This week’s posture:
Pronounced Tad-asan in Sanskrit, this is an amazing posture for balance, focus, posture, and for increasing height in children. It stretches the rectus abdomini muscles and the intestines, so it helps with digestion. Pregnant women can benefit from this posture during the first six month to keep the abdominal nerves and muscles toned.
Stand, feet together, or 10 cm apart, with arms down at the sides of the body and even weight on both feet.. Raise the arms over the head while interlocking the fingers. Turn the palms up to the ceiling, resting the hands on the head. Stare intensely at one point and slowly inhale while stretching the entire body up towards the ceiling. Stretch the arms up as high as possible, and raise the body onto the tips of the toes. Hold it there while keeping the gaze at one point. Hold the breath for a few seconds and slowly come down into the starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.
Note: Ensure breathing is: Inhale moving upwards, hold the breath or breathe normally at the top of the posture, and slowly exhale while exiting the posture.
For an extra challenge, look at your hands in the final posture. Try to close your eyes.
In Sanskrit, pronounced Uttan – Asan, this posture stretches the entire spinal column, the glutes, and the backs of the legs. It circulates the blood all over the body while strengthening the muscles in the feet and toes. It loosens the lower back – relieves tension, and is great for anyone with lower back pain. It allows the vertebrae to separate, allowing circulation to occur in the spine.
Stand straight in Tadasana (upright feet together, spine straight, looking forward) with hands on the hips. Ground the feet deep into the floor like a tree root. Take a nice inhale, open your chest, and slower bend your upper body down from the lower spine towards the floor, exhaling as your go down. Bend the knees if necessary. chest should be on the knees, face on the legs below the knees. Once in the fold position, allow the body to relax. Inhale and exhale, allowing the body to relax with every exhale. If you are a beginner stay there. If you are more advanced, try to straighten the knees. Stay there for at least one minute. Slowly come up, one vertebrae at a time, until back in Tadasana. Repeat. The second time, try to get the arms behind the calf muscles.
In Sanskrit, pronounced Shav – Asan, this posture helps to re-energize the body. There are certain key factors to performing this posture correctly. Shavasanah can be done at any time of day. It is a great posture for a quick pick me up, or for a quick stress release.
Position: Lie down on you back. Make sure your spine and neck are straight. Lift your head up and look down the centre of your body. You should see your toes fall outwards directly in the centre of your body. Lower your head. Allow your stomach muscles to completely relax. Bring your arms close to your body, palms facing up. Allow the shoulders to relax onto the floor. Close your eyes.
Now circulate your attention to each limb of the body, beginning with the right leg, right hip, right arm, right shoulder, head, eyes, nose, mouth, neck, left shoulder, left arm, left hip, left leg, abdomen, chest, in that order. Your body should feel tingling or a deep sense of peace. Circulate one more time.
Breathing: Breathe in, allowing the abdomen to rise as the breath enters.Always breathe in and out by the nose. Finish the inhale by allowing the chest to rise as you complete the inhale. Now slowly exhale, allowing the chest to fall, and then the abdomen to fall. Count in for 10, out for 10. Try a 5-10 minute Shavasanah.
Exiting: Slowly wiggle your finger and toes, and turn your body to the right. Lie there for a few seconds and come up into the sitting position. Take a few breaths and continue your day.
This posture can also be practised in bed (morning or night).
If you are having problems breathing through your nose, use a neti pot (see youtube for directions). The pot can be purchased online.