An Easy Guide to Karnapidasana

Karnapidasana is a yoga pose which illustrates the principle of pratyahara - the withdrawal of the senses, when external stimuli are cut off, so that our focus can turn inwards. The ability to do this mentally takes practice, but as this pose cuts out sounds, sights and other distractions, it can help you practice mindfulness more easily.


Do you remember that game you played as a child, when you listened to the sound of the sea in a shell placed against your ear? Karnapidasana has the same effect; because the knees cover the ears they block out sound so all you can hear is your own breath. Nothing to do in this yoga pose but stretch out your shoulders and spine and sink into a meditative space.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Karnapidasana in easy steps

Step 1:

Start in Plough Pose (Halasana).

Step 2:

Exhale and bend the legs. Take the knees to the ground beside the ears, close to the shoulders.

Step 3:

Be on the centres of the shins and stretch the feet away from you.

Step 4:

Bring the sternum forward and lift the upper body.

Step 5:

To deepen the pose, extend your arms along your lower legs, wrapping the forearms behind the thighs to clasp the fingers together.

Step 6:

Stay in the pose for approximately 5 to 10 breaths, breathing deeply.

Step 7:

To come out, release the hands and slowly bring the bent legs back to Plough. Stay here a moment, then roll down vertebrae by verterbrae until your back is flat. Bring your knees into your chest and give them a squeeze.


Yoga pose category:  Lying face up

Level: 2

Although this is a beginners’ yoga pose, most yogis will find it difficult to fully place their knees onto the floor. Don’t worry if you’re struggling to do this, just let your body fold as faras it can whilst you still feel comfortable.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Karna - ear

Pida - squeeze

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

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




Back pain







Yoga pose contraindications: 

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



Neck injury


High blood pressure

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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.