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Benefits of Karnapidasana and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more


Yoga is a way of living your best life. It is considered as an ‘immortal cultural outcome’ of the Indus valley civilisation. It is a discipline that provides spiritual upliftment. Today, yoga has gained popularity across the globe not just due to its effectiveness in dealing with diseases but also due to its strength to provide emotional support. People believe that yoga is a natural medicine as it has several healing properties and brings in mental and physical health. Yoga is not just for adults; all ages can practise it. Basic yoga poses can be performed at home and are free, so you can perform them right now to get started on your fitness journey. In this blog, we bring one intermediate-level yoga pose called Karnapidasana. Continue reading this blog; it might inspire you to practice yoga.  

What is Karnapidasana? 

Karnapidasana is a forward-bend yoga pose in the inverted position. Karnapidasana is a combination of Sanskrit words: ‘Karna’ means ear, ‘pida’ means pressure or squeeze, and ‘asana’ means pose. In the final position, the body forms an inverted forward-bend position and pressure is felt on the ears; hence, it is called the ear-pressure pose. The Karnapidasana yoga pose is classified as an intermediate-level of the forward-bending pose.​1​ 


In Karnapidasana yoga, the legs are lowered to the ground over the head, and the legs are bent at the knees bringing them forward and towards the ears. The shoulder supports the lower body, and hands are kept straight on the floor in front of the body.  Karnapidasana may help with hearing impairment and strengthen the neck, shoulders, spine, back, hips, thighs, knees and legs.​2,3​ 

Karnapidasana may include the following type: 

  • Parshva Karnapidasana: It is also known as the side contraction pose or sideways ear-pressure pose. The pose type is an inversion with a forward bending twist, and the difficulty level is advanced. It is similar to Karnapidasana yoga; however, the hands support the back, and the palms touch the lower back. It may activate the nabhi chakra (belly-button chakra).​4​ 
  • Baddha Hasta Karnapidasana: It is also called the hands-bound ear-pressure pose. The pose type is an inverted forward-bend pose and is classified as an advanced pose. In this asana, the hands are straight in the front, and the fingers are interlocked. It may also stimulate the nabhi chakra (belly button).​4​ 

How to do it? 

You may perform Halasana (plough pose) as a preparatory pose for Karnapidasana.2 Below are the Karnapidasana steps that you may follow: 

  • Start with lying down straight on the back in the Shavasana pose. 
  • Keep both legs straight and close to each other. Keep your hands on the sides close to the body. 
  • Slowly raise your legs upward, take them behind you towards the head and go beyond your head. 
  • Rest your toes on the floor with your legs straight. Keep your hands straight on the floor in front of your body. 
  • Now, slowly bend your knees, and place them beside your ears so, that your knees are touching your ears. You may feel the pressure in your ears. This is the final position in the ear-pressure asana. 
  • Maintain this position as long as possible, then return to the starting position and relax. 
  • While practising, you must avoid facial bending or twisting and excess body shaking. If you feel any discomfort, immediately discontinue the practice for the day.3 
  • You may try different modifications, such as folding your hand across your thighs, grabbing onto the heels/ankles, interlocking the fingers, resting the palms on the lower back or resting the heels on the sitting bones.4  

The yoga position known as Karnapidasana may help enhance your vision. So, I believe that frequent Karnapidasana practice might improve eye health.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Do you know? 

Here are some interesting trivia about Karnapidasana yoga: 

  • Karnapidasana yoga may activate the Manipura, Visuddha and Svadisthana chakras.​5​ 
  • Visuddha chakra may purify the body, psyche and mind. Manipura chakra may help control the energy balance. Svadisthana may foster inner acceptance and promote focus.​5​ 
  • Karnapidasana asana is sometimes called Raja Halasana or the King plough pose, as it is a more advanced version of Halasana.5 
  • A young enthusiast, Pankaj Yadav from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Mar 16 2018, made the World Record for ‘longest performance of Karnapidasana yoga’. He performed the ear pressure pose for seven hours, twenty-seven minutes twenty seconds.​6​ 

From what I’ve noticed, Karnapidasana may help in promoting throat health. By practising this yoga, you might perhaps aid those with tonsillar problems.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Benefits of Karnapidasana: 

Some benefits of Karnapidasana yoga are as follows: 

Benefits of Karnapidasana for Spine 

The spine is the prime support of our body. Karnapidasana may help to intensively stretch the spinal muscles, which may lengthen the spine, making it more flexible. The ear-pressure pose may help to tone spinal nerves and back muscles. It may also help to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder and back.​2​ However, the ear-pressure pose is not a replacement for conventional treatments of any spine-related issues. A professional must be consulted for the same, and a trained yoga expert should supervise those doing the pose. 

Benefits of Karnapidasana for Digestive tract 

Karnapidasana yoga might help stimulate the abdominal organs. While performing the Karnapidasana pose, your belly region gets massaged, boosting the functions of the abdominal organs that activates the digestive tract. This might help get rid of digestive problems like constipation, bloating, etc. Ear-pressure pose also stimulates the nabhi chakra situated at the naval (belly button).​2,4​ However, Karnapidasana is not a substitute of any kind for conventional treatments of constipation. Consult a doctor for proper treatment and perform this asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert. 

