Karnapidasana Benefits and Steps To Do The Ear Pressure Pose

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Hearing-related issues and ear-related ailments are all too common in today’s day and age and are a part of the lives of thousands if not millions around the globe. One can only imagine how an individual who faces hearing issues goes about their daily lives. 

Many people think that once these issues get hold of an individual, there is very little that can be done. But, what if we told you that a Yoga position can actually help you with that? The Yoga pose that we are going to be talking about here is the Karnapidasana also known as the ear pressure pose.

Let's dive into the depths of this simple posture, exploring the benefits of Karnapidasana, unraveling a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Ear Pressure Pose, delving into the anatomy of Karnapidasana and finally, addressing common questions and doubts that may arise about Karnapidasana.

What is Karnapidasana a.k.a The Ear Pressure Pose

Karnapidasana is an extreme Shoulder Stand pose that is essentially an evolution of the Halasana. Just like Halasana, Karnapidasana targets the shoulders, hamstrings, hips and back, but in the case of the latter, the stretching and contracting sensations all over the body are more intense. This position is also known as the King Plough pose or the Rajahalasana since it is a more difficult version of Halasana. This pose was first discovered in the 19th-century Yoga text of Sritattvanidhi and since then, it has been practised and praised by millions of Yogis around the world.

The name of the position comes from Sanskrit and it directly translates to “Ear Pressure Pose” since one of the main body parts that this Yoga asana targets is the ears. We will now take a look at every aspect of this pose that we can think of.

What Are The Benefits Of Karnapidasana a.k.a The Ear Pressure Pose

Karnapidasana also known as Ear Pressure Pose is objectively considered to be a very complex and difficult pose as the final position seems nearly impossible to execute to beginner yogis/yoginis, but the benefits that it brings make it worth it. Some of those are:

Karnapidasana Can Help You Hear Again: Karnapidasana puts a decent amount of pressure on the ears, which has proven to help students with ear-related ailments such as ear infections, deafness of mild to moderate degree, and tinnitus. However, we will recommend that you should not rely on this pose alone and should seek medical help when it feels necessary. 

Karnapidasana Can Help You With Constipation: If you are someone who goes through heaps of discomfort due to constipation and bloating-related issues, Karnapidasana might just make your life easier. This position massages the abdominal muscles and the organs underneath it, which is known to boost the performance of the digestive system and in turn, help the student get rid of constipation.

Karnapidasana Strengthens Your Legs: This position also makes your leg stronger by simultaneously stretching or contracting all the possible parts of your legs, such as your calves, hamstrings, abductors, adductors, and quadriceps. Doing the Karnapidasana can also be considered to be a pretty good leg workout.

Karnapidasana Can Make You More Expressive: Amongst other body parts, Karnapidasana also puts a good amount of pressure on your throat, which activates the Vishuddha Chakra, the energy passageway that resides in the organ. When activated, the student can turn into a more expressive and assertive individual.

Karnapidasana Can Make You More Confident: While the Karnapidasana impacts and massages the abdominal muscles, it also activates the Manipura Chakra, the energy passageway that resides in that organ. The activation of the same can help the practitioner gain self-confidence, make him/her more intuitive, and even make him/her a more gritty and resilient individual.

How To Do Karnapidasana a.k.a The Ear Pressure Pose

Just like in the case of any other Yoga pose, it is important to follow the steps involved in doing the Karnapidasana also known as Ear Pressure Pose to the tee to make the most of it. You will find a step-by-step guide for it below.

Karnapidasana Step 1: Lie down flat on your mat by first taking the support of one of the halves of your body and then rolling back on the floor. In the end, you should be lying down on your back with reasonably stretched legs and arms, which should be by your sides at all times. You should also make sure that your palms are touching the ground.

Karnapidasana Step 2: Raise your legs by 30 degrees and stay in that position for 5 seconds. Keep repeating this motion until your legs are at a 90-degree angle from you.

Karnapidasana Step 3: Gently lift your upper body as well with the support of your arms, starting with your gluteus muscles, followed by your hips, and then finally, your abdominal area.

Karnapidasana Step 4: Place your palms on your upper back to provide support to it.

Karnapidasana Step 5: Slowly and gently begin the process of bringing your feet to the top of your head by flexing your hips. After a point, you will need to use your core. Stay in this motion until you can touch the floor above your head with your toes. At this point, you are in the Halasana pose.

