Krounchasana takes its name from krouncha, the Sanskrit word for “heron”. Although Heron Pose is classified as a forward fold, it is actually more difficult than traditional forward bending poses, as the leg must be lifted against the force of gravity to meet the body, rather than folding the torso toward the legs.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. It is important for you to have achieved at least some level of mastery in yoga, before you decide to practice the Heron Poses. In fact, in some cases, people may also be asked to refrain from practicing this yoga poses. Women who are going through their menstrual cycle should avoid practicing the heron poses
In case you are suffering from an ankle or a knee problem, or any kind of injury affecting these joints, this pose may worsen the condition.
How To Do The Krounchasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- Sit in Dandasana, with your legs outstretched in front of you.
- Exhale bend your right knee and bring the foot next to the right hip. So the top of the foot is on the floor and toes are pointing back into Half Virasana Pose.
- Make sure you are sitting evenly on both sit bones. You can use a block or folded blanket under both sit bones or the sit bone of the straight leg.
- Bend your left leg, place the foot on the floor. Take hold of the left foot with both hands.
- Keep the shoulder blades firm on the back, to keep the chest open. On an inhalation begin to straighten your left leg, while keeping the spine long, chest open and the sternum lifted.
- Once the leg is straight, exhale and bring the leg in close to the chest. If you can maintain all the previous actions bring the head towards the shin bone.
- Hold for around 5 breaths and release the leg on an exhalation and come back into Dandasana.
- Feel free to use a strap or belt around the ball of the raised foot if the hamstring feels tight. Remember, the key action of the pose is to keep the spine long and the chest lifted, so using a strap to create length and mitigate any tension in the legs will help maintain the structural integrity of the pose.
- If you find that the sitting bone of the raised leg lifts up off the ground, tuck a folded blanket or a foam block underneath the sit bone to keep both sides as even as possible.
Beginning students might have some difficulty doing this pose with the down leg in Ardha Virasana. Start your practice of this pose with the down leg in position for Janu Sirsasana. Practice Virasana regularly to prepare your thighs for the full Krounchasana.
Modifications & Variations
- Many beginning students won’t be able to completely straighten the raised leg or will lose the lift of the chest when attempting to straighten the leg.
- To counter this, place a strap around the sole of the foot before you try to straighten the leg. Hold the strap as close to the foot as possible, but don’t sacrifice keeping the elbows fully extended and the chest lifted.
- Advanced students can increase the stretch on the back of the raised leg by bringing the leg and torso together. Be sure to keep the front of the torso relatively long; don’t lean forward from the belly.
Benefits Of The Krounchasana
- Stretches your back, hips, and hamstrings
- Stimulates your heart and abdominal organs
- Therapeutic for flat feet and persistent gas (flatulence)
We encourage you to further your knowledge and understanding of yoga by educating yourself right here! This is a great pose for stiff hamstrings, but, as with most asanas, it should be practiced with caution to avoid straining any muscles.