Couch Pose (Paryankasana) | The Ultimate Stretching Pose for Your Legs

There are tons of exercises that focus on opening the hips, shoulders, and other areas of the body and improve your overall fitness. Yoga poses such as the Couch pose, also known as Paryankasana, can be particularly beneficial in releasing tension in the body and increasing your flexibility.

Couch Pose (Paryankasana)

Couch Pose (Paryankasana) | The Ultimate Stretching Pose for Your Legs
ImageSource: YogaJournal

When translating from Sanskrit, ‘Paryanka’ means a bed or couch and ‘Asana’ translated to pose or posture. A moderate to hard pose, couch pose is part of the backbend family and shapes the body to resemble a couch, giving this pose the apt name.

Your knees and ankles need to be flexible when doing this pose, but there are also many variations and modifications you can make to perform couch pose with comfort and ease.

Couch Pose Directions:

The following steps will guide you through your practice as you perform the couch pose.

  • Start by lying down on your mat with your back flat, your legs extended out straight, and your arms by your sides.
  • Bend your right knee and fold your leg back so that it is placed by the side of your right hip. Repeat using the other leg.
  • Once both legs are folded, try to keep your knees together and ensure that your head, neck, and the rest of the body are aligned.
  • Stretch your arms and elbows out to the back and bend your elbows to fold your arms if necessary.
  • Focus on your breath; inhale and exhale normally. Feel the stretch in your thighs, knees, and ankles.
  • Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and slowly return back to the starting position.
  • Take a few deep breaths in and out to relax.

Couch Pose Variations:

If you are a beginner or having trouble with your flexibility, there are many different modifications you can add to this pose.

  • Place a cushion or a pillow under your back to arch the spine and help you get into the pose more comfortably.
  • Tie a yoga belt around the knees for added support to the hips and to hold the thighs together.
  • Add blocks under your head and back for extra support and comfort.

Benefits of Couch Pose:

Performing the couch pose on a regular basis provides multiple benefits to the mind and body, including improved flexibility and increased oxygen intake.

Added benefits of couch pose include the following:

Couch pose is an effective therapy for the following conditions:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Other lung conditions

Couch Pose Precautions:

As with many exercises, it is important to consult your doctor before practicing couch pose, especially if you suffer from any injuries or are recovering from a serious surgery.

It is best to avoid couch pose under the following conditions:

  • Cardiac problems
  • Hypertension
  • Serious knee injuries
  • During pregnancy
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Stiffness in the lower back and neck
  • Sciatica

Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/19/2018

The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.


Courtesy The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (E), Mumbai

Couch Pose Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Couch Pose – Paryankasana. (2014, February 08). Retrieved from