An Easy Guide to Apanasana, or Knees To Chest Pose

Apanasana, or Knees To Chest Pose, is a great yoga pose for beginners as it is simple, relaxing and calming. As it helps to alleviate excess air in the body, this yoga pose is beneficial for health conditions like bloating, indigestion and constipation.


Apanasana is a very comforting pose, especially in times of stress. 

In this asana, or yoga pose, the abdominal organs get a reassuring little massage, the action of moving the legs away massages the lower back, and as you draw the knees into the chest you are, in effect, giving yourself a hug.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Apanasana, or Knees To Chest Pose, in easy steps

Step 1:

Lie on your back, your feet a little over hip width apart.

Step 2:

Lengthen the tailbone down towards your feet.

Step 3:

Exhale and slowly draw both knees towards your chest.

Step 4:

Relax and soften the shoulders.

Step 5:

Let your head and entire body sink down into the mat.

Step 6:

Place your hands on the knees, fingers pointing towards your feet.

Step 7:

On an inhalation, slowly straighten the arms and move the knees away from the head; on the exhalation, gently draw the knees back towards your chest.

Step 8:

Continue this movement on your breath.

To release, exhale and slowly bring the feet down to the mat. Relax here, or extend the legs on the floor.


Yoga pose category:  Lying face up

Level: 1

Although this is a beginners’ yoga pose, some yogis might have difficulty bringing both knees close to the chest. Don’t worry if you’re struggling with this – you will become more flexible with time and practice. For now, you could try using a yoga strap to help. By looping the strap around your feet, with your knees bent, you can then slowly walk your hands from the other end of the strap, down towards the shins. This will help you ease slowly into the position and bring your knees to your chest.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Apana - "vital air" which eliminates waste

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Apanasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:




Back pain




High blood pressure

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Apanasana if you have any of the following health conditions:

Back injury

Hip injury


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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.