Ear Pressure Pose - Karnapidasana

How to Do Ear Pressure Pose - Karnapidasana
Ear Pressure Pose - Karnapidasana. Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Type of Pose: Inversion

Benefits: Stretches the neck, shoulders, back, glutes,and hamstrings.

In contemporary yoga classes, there is often talk about how to incorporate the philosophical 8 Limbs of Yoga into your asana practice and your life. Karnapidasana is a rare yoga poses literally does that, illustrating the principle of pratyahara. Pratyahara is described as the withdrawal of the senses, meaning shutting out external stimuli so you can turn your attention inward.

The ability to do this mentally takes practice, but you can get a glimpse into what it might feel like in this pose if you use your knees against you ears to cut yourself off from the sounds around you. To continue your exploration, close your eyes and focus exclusively on your breath for the short amount of time that you are in this pose. Remember this feeling and try to return to it in your meditation practice during or outside of class.

Instructions:

1. Begin in plow pose with the shoulders tucked under. Your hands can be flat on the floor or interlaced behind your back.

2. Bend your knees and bring them to the floor on either side of your head.

3. Rest the tops of your feet on the floor.

4. Allow the knees to apply light pressure to the ears, momentarily cutting off aural distractions.

5. Take at least five breaths before releasing your arms and slowly rolling out of the pose vertebra by vertebra.

Beginners' Tips: 

1. Don't worry if your knees don't come all the way to the floor. It's find to keep the knees up until they come to the floor naturally.

2. There's some weight in the neck in this position so don't move your head from side to side. 

Advanced Tips:

Another way to get out of this pose is by doing an Ashtanga-style back somersault (chakrasana).

Release your arms from behind your back, bend your elbows, and bring the palms of your hands under your shoulders as if you were preparing to do wheel pose. Curl your toes under and push into your palms to straighten your arms as you do a back roll into downward facing dog.

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