abs), neck, back, and shoulders. This results in better body alignment and a great body posture.
- Improves The Function of Intercostal Muscles
Karnapidasana requires chest breathing. Due to the contraction of the core, the primary breathing way shifts from abdominal breathing to chest breathing. This helps in improving the functions of the intercostal muscles.
- Calms The Mind
Once you settle down by closing in your ear with knee, your mind becomes calmer. Once pratyahara state is achieved, both body and mind reach the state of steadiness and comfort (also known as Sthiram and Sukham state).
- Stimulates Chakras
Karnapidasana can also stimulate three essential chakras – Throat Chakra (Vishddha), Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana), and Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura). This results in purifying your mind, balancing energy, boosting creativity and productivity.
- Boosts Concentration Power
As discussed, the Karnapidasana pose helps practice the pratyahara limb. This not only calms the mind but also helps in improving concentration power and focus.
Some other Karnapidasana benefits are mentioned below:
- Stimulates the thyroid gland, which helps keep the menstrual cycle regular
- Increases range of motion for the involved joints
- Improves flexibility of the body
- Helps in alleviating back pain
- Reduces chances of insomnia, stress, and fatigue
- Massages abdominal organs
How to do Karnapidasana?
Now that you know the benefits, it is time to learn how to perform Karnapidasana pose. Here’s a step-by-step guide to you can follow for Karnapidasana yoga.
Step 1: Lie down on your back, keep your hands at your side palm pointing towards the ground.
Step 2: First, inhale and then as you exhale raise your legs upwards in the sky’s direction; thus, achieving the pose of Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose).
Step 3: Bend your legs over your head and touch the toes on the ground to shift Sarvangasana to Halasana (Plough Pose). Make sure your legs are parallel to your hands.
Step 4: Now raise your buttocks and bend the knees, hold them together till they reach the ground.
Step 5: As your knees touch the ground, align them with the shoulders and place them next to your ears.
Step 6: Try to look towards your nose while practising Karnapidasana steps.
Step 7: Hold your body at least for 60 seconds.
Step 8: To release, follow the steps backwards from Karnapidasana to Halasana followed by Sarvanagasana to your initial resting position.
Precautions and Tips for Karnapidasana Yoga
As mentioned before, Ear Pressure pose is not a yoga for beginners, it is essential that you consider hiring a yoga mentor before practicing such advanced yoga poses. Some tips are mentioned below that can help you in performing Karnapidasana yoga pose safely:
- Always do a warmup before performing Karnapidasana.
- If you have undergone any surgeries that involve the knee, hip, shoulders, core muscles, etc., you should not consider practising Karnapidasana.
- If you have any kind of physical conditions related to your Ear (even an infection), refrain yourselves from the practice.
- Anyone with high blood pressure, migraine, weak digestion, or any physical condition related to your respiratory system should avoid practising Karnapidasana steps.
- Women during their periods or pregnancy should avoid practising the Knee to Ear pose.
- Do not eat heavy meals at least an hour before this yoga.
- If you notice any pain or extra pressure in any body part while doing this yoga, slowly stop practising it and talk to a doctor if the pain still persists.
If practiced on a regular basis, Karnapidasana can offer strength, flexibility, better alignment along great mental health. But since Ear Pressure Pose is an advanced yoga pose, it is advised to have a yoga mentor with you. You can also learn how to do Karnapidasana through online yoga classes and boost your health with yoga asanas.
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