In the last article of this series, we discussed how over-exercising leads to ageing and also how asanas are not exercises, for they work through consciousness. We learnt eight asanas for body sculpting from Sanatan Kriya. Continuing from where we left in the last issue, we will take you through the final six asanas of the set.
Note: While performing asanas ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothes made from natural materials; avoid deodorants, perfumes and aftershave… basically anything artificial. Keep your eyes closed and maintain internal awareness of the body part that is being worked upon. Maintain ujjai breathing and synchronise the movement with your breath.
Uthanpad (raised leg): This asana strengthens the abdominal, pelvic and perennial muscles and massages the organs of the lower body. It is also beneficial in correcting prolapse. Lie down on the back, placing your arms on either side of your body. Inhale, slowly raise your legs (joint together) at thirty degrees, then sixty degrees and finally ninety degrees. Once you reach the ninety degree position slowly lower your legs to back to sixty degrees followed by thirty degrees and eventually to the original lying down position. Exhale as you lower it down. This is one set. Repeat this seven times. Ensure that your legs do not bend. Inhale while going up and exhale while coming down.
Padsanchalan (cycling): Lie down on your back. While exhaling, fold your legs to bring the knees close to the chest. Practice alternate cycling with both legs as if peddling a bicycle. Repeat seven times in forward and backward directions. Next raise both legs and keeping them together make forward and backward cyclical movements.
Janunaman: Lie down on your back. Place both hands by your side, palms facing downwards. Exhaling, fold your legs to bring the knees close to the chest. Inhaling, straighten the legs keeping them about 12 inches above the ground. Repeat the procedure seven times dynamically. People with heart and spine ailments should refrain from this movement and so should pregnant women.
Plank posture: Lie on your stomach, bring your elbows close to the chest, forearms resting on the ground and palms rolled into fist, to attain a push up posture. Inhaling, gently raise your body parallel to the ground, balancing it on your forearms and toes. Keep your body in straight line, elbows directly under your shoulders. The body looks like a plank. Gently, exhaling lower the body flat on the ground. This completes one round. This asana is to be done seven times dynamically. This asana strengthens the arm and leg muscles and gives a stretch to the stomach too.
Crunch Position: Lie on your back, exhaling, raise your legs bending the knees such that the thighs are perpendicular to ground and the calves are parallel to floor (see image). Now raise your upper body, fingers interlocked behind the neck, so that the stomach is crunched. Hold this stance for a few minutes, breathing in ujjai, and then gently come down.
Supt Vajrasana: Sit in Vajrasana and gently lie down backwards taking support of elbows and arms to rest the head on the floor. Hands on the heels or below the head. Close eyes and relax the body. Maintain ujjai breath. People suffering from sciatica, knee or back problems should not perform this asana.
These asanas are to be done dynamically, and the count can slowly be increased in multiples of seven up till 49 repeats of each asanas, as the body grows in strength and stability. The effect of all these asanas becomes manifold when practiced with your Guru who channelises energy into each asana.
Dhyan Foundation conducts Asan classes every Saturday at Sangeet Shyamala, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. To attend, 9873703307