“Apana” refers to the prana or energy flow or breath that we produce in yoga to eliminate toxins from the body. In this case we eliminate unwanted gas and irritations due to digestion, constipation, pain from menstruation and irritable bowel syndrome.
To surrender into this pose: find a comfortable mat, towel, or carpet to lay down on your back. Inhale to prepare, on your exhale, bring one knee and then the other in towards the chest. Wrap your forearms around your shins, if available. Another option is to grasp the hands. Give yourself a big embracing hug, accepting every aspect of your self.
Iron your tailbone down towards the earth, to create length in the spine. Slightly tuck the chin towards the chest to create length in the neck. Option to place a towel or blanket under the head for added support to the neck. To massage the low back, rock from side-to-side. If your belly or chest is too big to bring knees into chest, wrapping arms around the legs, bring one knee into the chest at a time. Inhale to prepare, and exhale draw the knee into the outside edge of the chest towards the armpit. Feel the “pinch” in the hip crease, creating a stretch, opening in the hip, while massaging the digestive organs.
Stay in apanasana and breathe full-cycles of breath, inhales and exhales. Stay as long as you’d like or at least 3-5 full-rounds of breath. Notice that when we lengthen our breathing, our mind starts to calm, bringing an overall feeling of peace and balance in our lives. Often when we move throughout the day and become stressed or anxious, our breathing becomes short and choppy.
Take notice of your breathing and notice if it feels short and disturbed or long and fluid. Become aware of the breath and make a conscious effort to slow it down and lengthen each inhale and exhale can bring healing and balance back to the body and mind.
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