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Karnapeedanasana (folded plough pose)




Karna - Ear

As Vistrutapada Halasana is an advanced stage of Halasana, so is Karnapeedanasana. From its name, it is presumed that the asana involves some trouble to the ears, however it is not so. While performing this asana, the knees are bended in and moved towards the ears. Otherwise, there is no concern of the ears.


Taking the asana position


1. Start in supine preposition. Exhale, while inhaling, lift the legs up to Dwipad Uttanpadasana (two leg-raised pose), maintaining them at a right angle to the ground.
2. While exhaling, lift the buttock and waist off the ground and bring the legs overhead. The body is balancing steadily in this position.
3. Exhaling out completely, touch the toes to the ground and stretch them out, assuming the pose of Halasana.
4. Bend the legs in the knees and bring the knees to the ground and by the side of the ears. The hands are kept as in supine position. Breathe normally in the pose.


The asana position


1. The arms remain in the same place as in supine position.
2. The knees are place close to the ears and touching the ground in the final position.
3. The toes should also be touching the ground.
4. While in the pose, it is important to remain steady and comfortable. The breath should be calm and rhythmic.
5. If the legs are short, the spinal column may bend a little. If the legs are long, the spinal column will remain straight.


Releasing the asana position


1. Straighten out the legs at the knees and stretch them backwards, coming into Halasana.
2. Exhale, while inhaling, lift the legs off the ground and keep them straight without bending the knees.
3. With slow and controlled movements, lower down the legs, from the upper spine, middle spine to lower spine, coming into Dwipad Uttanpadasana.
4. Exhaling, lower the legs down to the ground and come back to supine position.


Anatomical focus


1. The whole spinal vertebrae
2. Shoulder
3. Neck
4. Abdominal muscles




1. Keeping the breath slow and rhythmic while moving into and staying in the pose.
2. The pressure felt on the shoulder and neck region.
3. Have the weight of the entire body be balancing and distributed evenly on the arms, shoulders and neck.
4. Maintain balance of the body while in the pose.
5. Keep the body steady and comfortable at all times.




1. Breathe normally while staying in the pose.
2. Keep the arms firmly grounded to the ground at all times.
3. Keep the knees bend and place by the side of the ears.
4. Touch the toes to the ground.
5. Keep the facial muscles, the neck and shoulder region relaxed at all times.




1. Tense up the body muscles while moving into the pose.
2. Stop breathing while in the pose.
3. Keep the knees straight.
4. Strain the neck by pushing at the spine to move to the legs to the ground and knees to the ears.




1. The benefits of Karnapeedanasana is experienced too in Halasana, but because of the bend in the knees, there is more pressure added to the spine. This pose helps to increase the efficiency and elasticity of the whole spinal column as it is being stretched and massage on while moving into the pose and maintaining it.
2. As there is pressure on the abdomen while moving into the pose and holding it, the intestinal organs get a good massage which makes this pose beneficial for those with weak abdominal muscles.
3. The digestive system also improves while holding the posture.


Therapeutic application


1. Digestive issues


Precautions & contra-indications


1. The body should not be strained in any way to get the knees touching the ground, as over-straining of the body will cause injury to the spinal column.
2. People with severe trouble of the spinal column should avoid doing this pose.




For beginners, there may be some difficulties in placing the knees down and may not be comfortable for one to hold the posture for long period. After the knees is touching to the ground, one can stay in the pose for at least 30 seconds. With practice, the time can be increased to 1-1.5 minutes. When the knees touch the ground, strain in the body will be minimized and a firm pose can be attained. The time duration can then be increased.


Variations & tips


1. One could practice Halasana first and once it is being expertise, then move on to karnapeedasana. The most important thing is that there should be no strain on the body. In whichever stage practitioners is in, there should be acceptance and awareness within the body and mind.
2. People would often try to support their back, and end up pushing themselves into the pose to place the knees down. But the ideal pose is that the arms should be on the ground at all times, so do not push the body into the pose. One should practice listening and respecting the body.




1. Viparit Karni
2. Halasana


Preparatory poses


1. Halasana


Follow-up poses


1. Matsyasana
2. Paschimottanasana
3. Shavasana


Ancient texts