14. Wind Removing Pose
Bikram says the real yoga begins with the floor postures, each separated with a 20-second Savasana. The standing postures warm up the body, and the floor postures intensely stretch, twist and squeeze different parts of the body.
The first of the floor poses, Pavanmuktasana, massages the abdomen – specifically the ascending, descending and transverse colon – thus the name Wind Removing Pose.
From Savasana, lift the right leg and hold two inches below the knee with all ten fingers tightly interlaced. Draw the knee out and down towards the chest, keeping both elbows in close to the body and shoulders relaxed and flat on the floor.
Keep the chin tucked into the chest and the left leg firmly on the floor. If the left calf muscle lifts, flex the foot.
Freeze here, breath and hold for 10 seconds, and allow the pose to work into the right hip and ascending colon.
Repeat left side, relaxing into the left hip and massaging the abdomen and descending colon.
Finally, lift both knees up towards the chest and grab onto opposite elbows, hooking the arms just under the knees. Grab the forearms, wrists or fingers if the elbows aren’t an option.
As the knees pull down into the chest, try to get every vertebra of the spine on the floor. So keep the chin in to the chest to lengthen the neck, the shoulders flat to ground the upper spine, and the hips and tailbone down to work the lower spine. Freeze, hold and breath for 20 seconds, whilst massaging the transverse colon.
Lower both legs slowly, Savasana.
- Cures and prevents flatulence and relieves most chronic abdominal discomforts
- Improves flexibility of hip joints
- Firms abdomen, thighs and hips
- Stretches the shoulders
- Strengthens biceps and hand muscles
- Compresses thyroid gland – improves functions of the immune system and metabolism
- Stretches entire back side of spine