Knees-to-Chest Pose - Apanasana

Knees-to-Chest Pose - YanvaYoga


Knees-to-Chest Pose or Apanasana (ah-PAH-NAH-sah-nah) is a relaxing supine asana often performed at the end of a yoga sequence. Apana is Sanskrit for “downward-moving life force” and asana means “pose”. As the name implies, this posture is thought to help move toxins downward, through and out of the body.
Prana gives life to the body through breathing and other techniques. Apana, in contrast, is the body’s force of elimination. It flows downward and out of the body, eliminating impurities through the lungs and excretory systems. Practicing Apanasana relieves the pressure of this force of elimination, helping the body to efficiently reduce and expel waste, toxins, and tension.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie on your back, your feet a little over hip width apart.
Step 2
Lengthen the tailbone down towards your feet.
Step 3
Exhale and slowly draw both knees towards your chest.
Step 4
Relax and soften the shoulders.
Step 5
Let your head and entire body sink down into the mat.
Step 6
Place your hands on the knees, fingers pointing towards your feet.
Step 7
On an inhalation, slowly straighten the arms and move the knees away from the head; on the exhalation, gently draw the knees back towards your chest.
Step 8
Continue this movement on your breath. To release, exhale and slowly bring the feet down to the mat. Relax here, or extend the legs on the floor.

Benefits and Contraindications


Relieves gas

Stretches the lower back

Stimulates digestion

Clams the mind



Pregnancy after 1st trimester

Spine, hip or knee injury

Abdominal surgery

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • To deepen the stretch, bring your nose to your knees when you’re in the full pose.
  • If your stomach or chest is large, it might be difficult to clasp both hands around your legs. Instead, draw each knee slightly to the side of your body, toward each same-side armpit. Hold onto your shins with each hand, instead of clasping your legs directly over your chest.
  • If it is still difficult to hold onto your shins, wrap a yoga strap around the soles of your feet with your knees bent. Hold onto the strap with both hands to help draw your knees in closer.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Half Wind Relieving pose
  • Wind Relieving Pose With Rocking Knees

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.