Day 3 – Standing Asanas…!!!
On Day 3 we again start with half an hour of Pranayama to get our daily dose of breathing exercises followed by a number of standing Asanas. As Baba Ramdev suggests, these daily routines are for overall well-being and are not targeted towards any specific ailment like Arthritis or diabetes etc. It is also not targeted towards people in their old age or suffering from obesity or people who would be unable to undertake the various Asanas and Kriyas described in these daily exercises. For a common person 7 Pranayamas, 7 Sukshm Vyayams (small exercises) and 7 Asanas are sufficient to overcome any ailment and lead a full and healthy life.
Once you’ve finished with the Pranayamas do perform a couple of Sukshm Vyayams to make your body flexible:
Day 3 Exercise 1 and 2: For Flexibility – The first of the 2 exercises you may perform to make your hips flexible is Butterfly. 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. This exercise will help reduce fat in your legs and also relieve pain in your knees. You can repeat this exercise till you start feeling your hips loosening up and relaxing.
The second exercise is 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 in, till your elbows re-connect in front of your chest. Repeat this 10 times. First do this clock-wise and then anti-clockwise.
Day 3 Asana 1: Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) – This Asana is one of the oldest, most efficient routines, designed to provide complete cure for your entire body. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, every part of your body will get exercised by this Kriya. It also involves Pranayama, as your will breathe in and out while performing the various steps, viz., breathing in when bending backwards and breathing out while bending forwards. Take caution that this is not for people suffering from ailments such as heart diseases and high blood pressure. Also, people suffering from Hernia may not bend backwards and those suffering from back ache may not bend forwards. If possible perform this routine at sunrise while facing the rising Sun. To complete the Surya Namaskar Kriya one must perform the following 12 steps:
- Stand straight with your legs near each other. Hold your hands in the Mudra of Namaskar.
- While inhaling extend your arms above your head and bend backwards as far as possible.
- While exhaling bend forwards till your fingers settle next to your feet. Make sure your knees are straight and try to touch your knees with your head.
- Extend your left leg backwards while keeping your right foot and arms in place. Now, while inhaling turn your head upwards, arch your back and look up.
- Now move your right leg back next to your left foot. Make sure your palms are in the same place. Also, both your heels must be placed flat on the ground. Raise your hips upwards and try to look at your naval. Breathe normally.
- Next bend your knees and place them on the ground. Touch your chest on the ground also along with your chin. Make sure your stomach is up.
- Now stretch your feet backwards and raise your chest. Straighten your elbows and look upwards while inhaling.
- Again raise your hips upwards while keeping your feet and hands in place. At the same time exhale and try to look at your naval.
- Bring your left leg between your hands and keep the right leg in it’s place. Sit on your left leg and while arching your back look upwards. Inhale.
- Next pull your right leg also next to your left leg and while placing your hands next to them try to touch your knees with your head. Make sure your knees are straight and exhale.
- While breathing in extend your arms above your head and bend backwards as far as possible.
- Return back to the Mudra of Namaskar while exhaling.
Start by repeating this entire routine 3 times. You may increase the number of times you may perform this Kriya with passing time. In fact, this Kriya is so effective that if you just perform the Pranayamas and Surya Namaskar on a daily basis, it is sufficient to keep part of your body healthy. Over a period of time we’ve reached a number of performing this Kriya 6 times a day. In a few days of starting this routine, you’ll find that your arms, legs, chest etc. will all start feeling strong and healthy.
Next we’re going to cover 5 exercises of Shank Prakshalana (Intestinal Cleansing Techniques). When you wake up in the morning drink a glass of warm water and perform these 5 Asanas, your stomach will be completely cleansed.
Day 3 Asana 2: Urdhva Tadasana (Upward Salute) – Stand with your legs close to each other. Interlock your fingers and place them on top of your head. Now while breathing in lift your body upwards so that you end up standing on your toes. Also turn your palms and stretch your hands upwards while holding on to each other. Hold this pose for a while and then while breathing out relax back into the original position. Repeat at least a couple of times.
Day 3 Asana 3: Tiryaka Tadasana (Swaying palm tree pose) – This Kriya is also good for increasing height in children. Spread your legs apart by about 2 feet. Stretch your arms, palms facing upwards, with your fingers interlocked as before. Now while breathing in, bend sideways, towards your right, as far as you can. Hold this pose for a while and then, while breathing out, rotate back to the upright position. Repeat on the other side. This will help reduce fat on your sides and your body will become healthy. Repeat at least a couple of times on each side.
