How to do Knees-Chest-Chin Pose

Knees-Chest-Chin Pose (Ashtanga Namaskara)  is a beginning strength-building yoga pose that paves the way for full body weight-bearing poses, like Chaturanga.

Its Sanskrit name literally translates as “Eight-Limbed Salutation,” :
• “Asht” — meaning “eight”
• “Anga” — meaning “limb”
• “Namaskara” — meaning “salutation”KneeChestChin

The “eight limbs” refers to the parts of the body that touch the ground in the pose: The chin, the chest, both hands, both knees, and both sets of toes.

Benefits of Knees-Chest-Chin Pose:
– increases the flexibility of the spine and neck while opening the chest.
– helps to strengthen the arms, shoulders, legs, abdomen, and back.
– Practicing the pose regularly will help build strength throughout your whole body and lead the way for other arm-balancing and weight-bearing poses.

Cautions:
– if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, or a recent neck, shoulder, elbow, or wrist injury.
– Women who are pregnant should avoid practicing this pose after the first trimester.

Instructions:
1. Begin in Plank Pose. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
2. With an exhalation, lower your knees to the floor. Keep your toes tucked under.
3. Hug your elbows in toward your sides, pointing them back toward your heels. Keeping your hips lifted off the floor and palms flat, bring your chest to the floor.
4. Place your chest between your hands and gently touch your chin to the floor.
5. Hold for 1-10 breaths, and then lower your body all the way to the mat and rest.

Modifications & Variations:
If you are experiencing discomfort in your lower back or neck, only bring your chest as far down as you can without causing pain.

Tips:
• Do not let your elbows splay to the sides. Keep them hugged along your ribcage, pointed toward your heels.
• Keep your hips lifted high. There should be a 90-degree angle between your stomach and thighs.
• Do not simply collapse into the pose. Utilize the muscles of your back torso to lower yourself with contained effort.

Dawn