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To celebrate International Yoga Day on 21 June, I’d like to share my personal yoga flow. I do this in the mornings or when I feel my body is very tensed. Some of my guests who practised yoga with me during their stay in Milaidhoo might remember these poses.
We all know those mornings when we wake up with the body so tense, it does not seem easy to get started with the day. On those days I enjoy a yoga flow that only takes a few minutes.
The flow helps to release the tightness of muscles, especially targeting spine and pelvic joints, which are usually the hardest to mobilise.
The flow is actually for advanced practioners of yoga. I have been practising yoga from a very young age, so my body is used to making the poses. If you are a beginner, it is better if you do some of these postures under guidance before you start practising them on your own. Take your own time with each pose and hold it as long as you feel it to be good for you.
1. Back bend (Hasta Uttanasana) – Squeeze the hips while moving your arms back with inhalation, exhale on the position then inhale and come back to straight standing position.
2. Forward bend (Uttanasana) -Inhale in a standing position while raising your hand over your head, then exhale while bending forward; grab your calf muscle while trying to bring your nose to your knees.
3. Airplane pose (Dekasana)-Inhale, raising your right leg, strengthen your left leg and then slowly – once you have got your balance – raise your upper body parallel to the ground keeping your arms straight to your shoulders. Breathe normally as you do this.
4. Dancing Postures (Utthita Ardhadhanurasana) – On the back, grab your right feet with your right hand keeping your balance on your left leg and extend left arm in front -this posture enhances the elasticity of the spine while toning the abdominal organs and strengthening the legs.
5. Nose to toe touching. While in warrior position, keeping your right leg bending slowly, lean with your upper body and try to touch your toes with your nose. Remember to tag your hands on the back so that you are really working on strengthening your legs as well as increasing your pelvic flexibility.
6. Shoulder pressing in a hand balance (Bhujapidasana)-Bring both your legs on your shoulder/upper arms. Make a lock with your elbow and slowly transfer your weight on your palm and try to lift your hips and feet from the ground.
7. Crow Pose (Bakasana)-Lock your both knees into the triceps as much as you can find the hook, focus forward, lift one foot followed by the other foot and try to balance on your arms.
8. One foot to head pose (Ekapad sirasana)-Place your right calf muscle on the back of your neck. Push your head upwards, keeping your hands in the namaskar If you want to challenge yourself, roll on your back.
9. Lotus Peacock pose (Padma Mayurasana)-Sit in the lotus pose then stand on your knees; walk your hands in front, now bend your elbows by bringing them together and lean forward to place them on the centre of the abdomen. Then lean to lift your legs in padmasana by engaging your core and pushing your hands against the floor.
10. Wheel Pose (Chakrasana )-Bend your knees, feet flat on floor. Place your hands on the floor just above your shoulder. Press into your hand, lifting the upper body and then start pressing into your feet and lift lower body. Hold for five to ten breaths then slowly release the pose.
11. Cross-legged sitting position (Sukhasana)-Sit in cross-legged position and just focus on breathing slowly, acknowledging the contents of your headspace. When your thoughts get murky due to whatever is going on in your life or your surroundings, take time to quieten the mind. Listen to at least five deep breaths and move on. This moment of mental stillness will fortify the mind for the day ahead.