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Balancing Builds Strength & Flexibility

If you’re familiar with the classic yoga pose called “downward facing dog,” try this variation for more of a challenge. It develops flexibility in your legs while strengthening your core and upper-body muscles.

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Step 1. Begin on your hands and knees, then curl your toes under and lift your hips to straighten your knees, pushing your heels toward the floor. Shift your weight to your left leg and raise your right leg off the floor. Keep your right foot flexed, with your toes and knee pointed down.

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Step 2.  Focus on keeping your shoulders and hips facing the floor as you shift your upper-body weight to your right hand. Slowly raise your left arm off the floor while you use your core muscles to stabilize your shoulders and pelvis. Find your balance and hold for three complete breaths. Slowly lower your arm and leg, then switch sides and repeat the exercise on the other side.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Stretch at Your Desk Can Ease Stiff Back

When work has you glued to your desk and you feel your back stiffening up, try this simple stretch for a few minutes. It helps loosen those tight areas and counters the effects of prolonged sitting.This is specially very good for those who are working on computers for long hours.

Step 1
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Push your chair away from your desk, sit on the front edge of the chair and place both feet hip-width apart. Inhale, raise your arms straight up, separating them so they are shoulder-width apart, palms facing in. On an exhale, keep your back straight and lean forward from your hips until your upper body rests on your lap. Reach your fingertips to the floor.

Step 2
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On an inhale, twist your upper spine to your right and raise your right arm until your hand points to the ceiling. Look up toward your hand. Hold this position for three breaths. Lower your hand to the floor and repeat on the other side.

Do three sets of the above exercises and relax for two minutes. Take a deep breath and release slowly.

Sources:Los Angles Times

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Preparatory Movement (Yoga Exercise)

Yogic practices create lot of strain on different organs or parts of the body, our body should have enough strength to bear this, one should build this stamina with practice. The preparatory movements provide just the same and help you build the necessary strength and prepare the whole body for Yogasana.

Following precautions should be taken while performing these movements –
1. Movements should be without jerk or swings.
2. Movements should be slow and smooth.
3. Movements to be tuned with breathing.

Normal Breathing Principles –
1. When the physical movements is in the direction of gravitational pull, i.e. downwards, exhaling should take place.
2. During upward movement, inhaling should take place.
3. When there is no movement, normal breathing should be resumed.

Preparatory Movements preposition- 

*Stand with 1 to 1.5 feet distance between legs, hands straight and resting the palms on the sides of the thighs, look straight.

*This posture makes balancing of the body easy.

Preparatory Movement 1

 

Preparatory Movement 1 –

1. In preposition, inhaling raise both the hands above the head slowly keeping the distance same between them.

2. Then exhaling slowly start bending down in the waist till the palms touch the ground, keep the head pressed towards the knees.

3. Inhaling raise the waist and take position as in 1.

4. Exhailing bring the arms back to the normal preposition.

Preparatory Movement 2

 

Preparatory Movement 2-

1.In preposition, inhaling raise both the hands from sides, slowly bringing them at shoulder height and parallel to the ground.

2.Then exhaling slowly start bending forward in the waist, touch the thumb of right foot by your left hand, keeping the right arm straight above.

3.Inhaling take position as in 1.

4.Then exhaling slowly start bending forward in the waist, touch the thumb of left foot by your right hand keeping the left arm straight above.

5.Inhaling take position as in 1.

6.Exhaling bring the arms down to the normal preposition.

Preparatory Movement 3

 

Preparatory Movement 3-

1.In preposition, inhaling raise both the hands from sides slowly bringing them at shoulder height and parallel to the ground.

2.Then exhaling slowly start turning to the left in the waist keeping the arms and shoulder in straight line. At the same time keep knees straight and feet firmly on ground.

3.Inhaling take position as in 1.

4.Then exhaling slowly start turning to the right in the waist keeping the arms and shoulder in straight line. At the same time keep knees straight and feet firmly on ground.

5.Inhaling take position as in 1.

6.Exhaling bring the arms down to the normal preposition.

Preparatory Movement 4

 

Preparatory Movement 4 –

1.In preposition, inhaling bring both the hands on waist in such a way that fingers come to the front side and thumb to the back.

2.Then exhaling slowly start bending forwards in the waist keeping knees straight. Try to bring the head between the legs.