Benefits of Karnapidasana for Hearing Impairment 

Karnapidasana yoga posture might play a role in improving hearing impairment. A study by Martha et al., 2020 suggests that during Karnapidasana yoga, the spine is well-extended, and the knees put pressure on the ears. This pressure may help improve ear problems such as hearing loss, infections, etc. Ensure you practise this posture under the guidance of a professional yoga trainer. However, consult your doctors if you have major hearing difficulties and do not rely on Karnapidasana yoga.​7​ 

Other Benefits of Karnapidasana:2 

  • Karnapidasana pose may help manage depression. 
  • Ear-pressure pose might reduce laziness by energising the body. 
  • During Karnapidasana, your neck is flexed, which might affect the Krikatika marma (a delicate point in the body) located at the junction of the neck and head. This might help correct improper posture. 
  • In Karnapidasana yoga, your legs and arms are stretched, which may help tone the muscles of your legs and arms. 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, one should not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, consult a qualified physician who can assess the situation correctly and advise accordingly. Furthermore, it is essential to practice yoga under the supervision of a professional trainer to avoid injuries.  

In my opinion, Karnapidasana may help expel accumulated gases in the respiratory passages, facilitating the intake of fresh air. This might be beneficial for maintaining good health, particularly the lung health.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Risks of Exercise: 

Karnapidasana is an intermediate-level yoga pose; therefore, it must be practised with utmost precautions to avoid injuries. 

  • People having any injury or pain in the neck should not perform Karnapidasana yoga as it might worsen the injury.3 
  • Avoid doing ear-pressure pose if you are having cervical problems.3 
  • People with back pain problems must avoid the Karnapidasana pose as it may increase their pain.3 
  • People having hip, knee or leg injuries should not perform Karnapidasana yoga. Instead, it is better to consult your doctor or wait until the wound heals.  
  • Women during pregnancy and menstruation must follow the instructions given by the yoga teacher to avoid complications. 

With the guidance of a skilled yoga teacher, you can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practise Karnapidasana with precautions.  


Karnapidasana yoga is a forward-bending pose in the inverted position where the legs are placed on the ground over the head and the knees bent towards the ears. In this asana, pressure or a squeeze is felt on the ears; therefore, it is called ear-pressure pose. The benefits of Karnapidasana might include relief from constipation and hearing impairments. It may also strengthen the neck, shoulders, spine, back, hips, thighs, knees and legs. However, it is an intermediate-level yoga pose and should be performed keeping this in mind. Hence, Karnapidasana must be practised with utmost precaution to avoid injuries. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is Karnapidasana yoga? 

Karnapidasana is an intermediate-level inverted forward-bending yoga pose. Karnapidasana is a Sanskrit word in which ‘ Karna’ means ear, ‘pida’ means pressure, and ‘asana’ means pose. In Karnapidasana’s final position, the body forms an inverted forward bend, and pressure is on the ears; thus, it is referred to as the ear-pressure pose.3 

What parts of the body are targeted in the Karnapidasana pose? 

Karnapidasana targets various body parts, including your head, ear, neck, shoulder, arm, forearm, elbow, chest, armpit, back, navel, abdomen, waist, hip, leg, thigh and knee.3 

What is the difficulty level of Karnapidasana yoga?

Karnapidasana yoga is classified under the intermediate difficulty level.1 

In which conditions is Karnapidasana not recommended? 

People with neck injuries, back pain, hip, leg, knee injuries, headaches or cervical problems are not recommended to perform Karnapidasana yoga.3 

What is the preparatory pose of Karnapidasana? 

You may practice the plough pose or Halasana as the Karnapidasana preparatory pose.2 


​​1. Kaminoff L, Matthews A, Ellis S. YOGA ANATOMY. United States of America: United Graphics; 2007. Available from: https://samadhiyogaashram.com/pdf/LeslieKaminoffYogaAnatomyzliborg-200817-225010.pdf 

​2. Asana (Postures) and Effect on Marma | Mrityunjaymission [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 6]. Available from: https://mrityunjaymission.org/asana-postures-and-effect-on-marma/ 

​3. Karnapidasana – yujyate [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 11]. Available from: https://yujyate.org/listing/karnapidasana/ 

​4. Lacerda D. 2,100 Asanas | The Complete Yoga Poses. New York: Black Dog 7 Leventhal Publishers; 1976. 1–1132 p. Available from: https://terebess.hu/english/2100-Asanas.pdf 

​5. What is Karnapidasana? – Definition from Yogapedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 3]. Available from: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/6584/karnapidasana 

​6. Longest Performance of Karnapidasana Yoga | Golden Book Of World Records [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 7]. Available from: https://goldenbookofworldrecords.com/archives/8544 

​7. Martha S, Ahmed S, Mary J, Yadav BP, Gouthami S, Sridevi M. Cognitive ability to improve driving in ageing adults with visual and hearing impairments with yoga and exercise. IOP Conf Ser: Mater Sci Eng. 2020;981:1–9. Available from: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/981/2/022077/pdf 

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