Day 1 – Sukshm Vyayam (small exercises)…!!!
So, before you start the Vyayam (exercise) for Day 1 (need not be a Monday specifically, just the first day of seven), you need to make sure that you perform at least half an hour of Pranayama beforehand, as is prescribed by Baba Ramdev. This is a very good habit as Pranayama, besides ridding your body of a number of physical and psychological ailments, also increases blood flow, which stimulates your muscles and prepares them for undertaking the labor of exercising.
Again, since this is Day 1 and you’re just beginning, we start of by doing Sukshm Vyayam – which literally translates to small exercises. These small exercises will loosen up your joints and flex your muscles so that you can then undertake the exercises of Day 2 so on and so forth. Once you’ve finished with the Pranayamas and in case you feel a little tired, do take a small break and then start with the first exercise of Day 1:
Day 1 Exercise 1: For the Toes – While sitting down open up your legs in front of you and wiggle your toes back and forth. This is very good for Arthritis. It’s a very simple exercise and as you can see that we’ll address every single joint in our body starting from the very small to the largest bones.
Day1 Exercise 2: For the Ankles – Next rotate your ankle back and forth. With great effort your entire foot must extend and retract. Again, very good for Arthritis and you’ll start feeling the release of tension from your feet.
Now rotate each ankle around clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
Finally rotate both ankles together clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat each of these at least 5 times.
Day 1 Exercise 3: For the Knees – The next exercise will involve rotating your legs from the knees. Grab your right leg with both hands under the knees and rotate it upwards and towards you. Once your knee is completely folded, stretch it flat out in front of you. Make sure your other leg is straight. Do this at least 5 times and then rotate it the other way round. Next do the same process for your left leg.
If you’re not able to rotate your legs fully then just bend and straighten them out.
Another very simple exercise for the knees is to tighten and loosen your knees. Make sure only your knees are moving. The rest of the legs will be still.
Day 1 Exercise 4: For the Hips – Pick up your right leg, fold it completely and place it on top of your left thigh. Place one hand on top of the knee and the other on top of the feet. Now, with great effort, press your knee down while breathing out and then pull it up while breathing in. Once you’re done with one leg practice the same with the other leg. Do this at least 5 times. You’re essentially making your hips flexible using force and preparing them for the next exercise – Butterfly.
Butterfly is also an exercise for the hips. Bend your knees and connect the bottom of your feet. Grab them with both hands by interlocking the fingers. Now make a butterfly wing like action with your legs. You can repeat this exercise till you start feeling your hips loosening up and relaxing.
Day 1 Exercise 5: For the Waist – From the position of Butterfly open up your legs and spread them out as far as possible. Now stretch out your arms to your sides and while taking a deep breath turn your right hand around to touch your left toe. Rotate your left arm behind your body and up. At the same time rotate your head to look at your left arm. This will completely twist your waist. Then, while breathing out, return to the center position. Repeat the same on the other side. If you are ill or suffer from ache in your waist, then don’t bend completely. On the other hand if you’re completely well, then you may also perform it faster, without stopping in the center. Do this at least 5 times for each side. This is one of the best exercises for the waist. It will help reduce the fat on the sides, increase flexibility and your stomach will become healthier. It also applies pressure on your liver, spleen and intestine and actives them.
Day 1 Exercise 6: For the Waist and Stomach – Now align your legs in front of you. Interlock your hands with your fingers and while inhaling, bend your body backwards. Then while exhaling, bend it forwards. At the same time rotate your hands around your feet, clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat this for at least 5 times in each direction. Make sure you don’t lift your legs or bend your knees while doing it. This very simple exercise will remove ailments from your waist and stomach.
Day 1 Exercise 7: For the Fingers – Hold up both your hands in front of you, wrists turned upwards. Now, with great effort, bend and extend your fingers. This is very good for Arthritis. Now straighten out your wrists in front of you, curl your thumb inside your palm and wrap your fingers around them. Clench your fist and relax it by extending all your fingers and thumbs. Repeat for at least 10 times.
