Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Understanding The Vayu Nishkasana or Wind Releasing Pose!

Vayu Nishkasana gets its name from Sanskrit where “Vayu” means “Air” or “Wind”, “Nishk” means “Relieving” or “releasing” and “Asana” means “Pose” or “Posture”.

It helps in getting rid of reflux, flatulence and to release the air trapped inside the body and hence the name Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.

Despite relieving the wind or air, it is also a very beneficial pose for stretching and loosening of the muscles of legs. With regular practice of this pose, you will become flexible and gradually will be prepared to sit for long hours in meditative asanas.

Like other asanas, it is considered best when Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose is practiced early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice it in the morning, you can practice The Wind Releasing pose in the evening as well. Mornings are preferred as the food is digested and your body has the energy to perform the asanas. But make sure that when you are practicing The Wind Releasing pose in the evening, you should have your food five to six hours before you practice as your food takes this much time to digest.

Vayu Nishkasana is a great way to focus on your breathing. This asana helps in stretching and strengthening of the spine, which helps reduce pressure between your vertebrae and joints.

The effects and benefits of The Wind Releasing pose can be increased by combining the asana practice with Shambhavi Mudra or the eyebrow center gazing.

How to Do Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

  • To practice Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose, sit in the squatting position with the feet two feet apart.
  • Grasp the insteps of the feet to get into this pose.
  • Make sure that you place the fingers under the soles of your feet with the thumbs above while getting into this pose.
  • The upper arms should be pressing against the inside of the knees with the elbows slightly bent while practicing The Wind Releasing pose.
  • The eyes should be open throughout the practice or you can gaze at the eye center with the closed eyes while practicing Vayu Nishkasana.
  • Inhale while moving the head back while practicing this pose.
  • Direct the gaze upward and inward while in Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose
  • This is the starting position for this pose.
  • Hold the breath for 3 seconds in this pose while bending the head as backward as you can while practicing The Wind Releasing pose.
  • While exhaling, straighten the knees, raise the buttocks and bring the head forward towards the knees while practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Hold the breath for 3 seconds while bending the spine as backward as you can while practicing this pose.
  • Do not strain while you are practicing Vayu Nishkasana.
  • To release this pose, while inhaling deeply return to the starting position.
  • This completes one round of Vayu Nishkasana.
  • Practice at least 5 to 8 rounds of The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • After the practice, rest your body in Shavasana for 1-2 minutes.

Breathing Pattern To Be Followed While Practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

  • Inhale deeply while you are in squatting position while getting into Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Retain your breath while being in this position of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Maintain a normal breath after you are unable to hold your breath in Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Exhale deeply when you come to the raised position while practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Retain your breath while being in this position of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Maintain a normal breath after you are unable to hold your breath in Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Exhale deeply after releasing the pose and coming back to Shavasana.

Preaparatory And Follow Up Poses to Be Practiced With Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses to be practiced before Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose are Dandasana or The Staff Pose, Rajju Karshanasana or Pulling the Rope Pose, Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose, Matsyasana (with the legs stretched out) or The Fish Pose, Ushtrasana or The Camel pose and Bhujangasana or The Cobra Pose.

Follow Up Poses: The various follow up poses to be practiced after Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose are Adho Mukha Svanasana or The Downward Facing Dog, Vajrasana or The Diamond pose, Uttanasana or The Standing Forward Bend Pose, Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat Pose, Head Stand or Sirsasana and other advanced backward bending asanas.

Awareness While Practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

Physical Awareness - The Physical Awareness while practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose should be on the breath, movement and stretch of the shoulder and upper back muscles.

Spiritual Awareness – The Spiritual Awareness while practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose should be on Sahasrara or The Crown Chakra. The crown chakra is the center for deeper connection with us and deeper connection with a force of life that is greater than ourselves.

