Yoga Poses

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 2 – Ankle & Knee Exercises


Ankle Rotation – Ankle Crank – Kneecap Contraction – Knee Bending – Knee Crank

In the 2nd part of the Pawanmuktasana Series 1, also called Anti-Rheumatic Group of asanas, the exercises of ankle joint have been continued along with the exercises of knees to keep them in good health. The asanas are very simple and yet they bring great benefits if practiced regularly with awareness. All the knee asanas strengthen the quadriceps muscle and the ligaments that surround the knee joint.

Ankle Rotation (Goolf Chakra)


  • Sit in the base position (Prarambhik Sthiti)
  • Keep the legs straight and shoulder width apart.
  • Slowly rotate both feet together in the same direction. Become aware of the impact of rotation on ankle joints and related muscles. Focus on rotating the feet and not the knees.
  • After rotating both feet 10 times in clockwise direction rotate them in the anti-clockwise direction.
  • Keep feet separated. Slowly rotate both feet from the ankles together but in opposite direction this time.
  • The rotation should be 10 times in clockwise direction and 10 times in anti-clockwise direction.
  • Awareness should be on the impact of rotation on the ankles and also the related muscles.

Ankle Crank (Goolf Ghoornan)

  • Sit in the base position (Prarambhik Sthiti)
  • Bend the right leg from knee joint and place the foot on the left thigh without straining.Goolf-Ghoornan-ankle-crank
  • Keep the ankle far enough over the thigh for its free rotation.
  • Hold the right ankle with the right hand.
  • Hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand.
  • Slowly rotate the right foot 10 times in clockwise direction and 10 times in anti-clockwise direction.
  • Change the leg and repeat on the same process with left foot placed on the right thigh.
  • Awareness should be on every movement of the ankle and its impact.

Ankle Movement Benefits

  • Ankle movements help in returning venous blood.
  • These movements of ankle help in removing toxins and energy blocks from the ankle joint.
  • These movements also relieve tiredness and cramp.

Kneecap Contraction (Janufalak Akarshan)

  • Stay in the base position with the legs stretched, feet close together but not touching.
  • Contract the muscle surrounding the knees, drawing the kneecaps back towards the thighs.
  • Hold the contraction for 3 seconds, counting mentally.
  • Release the contraction and let the kneecaps return to their normal position.
  • Inhale while contracting the kneecaps. Hold the breath during contraction. Exhale while relaxing the knee muscles.
  • Practice this exercise 25 to 30 times.
  • Awareness during the practice should be on the kneecap contraction and the breath.

Knee Bending (Janu Naman)


  • Stay in the base position.
  • Inhale and bend the right leg from the knee joint and clasp the hands under the right thigh.
  • The right thigh will be near the chest and right heel near the groin.
  • This is the initial position.
  • Straighten the right leg, pulling up the kneecap towards the thigh.
  • Straighten the arms in the final position.
  • Keep the heels about 5 to 6 inches above the floor.
  • Exhale and bend the right leg from the knee joint to return to the initial position.
  • This is one round.
  • Practice 5 rounds with the right leg and then 5 rounds with the left leg.
  • Awareness throughout the practice should be on the stretch in the thigh muscles and the pulling of the kneecap in the final position.

Knee Crank (Janu Chakra)

  • Sit in the base position.
  • Bend the right leg from the knee joint as described in the earlier practice of knee bending.
  • Place the hands under the right thigh and interlock the fingers.
  • Raise the right foot and rotate the lower leg from the knee in a large circular motion.
  • Straighten the leg as the foot reach at the highest level during the circular movement.
  • Inhale on the upward movement of the foot and exhale on its downward movement.
  • The upper leg and trunk should be completely still.
  • Rotate 5 times in the clockwise direction and then 5 times in anti-clockwise direction.
  • Repeat the same process with the left leg.
  • The awareness during the practice should be of the circular movement of the leg and its impact on the knee joint.

Knee Exercises Benefits

  • All the knee exercises strengthen the quadriceps muscle and the ligaments around the knee joint.
  • These exercises rejuvenate the knee joint by activating the healing energies.

The good thing about the Pawanmuktasana Series 1 asanas is that they can be done anytime during the day and also can be done in any order. They are simple, gentle, comfortable and easy to perform.

For further knowledge on Pawanmuktasana Series 1, read –

Pawanmuktasana Series1 – Part 1 – Toes & Ankle Bending

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 3 – Butterfly Yoga Asana & Hip Rotation

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 4 – Hand & Wrist Asanas

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 5 – Shoulder & Elbow Asanas

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 6 – Neck Movements

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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