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Krauñcāsana (Sanskrit: क्रौञ्चासन) or Heron pose, also written Krounchasana, is a sitting asana in modern yoga as exercise.[1][2]

Etymology and origins[edit]

The name comes from the Sanskrit words Kraunch (क्रौञ्च) meaning "heron", and the name of a mountain;[3] and Asana (आसन, āsana) meaning "posture" or "seat".[4]

The 19th century Sritattvanidhi uses the name for a different pose, squatting, supported by a rope held with the teeth.[5] The modern pose is described in 20th century manuals such as B. K. S. Iyengar's Light on Yoga.[3] Swami Yogesvarananda names the modern pose "Ekapadotthitahastapadaprasaranasana" in his 1970 First Steps to Higher yoga, reserving the name Kraunchasana for a preparatory phase of another pose named for a waterbird, Bakasana (the Crane). Pattabhi Jois uses the name for the same pose as Iyengar, implying, according to the yoga scholar Norman Sjoman, that they both learnt the pose from their teacher Krishnamacharya.[5]


The pose is sitting with one knee forwards on the ground and the foot beside the hip, as in Virasana, the other leg straight and raised to touch the nose and chin, the foot grasped by both hands. It provides a stronger forward bend than Paschimottanasana.[2] The posture is stated to be unsuitable during menstruation.[1]


  1. ^ a b Mehta, Silva; Mehta, Mira; Mehta, Shyam (1990). Yoga: The Iyengar Way. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 62.
  2. ^ a b Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga. Schocken Books. pp. 158–159.
  3. ^ a b Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga. Schocken Books. p. 523.
  4. ^ Sinha, S.C. (1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  5. ^ a b Sjoman, Norman E. (1999). The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. pp. 44, 50, 79, 91. ISBN 81-7017-389-2.