3.Inhaling take position as in 1.

4.Then exhaling slowly start bending backwards in the waist keeping knees straight. Try to bend as much as possible and maintain your balance.

5.Inhaling take position as in 1.

6.Exhaling bring the arms down to the initial position.

Preparatory Movement 5

 

Preparatory Movement 5 –

1.In preposition, inhaling bring both the hands on waist in such a way that fingers come to the front side and thumb to the back.

2.Then exhaling slowly start bending the head and the body in the waist to the left keeping knees straight. Pay attention to the right side which gets strain from head to ankle.

3.Inhaling take position as in 1.

4.Then exhaling slowly start bending head and body in the waist to the right, keeping knees straight. Pay attention to the left side which gets strain from head to ankle.

5.Inhaling take position as in 1.

6.Exhaling bring the arms down to the normal preposition.

Preparatory Movement 6

 

Preparatory Movement 6 –

1.In preposition, inhaling bring both the hands on waist in such a way that fingers come to the front side and thumb to the back.

2.Then exhaling slowly bend forward in the waist.

3.Inhaling rotate to the left in the waist and try to attain position no. 2 as in Preparatory Movement 5.

4.Continue inhaling and rotate backwards as in the position 4 in Preparatory Movement 4.

5.Exhaling further rotate to the right and attain the position no. 4.

6.Continue exhaling rotate to the front and take position no.2, as above.

7.Inhaling, rotate to the right and take position no.5 above.

8.Continue inhaling, rotate backwards, and take the position no.4 above.

9.Exhaling further rotate to the left and attain the position no. 3 above.

10.Continue exhaling and rotate to the front and attain the position no. 2 above.

11.Inhaling raise the waist and attain the position no. 1 above.

12.Exhaling bring the hands down to the normal position.

Preparatory Movement 7

 

Preparatory Movement 7 –

1.Bring both the hands on the waist.

2.Bend the neck forward as much as possible. The chin should get fixed into the pit below the Adam’s Apple.

3.Straighten the neck.

4.Bend the neck backward so much that its front side feels the strain.

5.Straighten the neck.

6.Bend the neck on the left shoulder creating pressure on the right side.

7.Straighten the neck.

8.Bend the neck on the right shoulder creating pressure on the left side.

9.Straighten the neck.

10Bring both the hands down and come to the initial position.

Preparatory Movement 8 –

 

Preparatory Movement 8 –

1.Keep both the hands on the waist.

2.Bend the neck forward at ease.

3.Rotate the neck round to the left and have the position No.6 of Preparatory Movement type 7.

4.Rotate the neck further to the back and have the position No.4 of Preparatory Movement type 7.

5.Then rotate the neck to the right and bring it on the right shoulder (Position No. 8 of Preparatory Movement type 7).

6.Rotate the neck down to the front (Position No.2 above).

7.Now start rotating the neck to the right as in Position No.5 above.

8.Rotate the neck further to the back as in Position No.4 above.

9.Then rotate the neck to the left and keep it on the left shoulder as in Position No.3 above.

10Rotate the neck down to the front as in Position No.2 above.

11.Straighten the neck.

12.Bring both the hands down and come to the initial position.

Preparatory Movement 9

 

Preparatory Movement 9 –

1.In preposition, inhaling raise both the hands up above the head as in the position no. 1 in Preparatory Movement 1 .

2.Then exhaling slowly bend forward in the waist and try to touch the fingers to the ground as in the position no. 2 in Preparatory Movement 1, then bring palms together and keep knees straight.

3.Inhaling rotate to the left in the waist and try to attain position no. 2 Preparatory Movement 5.

4.Continue inhaling and rotate backwards as in the position 4 in Preparatory Movement 4.

5.Exhaling further rotate to the right in the same bent position.

6.Continue exhaling rotate to the front and take position no.2 as above.

7.Inhaling, rotate to the right and take position no.5 above.

8.Continue inhaling, rotate backwards, and take the position no.4 above.

9.Exhaling further rotate to the left and attain the position no. 3 above.

10.Continue exhaling and rotate to the front and attain the position no. 2 above.

11.Inhaling raise the waist and arms stretched above your head.

12.Exhaling bring the hands down to the normal position.

