Here we are, beginning the floor series! Wind-removing pose benefits the digestive tract, hence the tongue and cheek translation “wind-removing pose.” Yup, you guessed it! This pose helps to clear blockages and/or stagnant energy in and around the ascending, descending, and transverse sections of the colon. This has many therapeutic and energetic benefits for both mind and body.
Lie on your back and bring your two legs together as one to start from alignment. Bend your right knee into your chest, interlace all 10 fingers and hold your leg below the knee (on top of the leg/shin). Begin to pull the right knee and leg into the right side of your abdomen and chest. Attempt to reach your right knee to your right shoulder. Be sure to keep both shoulders on the mat and avoid rolling to one side or another. You may feel a little pressure in your hip joint as your press and flex deeply into this important joint. Continue to energize the rest of your body by stretching your opposite leg long from the body, helping to stabilize your pelvis and upper body in the stretch. Breathe deeply during this stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, and then switch sides.
After stretching each side, individually, bring both legs into a deep bend against the chest. Wrap your arms around the knees, giving yourself a big bear hug. Try your best to grab on to opposite elbows. If you can’t grab your elbows, grab as high as you can to maintain a deep squeeze of your thighs against your belly. Keep your head on the floor, chin tucked slightly to lengthen the spine while the thighs press into the abdomen. Slowly release.
As stated above, this pose helps to clear blockages and enhance energy in the digestive tract. When we bend the right knee in, we are attempting to stimulate the ascending colon. When we bend the left knee in, we target the descending colon, and finally, with both knees in, we bring the focus to the transverse, or connecting part of the colon. This pose is so important on many levels, but as far as the internal body is concerned, the digestive tract is responsible for housing up to 70% of the body’s energy. When we are sluggish in our digestion, we feel sluggish in our lives. When we have healthy-moving , digestive energy, we feel light and energized in our lives. Ontop of this, our immune system sits around our colon, so the less inflamed and stagnant we are in our digestion, the more our immune system can function optimally, keeping up happy and healthy and free of illness. And last but certainly not least, from a philosophical perspective, getting in touch and “cleaning shop” in our gut can help to give rise to an increase in “gut instincts” as intuition develops.