Karnapidasana, also known as Ear Pressure Pose, is an advance deep inversion yoga asana of Halasana and can be done along with it.
This yoga asana relaxes your torso, heart and legs. While bending your knees, your spinal cord is stretched more and this leads to circulation of blood around your waistline.
Karnapidasana derived from the Sanskrit name that comes from three words — Karna + pida + asana:
- “Karna” = “ear”
- “pida” = “pain, discomfort or pressure”
- “asana” = cpose or posture”
Karnapidasana is a self-descriptive yoga pose. In this yoga posture, your inner knee exerts some pressure on your ears and obstructs the surrounding latch. Hence, it is named Ear Pressure pose or Knee to Ear Pose. This yogasana can also help in making the body flexible as well as increase the physical balance.
In Karnapidasana, cutting out external stimuli by blocking the ear reduces unnecessary sounds, which may reduce the concentration required for asana practice. Hence, one of the eight limbs of yoga introduces Pratyahara.
Therefore, covering your ears with your knees in Karnapidasana gives Pratyahara and closing the eyes calms your mind.
|Also known as:||Karnapidasana, Knee to Ear Pose, Deaf Mans Pose, Ear Pressure Pose, King Plow Pose, Raja Halasana|
|Total time:||30 to 60 seconds|
|Chakra:||Sahasrara Chakra, Ajna Chakra, Vishuddha Chakra, Manipura Chakra|
|Focus:||Spin, Shoulder, Abdomen|
|Indications:||Modifications for high blood pressure, backache, restlessness, sinus problems, headache, stimulates thyroid; asthma|
|Counterpose:||Rest on your back|
|Preparatory Poses:||Halasana, Balasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana|
|Follow-up poses:||Matsyasna, Titibasana, Chaturanga Dandasana|
|Contraindications:||Herniated disk, slipped disc, sciatica, neck or spine injury, asthma, pregnant women, menstrual cycle, heart problems, high blood pressure|
Benefits of Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose)
- The practice of this yoga asana brings flexibility in your spine, which strengthens muscles and relieves pain. However, the pose also extends your entire back, which increases flexibility of your spine and overcomes issues related to movements.
- Pressure on your abdominal area massages various internal organs along with digestion. It stimulates your gastrointestinal (Jatharagni) or digestive fire, which increases the process of hunger and assimilation and also removes constipation and gastric problems.
- Excess abdominal fat is burned by regular practice of this yoga pose. According to a study, regular practice of Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose) along with other yoga exercises leads to reduction in body weight, BMI, PI, skin thickness, fat percentage etc.
- The yoga pose puts pressure on your thyroid gland, resulting in its stimulation to release thyroxine hormone. This yoga asana regulates your metabolic activities of the body and plays an important role in growth and development.
- Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose) increased blood flow to your brain carries oxygen-rich blood to your brain tissue, which relieves stress and anxiety. And the pose improve vigilance also. Therefore, regular practice of this yoga pose promotes relaxation in your mind and body.
- The back roll of your shoulder helps in pulling your torso, which further improves respiration. According to a study, practicing Ear Pressure Pose along with other yoga exercises strengthens your respiratory muscles and the tolerance of your respiratory centers against high pCO2. 1
- The asana tones your inner thighs, improves pelvic flexibility and relieves your lower back pain.
Step by step Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose)
- Perform the Halasana (Plow Pose) and after completing the time limit of Halasana, flex your knees and rest your right knee next to your right ear and your left knee next to your left ear.
- Your both knees should be rest on the floor and start pressing your ears.
- Keep your toes stretched out and join your ankles and toes. Rest your hands either behind your ribs or interlock your fingers and stretch out your arms like a Halasana (Plough Pose).
- Stay in this posture for 30 to 60 seconds with normal breathing.
Beginners tips: It is better to practice Halasana well before practicing this yoga pose, In the case of beginners, trying to leap directly into the could be unfruitful. Avoid moving the head while in the posture, unnecessary activities can cause injury.
Anatomy Engaging Tips
- Your spine extensors should be lengthened evenly, ensuring that the opening is distributed along your entire spine.
- When your arms move upward and your scapula extends away from your spine, the load carrying changes from your scapula to the spinous processes of your thoracic spine.
- This variation can increase your thoracic and cervical spine due to the weight of your legs and pelvis, which puts pressure on the weakened muscles of your neck and upper back.
- This counteracts the action of your shoulder of the Sarvangasana as the expansion of your spine and the scapular joint of the shoulder stand are reversed, so the muscles that were active are now lengthening. If the release is too passive, however, the muscles can be lengthened.
Modifying Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose)
- If your knees are unable to rest on the floor, you can use a yoga block by bringing your knees to their extremities.
- The inverted back can either be supported by interlocking your fingers of both hands or the hands can be placed behind your rib cage.
- The weight pressure under the head can be reduced by using a folded blanket or towel.
There are four common mistakes that you may make when attempting Karnapidasana. These mistakes can affect the effectiveness of the pose and also increase the risk of injury.
Here are the explanation how they happen:
- Improper alignment: One of the most common mistakes is not aligning your body properly while moving into the pose. This can result in straining your neck and shoulders, and the pressure on the ears and forehead may not be distributed evenly. To avoid this, it is essential to maintain a straight spine, engage your core muscles, and lift your hips high enough to bring your toes to the ground behind the head.
- Forcing the pose: Another mistake is forcing your body into the pose before it is ready. This can result in unnecessary strain and potential injury. It is essential to progress gradually and listen to your body’s limitations.
- Tension in the neck and shoulders: You may tend to tense up your neck and shoulders while holding the pose. This can lead to discomfort and stiffness in these areas. To avoid this, it is necessary to relax the shoulders, keep your neck soft, and focus on breathing deeply and evenly.
- Not engaging the core: This yoga pose requires a strong core to maintain balance and stability. If your core muscles are not engaged, the pose may feel unstable and wobbly. It is essential to draw your belly button in towards your spine and engage your core muscles throughout the pose.
- Individuals with herniated disc conditions and those who have had surgery in the last few months avoid practicing this asana.
- In case of injury to the slip disc, sciatica, neck or spine, and asthma practitioners should avoid this asana as the affected areas are affected.
- Individuals with heart disease should avoid or practice it for a short time. Because the reverse position can increase your blood pressure and decrease your heart rate.
- Pregnant women and refrain from performing Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose) during menstruation.