Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

Noose Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


The Noose Pose, also known as Pasasana, takes its name from the way the arms encircle and tighten around your legs like the noose of a rope. This posture is excellent for helping to pop the back and relax tight shoulders. It also helps the entire back to loosen up.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits Variations Partnering

Pasasana

Both intermediate and advanced students can do this posture. For beginners, it is best to start out with the variation described under the "Modifications and Props" section below. If that is easy for you, then you can move on to trying the full pose described in the following steps.

(Pronounced as "PAH-SHAH-sanna")

The Sanskrit word pasa means "a noose or cord."

How to do Noose Pose

Step One

Stand with your feet together and squat down on your yoga mat. Make sure that the entire surface of your soles, including your heels, is on the mat. Keep your knees together. Do not sit on the floor; balance your weight on your feet instead. Your buttocks will rest slightly on the backs of your heels. If you cannot keep your heels on the floor, then place a folded yoga blanket under your heels for support.

Step Two

Once you have your balance, take a breath and twist your torso 90 degrees to the right on an exhalation. Twist far enough until the back of your left armpit presses against the outside of the right thigh just above the knee. Lean your knees a bit forward to help you. Put your right hand on the floor next to you to help you balance.

Step Three

Take another breath. Then exhale as you stretch your left arm out from the shoulder, squeezing the back of your left arm into your right thigh. Now wrap your left arm around your knees and place your left hand next to your left hip.

Step Four

Take another breath, and on your exhalation, twist your right arm behind your back. Bend your elbows and stretch your arms back far enough to clasp your fingers together by your left hip.

Step Five

By tightening your calf muscles, you can anchor your feet into the mat for more stability. Relax your belly as you lengthen your spine up from your tailbone through the top of your head. Stretch your back up straight, expanding the chest slightly every time you inhale. On each exhalation, twist a little more to the right. Gaze up over your right shoulder while keeping your neck in a neutral position.

Step Six

Hold this position for at least 20 seconds, gradually increasing the duration to a minute as you practice more over time. Exhale as you come out of the pose. Repeat these steps while turning to your other side and hold the pose for the same amount of time on the other side.

After doing deep twists, it is important for your back to do a forward bend to balance them out. Do not end your daily yoga practice on a twist.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Pasasana

Pose Level:

Level 2

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Knee injuries less than four months old
  • Spinal inflammation from conditions like a herniated disk
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstruation

Modifications and Props:

If squatting on the floor is too difficult for you, then try a variation of this pose with a chair. Sit down on the front edge of a strong chair without wheels. Place your left hand on the outside of the right knee and put your right hand on top of the chair's back as you twist to the right. Lift your sternum up as you twist. If this posture is comfortable, then try bending forward as you twist. Press your left forearm into the side of the right knee as you twist, and then see if you can press your left elbow against your knee as bend even further forward in the twist. Repeat the twist to your left side the same way for the same duration.

Deepen the Pose:

To twist even deeper, stretch your arms back further and grasp your wrists behind your back. Tighten your arms against your back and legs so that there are no gaps between your arms and the rest of your body.

Therapeutic Applications:

  1. Releases tension in the lower back, shoulders and neck
  2. Eases premenstrual tension
  3. Helps relieve sciatic pain
  4. Promotes circulation to the spleen, liver and pancreas

Benefits:

  • Builds strength in the ankles and arches of the feet
  • Relieves tension from standing for long hours
  • Increases the flexibility in your back
  • Strengthens the shoulders
  • Boosts digestion

Partnering:

Ask a partner to help you deepen your twist as you practice the pose near a wall. Squat down so that you brace your lower back against the wall as you twist yourself into the pose. Then have your partner adjust your wrists and arms to pull the back of your shoulder closer to the knees while keeping your back straight.

Variations:

For a greater challenge, wrap your arms lower below the knees. Then when you grip your hands together behind your back, the backs of your hands should nearly touch your ankles below the hips. As you twist on each side, practice looking over both shoulders without disturbing your spine. Keep your back straight as you move your head.

Next Pose:

Plank Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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