Saturday, January 12, 2013

Yoga Routine for Lower Body Flexibility

Referred URL

http://anmolmehta.com/blog/2013/01/02/yoga-routine-for-flexibility/

Some titles below are links to the article with all the details including cautions, benefits, practice tips, etc.  So click that to read the full article.

#1: BUTTERFLY POSE FOR MEDITATION

This is the most basic and effective pose for those looking to improve their flexibility for meditation.  It is also an ideal pose with which to begin your yoga session.  Done with Powerful Breath of Fire, it can get you energized as well.

Recently I also created a video for this pose and you will find it here – Yoga Helps Meditation Video – Butterfly Pose.

To practice this pose come into the position as shown by the illustration below and hold for 1-3 minutes.  More details in the article and video.

Butterfly Pose

#2: YOGA CRADLE ROCK

For the long time readers of the website and the fans of the Free Silent Mind Advanced Meditation Program, I know these illustrations are long overdue :-).  Cradle rock is excellent for opening up the hips and for helping you sit cross legged better, but it is a difficult exercise to describe without illustrations.

Thankfully I was able to get my wife Trupti, also a fellow yoga teacher, to demo the exercise recently and below are illustrations on how it is done. 

To practice this pose rock each leg as shown for 1-2 minutes. By rocking I mean to bring the ankle towards the chin and then back to the starting position.  For more details about this exercise, please visit the set I have linked to above, it is exercise #13 in that set.

Cradle Rock Front

Cradle Rock Side View – Arm Position

Cradle Rock Side Full

#3: YOGA COW POSE OR YOGA KNEE BOUNCE

Cow pose is a great pose for improving the flexibility of your hips.

Below is a picture of modified Cow Pose, which is a pose you can come into for 1-2 minutes.  If you are unable to do this pose, then substitute it with Yoga Knee Bounce instead. 

Yoga Knee Bounce Instructions:

To do Yoga Knee Bounce, sit with up with your legs extended in front of you.  Then bend your left leg and place your left ankle high up on your right knee.  Hold onto your left knee with both hands and bounce the knee gently up and down.  Do for 1-3 minutes, and then repeat with the other leg.

Be sure you don’t force this exercise or force yourself into Cow Pose below.

Modified Cow Pose

#4: YOGA FROG STRETCH

This is another exercise from the Yoga for Meditation Set (Exercise #8), which really needs to be illustrated for clarity sake.  Again, for this pose I will publish a detailed article soon with some variations, but below are instructions and illustrations on how to do this great stretching pose.

To do Frog Pose lie on your back and bring both legs up into the air with the soles of the feet pointing up towards the sky.  Reach up with your arms and hold onto your feet and pull your knees down towards your armpits.

The legs should be spread wide, creating a stretch in the groin area.  You should be holding your feet from the the inside such that the back of your hands are facing each other and your fingers are curled around the arches of your feet.

You can see from the explanation above, why illustrations would be helpful for this pose :-).  Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes, and do either long deep breathing or Breath of Fire.

Frog Pose

Frog Pose Hands Close Up

#5: LOWER BACK STRETCH

Along with tight hips, groin and knees, another common issue when sitting for long periods of meditation, is having lower back pain.  So it is a good idea to stretch out the back as well prior to meditating, so you can sit steadily and silently for extended periods without discomfort.

Here is a simple back stretching exercise which will help you accomplish this.  Just follow the illustrations below and stretch each side for 1-3 minutes.

Happy Meditating :-).

Lower Back Stretch Left

Lower Back Stretch Right

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