Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled with digestive issues right before an important event. Perhaps you were going to meet your partner’s parents for the first time or getting ready to sit in another grueling meeting at work.
We’ll be the first to say that holding in gas is uncomfortable. However, letting it out in public around strangers isn’t exactly the best solution either. What if we told you the answer to your unwanted farting problems is yoga!
Yes, we’re not kidding.
Believe it or not, yoga is a great way to help you release air. When your body is in a relaxed state, it can do a much better job at functioning the way it should. In the case of passing gas, if your bowels and intestines are at ease, you’ll find releasing that trapped gas a breeze.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the 26 Bikram Yoga poses called the “Wind Removing Pose” or “Pavanamuktasana Pose,” which (spoiler alert) is exactly what it sounds like. So, get ready to learn about this pose, how to do it yourself step-by-step, and the amazing benefits you can reap from it.
Before diving into the Wind Removing Pose, here is what we will cover in this article:
What is Bikram Yoga?
Before we get started, you might be wondering what Bikram Yoga is.
Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s and is a form of hot yoga. This type of yoga is characterized by a sequence of 26 postures and breathing exercises. To top it all off, these 90-minute classes are practiced in a room heated to 103-108°F with a humidity of 40%. For example, here at YogaSol in Norwalk, CT, our state-of-the-art heating system includes wireless controls, with a system that checks for temperature updates every 30 seconds!
Bikram Yoga may sound intense, but it’s all about helping you relax and recover while strengthening your body. It’s perfect for all types of yogis, including beginners. And, of course, one of the 26 yoga poses in Bikram Yoga is (you guessed it) the Wind Removing Pose.
Wind Removing Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The Wind Removing Pose is a unique Bikram pose designed to help promote digestion and alleviate any discomfort or bloating caused by gas. The pose requires you to lie on your back and bring your knee toward your chest. As you gently apply pressure to your knee, this puts stimulating pressure on your abdomen, helping that unwanted wind move through your intestines.
The Wind Removing Pose is also called “Pavanamuktasana Knee to Chest Pose.” In Sanskrit, “pavana” means “wind,” “mukta” means “release” or “liberation,” and “asana” means “pose.” That being said, “Pavanamuktasana” can be translated as the “Wind-Relieving Pose” or the “Wind-Removing Pose,” which refers to its intended effect on releasing gas and improving digestion.
Whether you’re looking to release gas before that big event or just want to get in a relaxing hip and back stretch, this Bikram pose is incredibly easy to do on your own and only requires a comfortable place to lie down.
Here’s how to do the Wind Removing Pose:
- Find a safe, comfortable place and lie down flat on your back.
- Take a deep breath in and release any tension (past, present, and future).
- As you exhale, bring one knee towards your chest while extending the other leg on the mat.
- Clasp your hands around your knee and gently pull it closer to your chest.
- If you want a more advanced stretch, lift your head and chest off the mat while pulling your knee in. The idea is to pull your knee toward your nose.
- While this is happening, be sure to keep your other leg extended and relaxed.
- Hold this pose for a few long, deep breaths, feeling the stretch in your hip and lower back.
- As you exhale your final breath, release the bent knee and lower it to the ground.
- Repeat the same sequence with the other leg.
Modification: To modify this pose, bring your knee to the side of your body as opposed to bending it over your chest. Slightly drop your knee down toward the floor until you feel a comfortable stretch.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits
The Wind Removing Pose, of course, made its fame for helping relieve gas, but it certainly isn’t the only benefit! Among the many physical and mental benefits of this Bikram yoga pose are the following.
- Digestive health: Stimulates the digestive organs and helps relieve gas, bloating, and indigestion
- Spinal flexibility: Gently stretches the lower back, promoting a more flexible spine
- Abdominal strength: Engages and strengthens the abdominal muscles
- Improves blood circulation: Enhances blood circulation in the abdominal area, furthermore helping support healthy digestion
- Hip mobility: Helps stretch your hip flexors, improving hip mobility and reducing tightness
- Lower back pain relief: Stretches the lower back, helping to relieve minor discomfort and tension
- Activates pelvic floor: Engages pelvic floor muscles for better pelvic health and stability
- Detoxification: Helps encourage the release of toxins through sweating
- Stress relief: Helps alleviate stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and mindfulness
- Relaxation: The deep breathing this pose calls for helps aid physical and mental tension and bring about a state of relaxation
- Mind-body connection: Encourage a connection between the mind and body through breath awareness and conscious movement
Important Notes About the Wind Removing Pose:
While the Wind Removing Pose offers incredible potential benefits for the body, it might not be suitable for everyone – especially those with certain medical conditions or injuries. As with any yoga practice, be sure to practice under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor (we have plenty!), especially if you’re new to yoga or have specific health concerns.
It’s also important to note that while the Wind Removing Pose can help promote healthy digestion and relieve gas, it might not provide instant relief in all cases. If you’re experiencing chronic digestive issues or severe discomfort, we recommend consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.
Are You Ready To Try the Wind Removing Pose?
We hope this article has helped you become more confident about Bikram yoga, hot yoga, and its many poses – including the amazing Wind Removing Pose!
Want to try the Wind Removing Pose as part of a class? This pose is offered in our Bikram 26 and 2 classes, the world’s most popular hot yoga class! It provides a sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises in a heated room for 90 minutes. This class is excellent for beginners and anyone seeking a relaxing recovery session.
So go ahead and book a class with us today. We can’t wait to see you there (farts and all!).
Q: What if I accidentally release gas while attempting the Wind Removing Pose?
A: We completely understand why this would be mortifying, but rest assured that farting and burping in yoga is completely normal and to be expected! In fact, holding in a fart could do more harm than good, so we encourage you to let it out. Our environment is a safe place where we don’t want anyone to feel ashamed of natural bodily functions. If you happen to release gas during a class, we encourage you to politely excuse yourself and move on – no judgment!
Q: I’m worried that my body might feel exposed and vulnerable during a Bikram Pose in the hot yoga studio.
A: It’s completely normal to have concerns about feeling exposed and vulnerable during yoga, especially in a hot yoga studio. The environment can add an extra layer of self-consciousness. However, remember that yoga is a personal journey, and everyone in the class should focus on their own practice. You’re not alone in these feelings, and many others might share similar worries!
Q: What if I can’t execute the Wind Removing Pose correctly and end up feeling embarrassed in front of everyone?
A: The fear of being unable to execute a Bikram yoga pose correctly is a common concern, especially in a group setting. However, it’s important to remember that yoga is a journey of self-improvement and self-discovery. Each person’s body is unique, and everyone’s practice evolves over time. Keep a beginner’s mindset and know that it will take time to master a pose. In the meantime, rest assured you’re in a judgment-free zone.