Apana means vital force moving outward. Apana is considered opposite to life force (prana). Apana helps the body expel toxins and waste. Prana provides life to the body. This posture has also been translated to English as wind relieving pose or eliminating force posture.
Benefits of Apanasana
- Stretches and stabilizes the pelvis and low back and can reduce lower back pain.
- Reduces excessive anger, excitement, anxiety and high blood pressure.
- Helps with muscle guarding, hyperlordosis, sciatic nerve impingement muscle spasm, spinal stenosis, and disc herniation.
- Clasping the knee or shin can be problematic for people with knee problems. One alternative is to clasp the hamstring of the bent leg instead.
- Start lying on your back with your spine in a neutral position.
- Bend your right knee toward your chest. Interlace your fingers on the shin just below the knee.
- Straighten your left leg and flex your left foot back towards your knee.
- Feel the left heel reaching away from the left hip socket, creating space between the femur and the hip.
- Hug the right knee toward the armpit (or towards the centre of your chest).
- Relax your neck and shoulders. Use your biceps to pull instead.
- Feel your shoulders draw away from your ears and widen across the front of your chest.
- Feel your lower back pressing into the earth. Create space between each and every vertebra on the back side of your lower spine.
- On each inhale, feel your belly press against your thigh.
- On each exhale feel the belly with draw away from the thigh.
- Imagine that the outer edges of your shoulders move away from each other so that shoulders are equally wide on the front and the back side of the body.
- Feel your lower trapezius muscles engage, pulling your shoulder-blades down your back.
- Your gaze is soft as you look up toward the sky.
- Draw your pubic bone toward your belly button, lengthening your lower back. Place the least weight on the back of your head and no weight on your neck.
- Keep all the muscles of the extended leg and foot active and engaged. Relax the foot of your bent leg.
- Feel the massage of your internal organs on the bent leg side of the body.
- Release your hands and bring them to the sides of your body. Straighten the bent leg to fully release the pose.