By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Garbhasana / Garbha Pindasana, in this the practitioner assumes the shape of a fetus and hence the name. It is a sitting as well as balancing Yoga pose. Garbhasana is an intermediate level pose and is performed in sitting position. It additionally involves stretch and forward bend. It is done by balancing the weight of your body on your butts. In this pose, the body of the practitioner is folded up tightly, resembling a fetus. Therefore it is also called as ‘Embryo in womb pose’.
Garbha = embryo, foetus,
Asana = posture
Related Philosophy -A child in the mother’s womb is free from all worries. The child is calm. While in the fetal pose, the practitioner remembers those memories. This also calms the nerves. The pose brings one back to the state of mind that we were when we were in our mother’s womb.
Read – Yogasana – Spiritual, Physical And Mental Benefits, Classification
Preparation for Garbhasana
- The fetus pose should be done on empty stomach preferably early in the morning.
- If the pose is practiced at some other time of the day other than early in the morning, one should make sure of taking food well in advance to the time of practice. It is preferable to take food 3-4 hours before food. This will ensure that your stomach gets empty at the time of practice and also that you get energy to accomplish the pose.
- One should keep their bowel and bladder empty while taking on to the pose.
Method of doing Garbhasana
Positioning for the pose
Sit in Padmasana – Lotus Pose. Breathe freely and relax. Alternatively you may sit in Dandasana – Staff Pose and then come back to lotus pose. Having a good control in performing lotus pose is the key for performing the fetus pose properly. Therefore one should master the lotus pose initially.
Look straight as you sit in lotus pose and keep your spine erect.
Getting into the pose
Now gently insert your hands into the space between your thighs and calf muscles of both your legs. To get into a proper balance you can insert one hand at a time. You may begin with inserting your left hand between your left thigh and leg and then inserting your right hand between your right thigh and leg. You may do it the other way too.
After inserting both your hands, bend your elbows around your calf muscles and hold your legs.
Now as you exhale, raise your legs along with your hands.
Raise your hands towards your face. Hold your left ear with your left hand. Hold your right ear with your right hand. While doing so you may cup your hands around your lower jaw and chin as if your face is resting in the cup of your hands as you hold your ears.
This is the final pose. Maintain and balance the entire weight of your body on your butts. Be here for few breaths or 30-60 seconds. You may also keep yourself balanced in this pose as long as you can. Breathe slowly and gently keeping your focus on your breathing.
Read – How To Do Pranayama – A Simple Pranayama Technique
Release from the pose
- Release by reversing the steps you had taken to come to this pose.
- Release your ears from your hands.
- Bring your hands to the front and down. Slowly lower them down your legs on to the floor.
- Slowly release your hands from between your legs.
- Place your hands in Gyan Mudra and come back to the lotus pose.
- Now you can repeat the same pose by changing the positions of your legs in the lotus pose.
- Do the pose for 3-5 times.
When you lift your hands up, you can first assume Namaskar – salute pose with hands brought together before holding your ears. This will help you to be in center and balance in the pose. From here you may take your hands up and back and hold your ears with your hands, right ear with right hand and left ear with left hand. Even at release you may come to Namaskar and release from the pose.
You may also cross your hands in the final pose such that you hold your left ear with your right hand and right ear with your left hand. You can do this if you are comfortable doing it.
Read – Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation, Meaning, How To Do, Benefits
If it is difficult to place one leg over the other in the pose, you can just be at sukhasana – easy pose and take a bend.
If sitting in the final pose is difficult and if your pelvis is moving backwards you can sit on a block. This will take your pelvis higher than your knees and you will be able to do the pose with much ease.
If the pose is difficult to do you may start with Baddha Konasana – bound angle pose and Supta Baddha Konasana – reclining bound angle pose. This will help you gain flexibility in your hips so as to practice the fire log pose with ease.
It might be difficult to insert the arms between the legs in those who have hairy legs or lot of fat or muscle on their legs. You can apply water or oil to the arms and legs to facilitate easy insertion of arms between the legs.
Read – Ardha Baddha Konasana – Half Bound Angle Pose, How to do, Benefits
- It tones up and massages your abdominal organs and improves blood circulation to the abdominal organs. It increases the working efficiency of these organs.
- This pose benefits the muscles around the lower back and hips and also biceps, triceps, core and hamstrings. Therefore this pose benefits all movements and activities wherein these muscles are involved.
- It makes your body light and also increases blood circulation.
- It improves the functions of your digestive system and boosts your appetite.
- Controls your nervous system
- It relaxes your mind.
- Good pose to control your anger and problems related to your nervous system
- Alleviates nervous disorders and removes neurasthenia
- It is good for your adrenal glands.
- This pose improves your sense of balance.
Philosophy of cure – Our subconscious mind still holds those memories of the time that we had spent in our mother’s womb. We were relatively free of worries and our mind was calm therein. When we assume this pose, the mind goes back to those seed memories and then it calms down our mind and nerves.
- Padmasana – Lotus Pose
- Kukkutasana – Cockerel Pose / Rooster Pose
- Tolangulasana – The Weighing Scale Pose
Read – Utthita Padmasana | Tulasana – Raised Lotus Pose, Method, Benefits
Follow Up Poses
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
- Makarasana – Crocodile Pose
- Matsyasana – Fish Pose
Time spent in doing Garbhasana
Be in the pose for 30-60 seconds or as long as your flexibility allows you to do it.
Impact on Chakras
This pose activates the Manipura Chakra – the naval chakra / solar plexus.
Caution – Do not force the arms through your legs.
Impact on doshas and tissues
Impact on Doshas and its subtypes – Since this pose improves your digestive functions and appetite, it balances the gut doshas i.e. pachaka pitta, samana vata and kledaka kapha. It also controls the nervous system and relaxes your mind, cures nervous disorders and neurasthenia; it balances prana vata, vyana vata, sadhaka pitta and tarpaka kapha.
Impact on tissues – Since fetus pose stretches, strengthens and improves flexibility of muscles; it is good for the health of muscle tissue. It increases blood circulation and hence is beneficial for blood tissue and channels of transportation for rasa tissue.