Wind Removing Pose.
Go ahead, giggle. It’s a silly name, it makes us think of silly and embarrassing things, but the benefits of this humble posture are nothing to laugh at!
It can be tempting to just go through the motions when doing Wind Removing Pose because it comes after the two-minute Savasana. You’re tired, you’ve just relaxed for the first time in almost an hour, and it can be challenging to dive back in.
But please resist the temptation to back off on Wind Removing Pose. Listen carefully, and put in as much effort as you do in other postures. Your hard work will pay off!
Benefits of Wind Removing Pose:
- Improves flexibility of the hip joints
- Relieves lower back pain
- Tones the biceps, triceps, and muscles of the forearm
- Aids in digestion; relieves constipation and flatulence
- Firms and tones muscles of the abdominal wall, thighs, and hips
Tips for Practice:
- Get a nice, tight webbing to webbing grip right away. At first it might be tough to maintain the grip if you are sweaty, but don’t wipe the sweat away. You’ll miss out on an opportunity to develop hand strength. Work through the frustration and get stronger.
- Ideally, pull your knee down in line with your shoulder. It’s okay to let the knee go out to the side to avoid the ribcage, but then try to get it back in place. Imagine that one day your knee will touch your shoulder to find the alignment.
- When your leg is in the right place, you’ll only see a small slice of your foot, if any of it. If you can see your whole foot in the midline when you look down, work it back out over your bent leg hip.
- One leg will be straight on the floor, calf muscle touching. You might need to flex the foot of that leg to get your calf muscle to touch. Once the calf muscle touches, relax that leg.
- Tuck your chin in an effort to get the back of your neck closer to the floor. Looking down as far as you can will help initiate, deepen, and maintain this position. This is one time you want to have a double (or even triple!) chin.
- In this posture, you are relaxing some muscles and contracting others to get the deepest possible compression to your bent leg hip and abdomen. Relax your shoulders, your bent leg foot, and your bent leg hip (this means relax your gluteal muscles). Then, with your elbows tucked in, touching the sides of your body if possible, PULL with your biceps to bring your knee closer to your shoulder.
- It’s worth saying again: PULL! We should see your biceps bulging. If someone came and put pressure on your bent leg, it would come closer to your shoulder. You have more motion in there than you think, and by relaxing the big muscles around your hip and using maximum upper body strength, you can find it.
- Go for your elbows! But if you can’t get the elbows, try your best to make some right/left upper extremity contact, hands, wrists, forearms. Sometimes tight hips or body shape make this temporarily impossible. Do your best.
- It’s okay to lift your head and chest up off the floor to get the wrap, but then lower your head back down onto the floor.
- Knees touch side by side. As you bring your knees closer, you should feel a good stretch in your glutes.
- As much as you can, allow your feet to relax side-by-side, in an uncrossed position. This is going to help your hips/glutes release down toward the floor.
- Tuck your chin. Look through the space between your forearms and your knees. If you can, look even lower. Try to see your chest.
- Think about moving the crown of your head closer to the mirror to bring your chin closer to your chest and the back of your neck closer to the floor.
- It might be hard to believe that one day your whole spine could be flat on the floor, but that’s where you’re headed.
- If you have a good grip on your elbows, try briefly pushing your knees up into your elbow corners, which will bring your tailbone closer to the floor. Then relax your hip and leg muscles. Hold here until the teacher tells you to change.
— Ellen Olson-Brown, Bikram Yoga Chelmsford