A guided run through the full Pawanmuktasana Series of gentle yoga exercises

Join me in this video for a guided run through the full Pawanmuktasana Series, an excellent three-part sequence of simple yoga exercises designed to gently mobilise and energise the whole body, working through most of the joints and major muscle groups.

While it is a physical practice, you will, as always with yoga, get more from it if you keep your mind fully engaged with what you’re doing. This helps you to discover the most effective ways of using your body by paying close attention, but also serves as a form of moving meditation – using each exercise as a flowing stream of focus points for your mind.

Add in active attention to your breath – encouraging it to slow down and flow in a relaxed way, perhaps even co-ordinating it with your movements – and you have a solid all-round yoga practice that could just as easily set you up for your day as end it.

If you’re familiar with the series you might find my guided run through it in this video a little chatty, but I’ve erred on the side of offering plenty of options for those who might be new to it. I’ve also slowed the pace right down, so the full series will require about an hour and 20 minutes of your time. If you can treat yourself to that, I’d encourage it, as the full sequence really feels good.

However, it’s also possible to do each section as a standalone practice. For the first section, start at the beginning of the video and the work begins after a brief introduction. For the second section begin at 36:00 in the recording. For the final section start at 58:08.

While it is a reasonably gentle practice that should be approachable for most people, if you require a doctor’s permission for exercise – for example if you have serious bone- or heart-related issues – please seek it in advance. And, as always when following any exercises offered on the internet by someone you don’t know, look after yourself by not following blindly – most importantly, if something hurts, stop doing it. You are your own best teacher when it comes to your body.

On a brief historical note, Pawanmukatasana is loosely translated from Sanskrit as “wind releasing posture”. And no, this does not refer to farting, rather the idea of energy moving through the body. The series was developed by Swami Satyananda in the 1960s and, while it is a key element of his Bihar school of yoga in India, it has become popular across many different strands of the practice.

  • Martin Yelverton is a yoga and Pilates teacher based in East London, currently offering classes online or one-to-one in person. Details at yogayelvy.com

Published by Martin Yelverton

I'm a plant-powered yoga teacher, Pilates instructor and freelance journalist.

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