Also called Vayu Nishkasana – Wind Relieving Pose, this posture is simple to do but very effective in stretching the hips, massaging the internal organs, and relieving excess ‘wind’ from the body and the mind. Particularly useful for the Vata constitution (see Ayurveda articles for more on that), this pose is great to settle an overactive mind and soothe gas, bloating, or tension in the belly.
To Begin: Lie on your back on a mat (or in bed!)
Bring your right knee to your chest, claps your hands around the shin just below the knee. If your shin is not accessible, try holding the back of your thigh or use a strap around your shin.
Hug the knee into your chest, soften the front of the hips, and send your elbows toward the ground.
Think of sinking the back of your neck and the back of your shoulders into the mat.
Stretch the straight leg down towards the ground. If your calf doesn’t touch the ground, flex your foot firmly.
If you feel pinching in the front of your hip, work to soften the front of your hips with a few deep breaths. If the pinching continues, allow the knee to drift out to the side a bit until you find a comfortable place.
If you can’t reach your shin, or your knee can’t bend that deeply, use a strap around your shin.
If your chin tilts backwards, place a low pillow under your head.
Hold for 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.