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Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose)?

Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose)?

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What is Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose)?

Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose)

Garbha Pindasana, or the Embryo Pose, is a seated balancing yoga asana. This pose is for intermediate to advanced yoga practitioners because it requires immense core strength to stabilize this posture. 

In this pose, the legs are interlocked in Padmasana, and the knees are lifted towards the body. Garbha Pindasana resembles the shape of an embryo or fetus resting inside the womb. 

Embryo Pose is also used as a meditative asana in Hatha and modern yoga practice, which helps increase your level of concentration. This pose channels Prana to higher spiritual levels, helping you gain more clarity while awakening the soul. 

Garbha Pindasana is a combination of Sanskrit words –  'Garbha' meaning womb, 'Pinda' meaning embryo or fetus, and 'Asana' meaning posture.  

This pose is an ancient yoga asana, and you can read about it in 17th century Bahr al-Hayāt (Ocean of Life), a Persian book that explains meditative yoga asanas. 

The Garbha Pindasana is also very similar to Uttana Kurmasana (Turtle Pose) from the 19th century Sritattvanidhi (book including 122 Hatha Yoga postures), but the difference is that Turtle Pose is performed while reclining on the ground. 

Sanskrit Name: ङर्भ Pइण्डआसन              Pronunciation: gaar-BAAH-peen-duh-AHS-anna

Pose Type: Seated Balance                   Also known as: Embryo in Womb Pose, Embryo Pose

Strengthens: Back, Glutes, and Core    Stretches: Glutes, Pelvis, and Hamstrings

Health Benefits of Garbha Pindasana

  • Relaxes the spine. 

  • Increases core strength. 

  • Increase the flow of Prana

  • Improves pelvic range of motion. 

  • Relaxes the glutes and sitting bones. 

  • Massages the digestive organs and improves digestion. 

  • Benefits pregnant women in opening the pelvic area for labor. 

  • Enhances mindfulness and focus, increasing spiritual intuitiveness.  

  • Activates the Manipura chakra, which detoxifies organs, like the spleen and liver.

When to Avoid Performing Garbha Pindasana

  • Avoid after childbirth.

  • Avoid during menstruation. 

  • Avoid if you have a slipped disc.

  • Avoid if you have a pelvic or spinal injury. 

  • Avoid after the first trimester of pregnancy.

  • Avoid if you have weak ankle and knee joints.  

  • Avoid if you have had abdominal or hip surgery recently. 

How to do Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose)

We have divided the embryo pose practice into four parts: warm-up, main practice, follow-up, and things to keep in mind. This approach will help you find your balance faster in this seated yoga pose without injury. 

Here are the four phases to get started with Garbha Pindasana.

Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Garbha Pindasana

The embryo pose uses your abdominal muscles for balance, opens your pelvis, and it helps to increase the mobility in your knees. The following preparatory asanas will help you activate your knees, hips, and spine. 

1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose) - Sit on your yoga mat in Staff Pose and gently bend your knees. Now, inhale as you cross your shins together and spread your sitting bones evenly on the ground. 

Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

Exhale and bring mindful awareness to your spine’s alignment. Sit with your spine upright, and avoid slouching your shoulders. Hold this pose with your eyes closed for five minutes. 

2. Padmasana (Lotus position) - Sit in Staff Pose and bend your right knee. Bring your right foot over to your left thigh and repeat this same process on the left side. 

Padmasana (Lotus position)

Both your legs must appear crossed on the floor, and your feet should be resting on your opposite thighs. Now, close your eyes and maintain this hold with an straight spine for 2 to 5 minutes. You can chant a mantra or practice pranayama in this pose as well. 

3. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) - Start by getting into Dandasana and gently bend your right knee. Place your right leg under your left butt and over the right knee, and stack your left knee. Keep your feet aligned with your hip flexors. 

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Raise one arm overhead to reach behind your back and bring your other arm from below to get behind your back. Now, clasp and hold your fingers together and stay in this posture for a few minutes. Again, repeat the process by exchanging the placement of your arms and legs. 

Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Garbha Pindasana

Below are steps to follow to get perform the Embryo Pose: 

Step 1: Get into Padmasana and stay here for a few minutes while practicing some deep breathwork. 

Step 2: Inhale, tighten your core and lift your legs off the mat in the same Padmasana formation. 

Step 3: Now, pass your arms between the gap of your thighs and focus on balancing your body on your coccyx (a triangular arrangement of bone below your sacrum). 

Step 4: Exhale and bring your arms close to your face or ears. Lock your legs with the support of your forearms. 

Step 5: Focus on maintaining your balance in the Embryo Pose by closing your eyes and working on keeping your breathing steady. 

Step 6: After one minute, let go of your arms and exchange the placement of your legs, repeating the same process once more. 

Step 7: Finally, release the pose and bring your legs back into seated Padmasana. 

Breath Awareness: 

  • Inhale: When your legs are lifted off the yoga mat in Padmasana formation. 

  • Exhale: When your arms pass through the gap to lock your limbs together. 

Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold Embryo Pose for 30 to 60 seconds. 

Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold Embryo Pose for 1 to 3 minutes. 

Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind

If this is your first time performing Embryo Pose, follow the below posture cues for the best outcome: 

  • Focus on your breathing: If you cannot balance the hold in Embryo Pose for very long, you may have an inconsistent breathing pattern. This is a challenging asana practice, and requires total concentration on balancing different muscle groups along with proper breathwork. 
  • Do not try this as a beginner: Many beginners will find this pose to be too difficult to execute, which is why we highly recommend first building a foundational core strength and working on pranayama before getting started with this pose. 

Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Garbha Pindasana

After practicing Embryo Pose, it’s important to relax your body with the below counter-poses: 

1. Matsyasana (Fish Pose): From the last step of Embryo Pose, get into Staff Pose and start reclining your upper body onto your yoga mat. 

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Bring your elbows close together and place your forearms below your tailbone. Breathe in and lift your neck, chest, and low back off the mat. Hold this pose for a minute, and then relax into the Corpse Pose later. 

2. Balasana (Child's Pose): After releasing Embryo Pose, inhale and transition into a tabletop pose. Spread your knees wide on the mat, exhale deeply, and bring your belly to rest in between your thighs. 

Balasana (Child's Pose)

Rest your chest on the mat and keep your arms stretched out in front. Hold this pose until your low and upper back muscles release any tension.

3. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose): After Garbha Pindasana, transition into a seated Bound Angle Pose. Now, slowly start to recline your back onto the mat. Make sure to exhale as you lower your back. 

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

Keep breathing as you widen your knees away from your hips and relax your pelvic floor and your spinal column. Stay in this pose until all of your exhausted muscles feel at ease. 

Garbha Pindasana Modifications and Props

If you feel that Embryo Pose is extremely challenging to balance, try some of these posture modifications with and without props: 

  • Use a yoga block: If you’re just starting out with this pose, this modification is for you. Add a yoga block right below your ankles. This will help you activate your abdominal muscles and allow you to add more stability around your core. 

Use a yoga block

Practice this modification regularly for a few weeks, and once you start to feel more strength in your core, try moving away from the block. Move one ankle away at a time, and prepare yourself for the next level. 

  • Try balancing Bound Angle Pose: To stay balanced in Embryo Pose, you must strengthen your coccyx, hip bones, and low back area. Try a dynamic movement, beginning with the grounded Bound Angle posture, and then lifting your limbs off the mat. 

Try balancing Bound Angle Pose

Keep repeating this movement gently with an upwards and downwards motion for a few seconds. This will allow you to open your pelvis and activate balancing muscle groups around your tailbone.

  • Tolangulasana (The Weighing Scale Pose): Just like its name translates, this yoga pose looks exactly like a weighing scale dangling from one side to another. This pose is one step closer in terms of building strength for the Embryo Pose. 

Tolangulasana (The Weighing Scale Pose)


Start with the Lotus Pose and tilt your upper body backward. Place your elbows underneath your buttocks and slowly lift your lotus legs off the mat. Try to focus on your breath and balance your body on your tailbone with support from your forearms. 

  • Lift only one leg: If lifting both of your legs off the mat in Garbha Pindasana is still challenging for you, try lifting only one leg up. 

Lift only one leg

Lift any one leg up into the Half-Lotus formation and keep the other leg straight in front of you. Now, pass your forearms under your legs to form a half Embryo Pose and hold it for a few seconds. Finally, release and repeat the same on the other leg. 

Garbha Pindasana Variations to Consider

The following are some posture variations that intermediate yogis can try to advance their practice: 

1. Try Different Formations: The Embryo Pose can be executed with various formations, like with your face resting on your palms, hands in Anjali Mudra, or hands holding your ears – all of these are different types of forearm variations. 

 Try Different Formations

Choose which formation works best for you, while maintaining body balance and challenging your mindfulness.  


2. Sarvangasana Garbha Pindasana: This pose is also known as the reclining version of regular Garbha Pindasana because in this pose, you will balance your bodies on your shoulders. 

Sarvangasana Garbha Pindasana

Simply lie down on your back, interlock your limbs together in Embryo Pose, and hold it for a few seconds. This pose will increase the blood supply in your brain and help to activate your neck area. 

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Level-Up Poses After Garbha Pindasana for Advanced Yogis

After Garbha Pindasana, you can level-up your yoga practice with similar advanced yoga asanas. 

With regular practice, these advanced poses will challenge your core strength and help you improve your mental and physical coordination.  

Level-Up Pose 1 - Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Level-Up Pose 2 - Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Kukkutasana (Cockerel Pose / Rooster Pose)

Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose)

Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose)

Kukkutasana (Cockerel Pose / Rooster Pose)

Kukkutasana (Cockerel Pose / Rooster Pose)

Similar Seated Balance Poses like Garbha Pindasana

Below are some more seated balancing yoga poses for you to try: 

  1. Navasana (Boat Pose)

  2. Padangusthasana (Toe Stand)

  3. Merudandasana (Spinal Column Pose)

  4. Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Both Big Toe Pose) 

  5. Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana (Upward-Facing Intense Stretch)

Frequently Asked Questions about Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose)?

What is Garbhasana?

Can beginners perform Garbha Pindasana pose?

Who should not perform Garbha Pindasana?

What are the benefits of Garbha Pindasana?

What are the different types of variation in Garbha Pindasana?

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