Day 1 Exercise 8: For the Wrists – Stretch your fingers straight ahead making sure all the fingers and thumbs are touching each other. Rotate your wrists so as to turn your hands down and then up. Make sure you turn them as far as you can. Repeat at least 10 times.
Now grab your right wrist with your left hand and rotate the wrist clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Perform this same exercise for the left hand. Repeat at least 10 times. Make sure you maintain correct posture of the back while doing these, viz., spine upright and neck straight.
After performing it for each hand you may do the same exercise for both hands together. These small exercises are also essential for cervical spondylitis and back ache. You will never suffer from pain in your hands. Although just performing Pranayama on a daily basis will stop any ailments from effecting your joint, but still if your body is suffering from joint pain, a little bit of ‘Sukshm Vyayam’ will go a long way on the path to good health.
Day 1 Exercise 9: For the Elbows – Extend your arms in front of you. While breathing in and with great effort bend them at the elbows and touch your shoulders. Then while breathing out rotate them back in front of you. Repeat at least 10 times.
Repeat the same exercise with your hands extended to your sides. When you perform this exercise with great effort you will be able to feel a kind of shivering in your arms. Make sure you breathe in while bending your elbows and breathe out while extending them. This exercise will reduce pain in your elbows.
Day 1 Exercise 10: For the Shoulders – Bend your arms and place your fingers on your shoulders. Connect your elbows in front of your chest. Now, while breathing in, rotate your arms up and around your shoulders, all the way back as far as possible. Continue rotating your shoulders, while breathing out, till your elbows re-connect in front of your chest. Repeat this 10 times. First do this clock-wise and then anti-clockwise.
This next exercise is for both your shoulders as well as your arms. Clench your fingers on both hands into fists. Extend your thumbs upwards. Now connect your clenched fingers in front of your chest. Also connect your thumbs. Now bring your hands close to your chest. While breathing in extend your hands away from your chest. Your elbows will become as straight as possible, but make sure you don’t separate you fingers and thumbs from each other. Spine should be in an upright posture all this time. Then while breathing out bring them back to your chest. Repeat this at least 5 times.
Now stretch your arms above your head and grab each other at the wrists. While breathing in pull your left hand with your right hand behind your head. Make sure your neck is straight. Then, while breathing out, come back and pause in the middle. Do the same on the other side. Take caution and perform this exercise slowly if you suffer from cervical spondylitis or pain in the neck. All these ailments will subside with this exercise.
Place both your hands on your knees and rotate your shoulders clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat this at least 5 times each.
Day 1 Exercise 11: For the Neck – Lift your right arm, place it on the side of your head and press against each other. The pressure will create a shiver in the neck muscles and strengthen them. Do the same for the other side and from the front.
While breathing in, turn your head to the right as far as you can and hold. Make sure you’re not turning your chest, only the neck. Now, while breathing out, come back to the center. Do the same towards the left. Repeat at least 5 times.
Now bend your neck in front so as to touch your chest with your chin and then bend backwards as far as possible. Take caution that if you suffer from cervical spondylitis then do not bend your neck forwards. Also rotate your neck around, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Do this very slowly and if you feel like your head is spinning, then open up your eyes and stop.
Day 1 Exercise 12: For the Eyes – Very simple exercise for the eyes. Rotate your eyes in a complete circle. First look down, then to the right, then up, then to the left and the down again. Do the same from the other direction also. Repeat at least 5 times.
Day 1 Exercise 13: For the Mouth – Again a very simple but effective exercise for the mouth. Open and close your mouth as far and possible. This exercises your jaws. Repeat at least 5 times.
This entire routine will exercise every single joint in your body and make them flexible. After this you’ll be able to perform other Asanas and exercises more effectively. Your hands and legs will be able to bend properly and you’ll find yourself able to perform more rigorous exercises.