Karnapidasana Step 6: Now, you need to bring your knees in line with your corresponding ears. Begin to do so by gently bending one of your knees and bringing it close to the ear on its side. Once you do so, place your knees right beside your ears and make sure that the lower half of your body is taking support of your tibialis muscles, which can be found in the anterior portion of your legs. Repeat the same motion with your other leg as well. Maintain this position for anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute, depending on your comfort level.

Karnapidasana Step 7: Begin the process of coming back to Halasana by slowly and gently extending your legs into their previous position while simultaneously supporting your upper back with your palms.

Karnapidasana Step 8: Return to the original position by gently lifting your legs and coming back to Ardhahalasana.

Karnapidasana Step 9: Carefully lower your upper body and bring it to the ground, starting with your chest, followed by your abdominals, your hips, and then finally, your buttocks. At this point, you will complete one repetition of Karnapidasana.

When To Practise Karnapidasana

Karnapidasana also known as Ear Pressure Pose is an extension of Halasana, which is a very challenging pose in itself. This implies that Karnapidasana should be done right after the Halasana, which should also be ideally done at the very end of a Yoga session since it requires a great deal of flexibility on its own. This position can be done either in the morning or the evening. Irrespective of the time of the day, ensure that your stomach and bladder have been empty for at least 4-6 hours to avoid the build-up of any undue amount of pressure in your abdomen area.

Karnapidasana Contraindications

Some of the contraindications of the Karnapidasana are as follows:

  • Avoid the Karnapidasana if you have high or low blood pressure.
  • Stay away from this position if you have a weak back or have recently sustained a back injury.
  • If there is very little flexibility in your body, we will strongly advise you to stay clear of this pose as it may cause some serious injuries.
  • If you have a weak neck or have had it injured in the recent past, do not do the Karnapidasana.
  • If you have weak abdominal muscles, stay away from this position as it requires one to have a significant amount of core strength.

Anatomy of Karnapidasana a.k.a The Ear Pressure Pose

An anatomical exploration of the Karnapidasana can be found below:

While getting into the Halasana, you will begin to subject your body parts to pressure, expansion and contractions, starting with your legs, in which the Hamstrings and calves begin to feel the pressure once they are being lifted.

As and when you keep going against gravity while performing this motion, you begin to engage the said muscles all the more, in addition to your gluteus maximus and minimus. Eventually, you will begin to feel your hip flexors opening and then your abdominals come into play.

When you have raised your legs at a 90-degree angle, you are completely going against gravity, and at this stage, you will begin to feel a tingling sensation in the various parts of your body due to the change of the course of your blood flow. Not to mention that your quadriceps will also begin to feel that pull if your legs are in that position for long enough.

While moving to the Halasana pose, the anterior part of your upper body gets to work. The first muscle group that directly feels the expansion is the lower back while you are trying you pull yourself upwards with your buttocks and hips. They will be followed by your lower core muscles and chest.

While bending to get into the Halasana pose, you will be required to use your core muscles and a major part of your torso to pull your legs over your head. The pressure will build up slowly and gradually in this phase as getting into the final Halasana position is a difficult endeavor in itself.

Finally, while getting into the Karnapidasana, the student will engage the quadriceps, the abductor muscles, the tibialis and then finally, the ear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Karnapidasana

Why Is It Called Karnapidasana?

Karnapidasana is Sanskrit for “Ear Pressure Pose”, with “Karna” meaning “Ear”, “Pida” meaning pressure and “Asana” meaning pose. This position got this particular name because after achieving the final position, the student also begins to feel a certain amount of pressure in the ears.

What are the techniques of Karnapidasana?

Some of the alternative techniques of the Karnapidasana are:

The Plough Pose: This is a simpler variation of the Karnapidasana in which the student does not need to bend their knees to get them near the knees.

The Half Plough Pose: This is an even simpler variation of the Karnapidasana in which the student keeps their legs hanging in the air at a 90-degree angle instead of bending them in any shape or form.

The Wheel Pose: This extreme back bend sees the student touching the ground with their feet and toes while being in a backbend position and the belly facing the sky.

The Half Plough Pose With Bolster Behind The Back: This variation sees the student raising their legs at a 90-degree angle and keeping a bolster underneath their lower back for support.

One-Legged Ear Pressure Pose: In this Karnapidasana variation, the student only brings one of the legs close to the ear in order to focus on one side at a time.

How Can One Get Better At Karnapidasana?

Karnapidasana is a complex pose and it can take quite a while to become better. However, if you keep practising, try out simpler and challenging variations and most importantly, be patient, you will eventually get better at the ear pressure pose. You can ease yourself into this asana by warming up your body with preparatory poses such as Balasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana and the Tadasana since the Karnapidasana requires a certain degree of flexibility.

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