I love how Shoulderstand pose stretches out the back of my neck, and I love to do the Ear Pressure pose to deepen the stretch. It stretches your entire spine brilliantly, and because your knees are pressed against your ears, you drown out all outside sounds and can really bring your awareness inward.
|Sanskrit Name: Karnapidasana
English Translation: Ear Pressure Pose
Also Called: Knees to Ears
Want to give it a try? To find out how,
- From Shoulderstand, slowly bend your knees down towards your forehead.
- If that's enough of a stretch for your spine, stay here. If you want to take it further, separate your knees and lower them down towards the ground. Squeeze your ears gently with the insides of your knees and release your hands to the ground, palms facing down.
- Stay here for five or more breaths, allowing your knees to relax against your head, and stretching through the entire spine. If you have a hard time taking deep breaths, put some weight into your feet and lift your knees up a little until you are more comfortable.
- When you're ready to come out of this pose, lift your knees up, gently unroll your spine, bringing your pelvis down to the ground. Take a moment and hug your knees into your chest. Then slowly roll up to a seated position.
When I first tried this pose, I must admit, I hated it. It felt a little scary to be wrapped up in such a tight little ball with all that weight on my head and chest. So take this pose slowly at first. Work with your level of comfort, and move deeper into the pose as you're ready. Remember that yoga poses are supposed to help you feel calm.