Pawanmuktasana: Rejig your Digestion for overall health

By Atul Vyas

“All diseases start in the gut,” said, the famous Greek physician Hippocrates. The tradition of Ayurveda follows this ancient understanding and the enduring belief since time immemorial. The toxic waste that accumulates in the colon plays a role in all kinds of diseases and ailments both physical and psychological, and the cleansing of the colon is an essential remedy. This belief is called “intestinal putrefaction or autointoxication.”

The gut is the body that keeps a tab on digestion, acidity, nutrients in food and so many characteristics that the intestinal surface can be arguably the largest and most sophisticated sensory system in the body. The doctors explain that the gut functions through the gut-brain, the main brain, hormones, molecules of immune cells, and sensory nerves, especially the Vegas nerve.

This is the reason why our digestive system works perfectly and without our awareness most of the time and why the gut reacts to tainted meals and delicious meals differently. The importance of colon health was even recognized by the father of Indian surgery Sushutra when he invented the rectum speculum – a medical instrument to allow inspection of the rectum and colon.

There are many specific yogic poses in the system of yoga that take care of intestinal, colon, and gut health. One of the most effective poses is Pavanamuktasana.  or wind relieving pose. This pose facilitates the passing of wind from the body hence named Pawanmuktasana.

The pose here I am mentioning is a most traditional one, while the other one is the supine one which is popular in present times.


  • Sit on the ground with legs spread in front with feet, calves, and thighs of extended legs touching each other
  • Bend the legs from the knees and draw both knees towards the chest clasped with hands, breathing normally
  • Keep the trunk straight by the pressure of the thighs, and look straight

This makes Pavanamuktasana with both legs. It can also be done with one leg at a time too. One can perform this wonderful pose while watching TV in the lying down position.


  • Relieves and expels accumulated gases from the abdomen
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves constipation
  • Helps with heart problems
  • Activates pancreas
  • Beneficial for knee pain and hip arthritis
  • Increases intestinal peristalsis and basic metabolic rate (BMR)

Note of Caution

Those suffering from knee arthritis should avoid this pose.

(The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist.” He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.)

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: Bodywise) and Provided

Share this post