Preparatory Movement 10

Preparatory Movement 10-

1.In preposition , inhaling raise both the heels, then hands from front to the shoulder level, keep them parallel to the ground.

2.Then exhaling slowly start bending down in the knees, sit on the toes, try to maintain the balance with the stretched arms.

3.Inhaling raise your body and take position as in 1.

4.Exhaling bring the arms back to the normal preposition.

Preparatory Movement 11

 

Preparatory Movement 11 –

1.Bend the left hand in the elbow and raise it to the level of 90 degree angle. The arms and the elbows be kept close to the body.

2.Catch the wrist of the left hand by the right hand lightly.

3.Close the fingers of the left hand and rotate the wrist slowly from left to right anticlockwise and complete the cycle.

4.Then rotate the wrist of the left hand from right to left clockwise and complete the cycle.

5.Bring the right hand down.

6.Bring the left hand down and take the initial position. Now take up the right hand and repeat the above mentioned process.

Preparatory Movement 12

 

Preparatory Movement 12 –

1.Bend the left leg in the knee and raise it to the level of 90 degree angle.

2.Hold the thigh of the left leg with both the hands and be stable.

3.Now rotate the foot of the left leg in the ankle from left to right anticlockwise and complete the cycle.

4.Then rotate the same foot from the right to left clockwise and complete the cycle.

5.Bring both the hands to their places.

6.Bring the left leg to its place. Now take up the right leg and repeat through the above mentioned process.

 

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Source: http://www.yogapoint.com

Vajrasana Yogomudra-1 (Yoga Exercise)

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Posture : This Asana is performed in Vajrasana Position.
Pre position : Vajrasana Position

How to do the Exercise:

1. Inhale and take both the hands back and keep the palms facing outside interlocking the thumbs. Keep both the hands straight.
2. Exhailing bend in the waist and rest the forehead on the floor. Continue smooth breathing.

Position:

In this Asana one has to sit in Vajrasana and bend in the waist fully. In this process the abdomen gets folded and that is expected, too. Further in order to get the abdomen folded properly, one should try to set the forehead on the ground quite away from the body. Once the bending process is over, continue smooth breathing.

After some practice, while bending in the waist, keep the back bone straight to experience its nice results. After taking the position, try to relax the body.
Releasing

1. Exhale and inhaling be straight in the waist.
2. Restore the hands on the knees and take up Vajrasana Position.

Duration : This Asana being simple can easily be maintained for two minutes and even more.
Benefits: As the belly gets folded in this Asana, there comes tremendous pressure on intestines, liver, spleen, certain glands, etc., and this pressure improves their functioning and removes complaints regarding digestive system & constipation. This Asana is also used to awaken the kundalini shakti, which, however, requires its prolonged practice.
Precaution One should take care while bending in the waist. Bending process should be slow and should go with the exhailing process or else one may suffer from air or gas accumulation in the belly. The people with back problem should practice this Asana only after consulting some Yoga Expert.

Reference Book:- Yoga Pravesh

Dhanurasana-Type1(Yoga Exercise)

Posture : This Exercise(Asana ) involves another system of pulling the leg which gives the impression of a bow with an arrow to be shot and hence, the name Dhanurasana.

Technique of doing the exerciise:
Pre position Sitting Position.

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1. Bend the left leg in knee and keep the foot on the thigh of right leg. Keep the right leg straight.
2. Hold the big toe of the left leg with left hand, and that of the right leg with the right hand.
3. Exhale, and inhaling start lifting the left leg with the left hand and pull it up to the left ear, and stabilize it at that point.
4. Continue normal breathing.

Position : When one leg is lifted, the other leg and hand should be kept straight. The sight should be fixed on the other end of the straight hand.
Once the Exercise Position is taken, smooth breathing should continue.
Releasing Technique:

1. Inhale, and exhaling bring the left leg on the thigh of the right leg.
2. Restore both the hands to their place.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.

Note: Do this Exercise in the above mentioned manner by taking up the right leg on the thigh of the left leg bringing in relevant changes in the position.
Duration : This latter Asana exerts more strain than the former. It should also be maintained for thirty seconds to experience its benefits.
Benefits: In this Exercise the direction of strain is towards the joints of the waist.
Precaution :The person with weak waist joints should not do this asana as it brings great strain to the joints.

Reference Book:- Yoga Pravesh