Daily yoga for everyone
With an intention to bring before the readers modern day yoga asanas which will benefit everyone and anyone can do them, I present here a brief glance at present day yoga postures
If you have seen some yoga book written two-three decades ago or have joined such classes then, asanas like shirshasana, padangusthasana, mayurasan, shakti asana and such comparatively difficult asanas were there which could not be done by everyone.
Nowadays such asanas are systematically arranged so that any generally healthy person can do them and get the maximum from yoga.
Along with these asanas, breathing exercises are taken care of.
Some 'sukshma kriyas' are included to be done before asanas. They increase the speed of blood circulation in our body. They look very simple but can give proper stretching ability, strength and elasticity to the muscles and enhance oxygen level in the body.
Many modern day kriyas and asanas resemble physiotherapy exercises and are very good for overall health. They provide comprehensive benefits.
So we will have a glance at such recent day asanas and kriyas.
This entire daily module takes approximately 40 minutes. One should remain in one posture for about ten to twenty seconds. At Least for five breaths. Remaining for less than that does not render any benefit.
In general when you stretch your body or go up, inhale and when you bend down or come to a normal position, exhale. Turning sideways should be done exhaling and coming to a normal position should be done inhaling.
Let us see these asanas for daily routine.
They are divided into four groups-
1. Standing 2. Sitting 3. Lying on back 4. Prone position ie. lying on your stomach with your face to the floor.
In every group there is one forward bending, one backward bending, one side bending and one for balancing.
1. Tadasana - keep your palms outwards. Take a deep breath. Raise your hands up from near your ears. Stand on your toes. Feel as if you are being pulled by someone from up.
You can do this by intermingling your fingers of both palms and keeping your palms facing the sky.
A variation. You can tilt to your left and right while exhaling.
Maintain any pose for ten seconds.
2. Vrikshasana - press the sole of your right foot on the floor. Tighten the knee. Raise your hands and spread them. Raise your left foot while inhaling. Press the sole of the left foot near the genitals. If you are not comfortable, you can keep the sole below the knee of the right foot. Raise the hands in a 'namaste' position above your head. Look straight focussing at some point. Count five breaths. Slowly release the foot, hands down. Do repeat on the other foot.
3. Padahastasana - Join both legs. Inhale and bend backward, raising your hands up. Now bend down exhaling slightly forcefully. Try to put your palms beside your feet. Let your head drop as far as it can and try to touch your knees with your head. It is difficult and all can not do it but feel the stretch on the back of your feet, your buttocks and waist. Bend forward as far as you can. Do not bend your knees. Do not put much strain on your vertebrae, neck or head. After ten seconds get up raising your hands and inhaling inhaling to be in a normal position.
4. Ardha Chakrasana - keeping both your palms on buttocks, facing downwards, bend backward while inhaling. Look at the sky. Broaden your chest as much as possible. After ten seconds slowly raise your neck, back and come to normal position.
5. Katichakrasana - keep space between both legs equal to your shoulders. Keep both hands parallel to the floor, palms facing each other. Exhale and turn to the right side as much as you can. Coming to normal position, repeat on the left side.
6. Chair posture - keeping your hands parallel to the floor, inhale deeply. Try to sit on an imaginary chair while exhaling. Remain in this position for ten seconds.
7. Trikonasana - Make an inverse V of your legs so that both the legs are slightly out of shoulder length. Keep both hands parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Now inhale and bend to your right exhaling. Make a 6 o'clock position of hands and look up. One hand faces the sky while the other touches your foot. Repeat on the other side.
1. Vajrasana - Sit upright. Make a cradle-like position of your feet touching both the toes behind you. Place the buttocks between the toes so that the toes of the feet come face to face. Sit up straight. Watch the motion of the deep breath. Keep the abdomen slightly stretched inside.
2. Shashankasana - Sit in Vajrasana, take deep breath, raise both hands and bend forward while exhaling. Keep hands stretched forward parallel to the head. Both hands and the forehead touch the floor. The chest touches your thighs. Be careful not to raise your body from behind. Stay in this position for 10 seconds and return to the original position.
3. Ardha Chakrasana - Raise the neck. Inhale. Keep the palms facing downward, on the buttocks. Sit up half standing and bend slowly backwards, Look at the sky leaning back. Take a deep breath with your chest open. Return to the normal position after 10 seconds.
4. Ardha matsyendrasana (or Vakrasana) - S
it straight. Stretch your feet before you. Raise your left foot and keep on the side of your right foot. Raise your right hand. Exhale and while keeping your left knee pressed by your right hand, turn to your left. Remain in the twisted position for ten seconds. Come to normal position and repeat on the other side.
5. Uttan mandukasana -
Start by sitting in the Vajrasana.
Be comfortable. Spread knees wide apart while the toes remain together. Inhale. Raise your right arm and keep on the left shoulder. Similarly Keep your left arm on the right shoulder. The position will look like a dog's ears. Keep your back and neck straight.
Be in this position for a few breaths or for whatever time you are comfortable being in it.