Benefits of Practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

  • Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose has a beneficial effect on the nerves and muscles of the thighs, knees, shoulders, arms and neck.
  • The pelvic organs and muscles are massaged when this pose is practiced regularly.
  • It gives an equal stretch to the whole spine and both the arm and leg muscles.
  • All the vertebrae and joints are pulled away from each other so that the pressure between them is balanced while practicing The Wind Releasing pose.
  • All the spinal nerves and dural sheaths are stretched and toned while practicing Vayu Nishkasana.
  • It is very helpful for people suffering from sciatica as this asana helps in relieving the pain.
  • The Wind Releasing pose strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the intestines and internal organs of the digestive system and thereby improves digestion.
  • Infertility can be helped and treated by practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • It is also very helpful for females who are menstruating as this helps in relieving the discomfort.
  • Vayu Nishkasana is a therapy for flat feet
  • It is also very helpful for those suffering from high blood pressure.
  • It also help in reducing ailments of the respiratory system as it helps in increasing the lung capacity of your body when it is practiced with proper breathing techniques.
  • The Wind Releasing pose is a full body energizer and revitalize and it improves your concentration.
  • It helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • It also helps in getting rid of stress and mild depression.
  • It also helps in getting rid of Constipation with regular practice.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

  • People with injured or weak knees should not practice Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose as a lot of stress is put on the knees.
  • You should also avoid practicing this pose if you have an injury to the ankle.
  • Get out of the pose or release the pose if you feel a sudden sharp and shooting pain in your legs.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing this pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose should not be practiced if you have frequent headaches and migraine.
  • You should also not perform The Wind Releasing pose if you have any chronic spinal or neck problems.
  • You should not practice this pose if you are suffering from diarrhea or if you have had any recent episodes of diarrhea.
  • Though this pose is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, but such people should put a blanket under their head while practicing the asana.
  • Pregnant women should practice Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose very carefully.
  • People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis and other such conditions are also advised not to practice this pose.

Tips While Practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose

  • To deepen the pose, try to bend as much as you can while practicing Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Stay in the final Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose for as long as you can because your body will benefit more as the holding capacity of your body will increase. You will start feeling that you have to put efforts while holding the pose for 20 seconds; you can increase the holding capacity with constant practice.
  • It is important that your stomach is empty and bowels are clean when you practice. It is important that your stomach is empty and bowels are clean when you practice Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose. And always keep a gap at least four to six hours between your yogasanas practice and meal.
  • You can keep the heel of the bottom leg pressed against a wall if you are a beginner.
  • If your body is very stiff and you have issues while practicing this pose, you can place a block under the hip of the raised leg.
  • Stay aware of the stretch in the thigh muscles and hamstrings while practicing Vayu Nishkasana.
  • More advanced practitioners may place the fingers under the front of the feet while practicing this pose.
  • Shambhavi mudra may also be practiced throughout while practicing The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose will help to tone the entire nervous system hence done with maximum efforts and a clear mind.

Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing Pose Variations

There are not many variations possible with Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.

Vayu Nishkasana or the Wind Releasing pose Variation 1:

  • To practice this variation of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose, get into Shavasana or The Corpse Pose.
  • Bend both the knees and bring the thigh to touch the chest to practice this variation of Wind Releasing pose.
  • Interlock the fingers of your hands and clasp the hands on the shin just below the right knee while keeping the left leg straight and on the ground.
  • While inhaling deeply, fill your lungs as much as possible and stay in the pose.
  • While holding the breath, raise your head and shoulders from the ground and try to touch the right knee with the nose while practicing this variation of Vayu Nishkasana.
  • Stay in the final position for a few breaths or for as long as you can while practicing this variation of The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Retain your breath while holding the pose while practicing this variation of this pose.
  • Return to the original position i.e. Shavasana or The Corpse Pose and relax in the pose.
  • Repeat this variation of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose three times with the right leg and then three times with the left leg.

Vayu Nishkasana or the Wind Releasing pose Variation 2:

  • To practice this variation of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose, get into Shavasana or The Corpse Pose.
  • Bend the right knee and bring the thigh to touch the chest to practice this variation of Vayu Nishkasana.
  • Interlock the fingers of your hands and clasp the hands on the shin just below the right knee while keeping the left leg straight and on the ground.
  • While inhaling deeply, fill your lungs as much as possible and stay in the pose.
  • While holding the breath, raise your head and shoulders from the ground and try to touch the right knee with the nose while practicing this variation of The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Stay in the final position for a few breaths or for as long as you can while practicing this variation of Vayu Nishkasana.
  • Retain your breath while holding the pose while practicing this variation of Vayu Nishkasana or The Wind Releasing pose.
  • Return to the original position i.e. Shavasana or The Corpse Pose and relax in the pose.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 27, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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