Lying down on back
1. Markatasana- Lie on your back and spread your arms to the sides with palms facing up. Exhale bending your knees and placing your feet closer to your hips.
Inhale and then exhale, dropping your bent legs to the right. Turn your head to the left.
In this position, the outer right knee and ankle lie on the floor.
The stretch will be on one side of your neck and on the other side on your waist and thigh muscles.
2. Kati utthanasana - lie on your back. Bend your knees and let them touch your buttocks. Catch the ankles of your feet tightly. Inhale and raise your trunk making a bridge-like posture. Retain the position for ten seconds.
3. Pawan muktasana - Lie flat on your back, ensuring that your feet are together, and your arms are placed beside your body.
Take a deep breath. Raise your knees, bend them, let them touch your chest and clutch them inside your folded hands. Exhale and try touching your head to your bent knees.
Hold the asana while you breathe normally. Take care of the neck.
Exhale and release the pose.
4. Ardha halasana - place both the palms beneath the buttocks. Inhaling, raise both the legs slowly upto 90 degrees. Your feet should be straight, at the right angle from your trunk. Look at the toes of your feet. After 10 seconds come to the normal position.
5. Matsyasana - The new method of doing this is easier compared to the old one with a Padmasana and lying catching the toes. Lie on your back and fold your hands from your elbows. Keep the palms near the ears facing down. Inhale and bend, raising your trunk and neck backwards, make an arch of your trunk and neck. Do not put weight on your crown of head. Let the weight be on the elbows. Keep your legs straight. Come to the normal position lying down.
6. Paschimottanasana - Keep your legs straight before you. Inhale and raise your hands. Bend forward with force while exhaling. Catch your toes. Draw your stomach inside and try to touch your nose on the knees. It Does not matter if you can not. Stretch till you are comfortable. Feel stretching on your spine and sciatica.
7. Purvottanasana - (also known as shwan kriya ) It is necessary to do it after Paschimottanasana. Raise your hands. Let The palms touch the shoulders, fingers pointing to your feet. Inhale and raise your trunk. After 10 seconds come back lying down.
Lying on the back
1. Bhujangasana - Lie down on your stomach. Raise your trunk and head supported by the palms. Inhale. Bend your arms at the elbows.
Arch your neck and look upward gently.
Make sure that your stomach is pressed on the floor.
Put pressure on your toes by pressing them onto the floor.
2. Shalabhasana - Lie down on the ground on your belly and put the palms on the ground.
Join both the feet.
Slowly raise the lower portion of the waist till the navel while keeping the legs straight. Stay in this position for sometime.
Put both your hands beneath the stomach and raise the feet as high as possible. Stay for ten seconds and come back.
3. Dhanurasana- lie down on your stomach. Bend both the feet from knees, let them touch your buttocks and catch your ankles by hands from outside. Inhale and raise head and trunk. Raise feet caught by hands and make a bow-like position. Come down after ten seconds.
4. Makarasana- Lie down on the floor on your stomach with your hands folded under the head.
Place the right palm over the left palm on the ground and place the head over the right palm in a relaxed way and close your eyes.
Stretch the legs as far as possible.
A new version suggests folding your legs from knees, keeping your chin in raised palms and lifting legs up, down kicking your buttocks. Do it five times to relieve tension in thigh muscles.
After all these asanas, do relax the whole body in Shavasana.
Sleep on your back. First tense your whole body, tighten your fists. Inhale and fast exhale. Scan your entire body from toes to your head and mentally order each organ to relax. Observe your breath.
Do the following pranayamas after these asanas.
1. Bhastrika - Deeply inhale taking your breath till your navel. Hold it and release it. Do the movement of breath vertically filling your lungs. Concentrate on slow inhaling and fast exhaling. Do this twenty times. This is one cycle. Relax. Repeat the cycle another two times. Thus do this process sixty times.
2. Kapalbhati - whereas in Bhastrika it was vertical movement, here it is horizontal, that of your stomach muscles pressing to your back but without force. Here concentration is on forceful exhaling and inhaling is automatic. Blow the breath as if blowing a candle. Do this 30 times. Then inhale deeply and let your chin almost press on your chest. This is chin lock. Now Relax. Repeat this cycle another three times. So in all you do 120 strokes.
3. Anulom vilom - Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed. Place your left hand on your left knee.
Lift your right hand up toward your nose.
Exhale completely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers. Hold for five counts. Then exhale through the right nostril. Now inhale from your right nostril, hold and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat this five to six times.
4. Bhramari - Sit straight. Keep your thumb inside your ears, two fingers on the sides of your eyes and the other two on the side of your lips. Inhale deeply. Exhale making a sound like a bee. Close your eyes. Feel the sound travelling the body like a drill. Do this three times.
After these exercises rub your palms and place them on your closed eyes. Recite prolonged 'Aum..' three times.
Doing this entire module for a fortnight you will definitely feel physical and mental benefits.
Those interested can download WHO M- yoga app and see learning sessions and practice.