Day 3 Asana 4: Kati Chakrasana (Standing Spinal Twist Pose) – Maintaining the same pose for your legs, extend your arms in front of your chest, palms facing each other and fingers closed together. Make sure your arms are as far apart as the width of your chest. While breathing in, turn your upper body towards your right and around your waist. Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground. Turn as far as you can and hold the pose for a while. Then while breathing out relax back into the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.
Another method of performing this Kriya is to stand with your arms spread out on your sides while maintaining the same distance between the legs. Now turn to your left while breathing in. Rotate your hands so as to place your right hand on your left shoulder and left hand around your waist and on your right outer thigh. Turn your head around and try to look at your right foot over your left shoulder. Hold this pose for a while and then, while breathing out, relax back into the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.
Day 3 Asana 5: Tiryaka Bhujangasana (Twisting Cobra) – To perform the fourth Kriya in Shank Prakshalana, lay down on your stomach with your chin on the ground. Place both hands on the sides of your chest and maintain a distance of about 1 foot between your legs. Now just like Bhujangasana, lift you upper body up while inhaling. Halfway through, turn your head around towards your right and look at your left heel over your right shoulder. Hold the pose for a moment and then while exhaling turn back to the initial pose. Repeat on the other side. This exercise is also good for your arms, chest and brings relief from cervical spondylitis.
Day 3 Asana 6: Udarakarshanasana (Abdominal Stretch Pose) – Sit on your feet while maintaining a comfortable gap between your legs. Place both palms on your knees and make sure your entire feet are on the ground. Keep your spine upright and avoid slouching. Now turn your right knee around and place it next to your left foot. Apply pressure and fold your left knee over your right leg. While maintaining this pose, look behind, over your left shoulder, as far as possible. Hold this pose for a while and then relax back into the initial pose. Repeat on the other side. This pose exerts pressure on your stomach and makes it healthy along with Liver and spleen. It is also known to benefit people with Diabetes.
Following the 5 Asanas of Shank Prakshalana we’ll perform a few more standing Asanas for a complete healthy living:
Day 3 Asana 7: Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – Stand with your legs together. Place your arms next to each other, in front of you and downwards. Now while inhaling, raise your arms upwards. At the same time raise yourself up onto your toes so as the whole weight of your body in on them. Hold this pose for a while and then while exhaling, relax back down into the initial pose. Repeat this for at least 5 times.
Day 3 Asana 8: Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) – Stand with a comfortable gap between both legs. Place both hands on your side, palms facing inwards. Now while breathing in raise your right above your head and rotate it over your head. At the same time your right hand will slide down along your left outer thigh. Rotate your upper body sideways as far a possible and hold this pose for a while. Then, while exhaling; rotate back into the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.
Day 3 Asana 9: Konasana (Angle Pose) – Stand with your legs spread apart as far as possible. Spread your arms on your sides, palm facing downwards. Now, while breathing in, rotate your waist and touch your left foot with your right hand. At the same time rotate your left arm upwards and look at it. Hold this pose for a while and then rotate back into the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.
Day 3 Asana 10: Chakrasana (The Wheel) – There are two ways of performing Chakrasana. Advanced practitioners may perform it while standing whereas regular people like us may perform it while lying down on our back. Start by lying down on your back and folding your legs in towards your hips. Raise your arms above your head and place your palms on the floor close to your shoulders, fingers pointing inwards. Now, while breathing in, cautiously raise your entire body, arching upwards, onto your hands and feet. Hold this pose for a moment while breathing normally and then, while breathing out, lower your body to the initial pose.
Day 3 Asana 11: Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose) – Following the back bending experience of Chakrasana, one must attain balance by performing this Kriya which involves bending forwards. Stand with your hands extended upwards. Now slowly, while inhaling, bend forwards and place your fingers next to your feet. Make sure your knees are straight and try to touch them with your head. Hold this pose for a while and then, while exhaling, stand right up.
Day 3 Asana 12: Garudasana (Eagle Pose) – Stand on your right leg and wrap your left leg around it. Then wrap your arms around each other and try to achieve the Namaskar Mudra. Hold this pose for a while and then return to the initial pose. This might seem simple to achieve but it is in fact quite tough as you have to balance your weight on one foot while twisting you entire body around your arms and legs. Also, this Kriya is very beneficial for ailments related to Hydrosil, urinary track and Vata Dosha. It also aids in increasing height in kids and their overall health. Repeat on the other side.
Day 3 Asana 13: Pakshiasana (Bird Pose) – This is by far one of the toughest Asanas and is advised only if you have achieved overall flexibility in your body. To perform this Asana stand on your right leg and lift your left leg above, around and outside your left arm. Now bend your head down and try to place your left foot over your neck. Then spread your arms on your sides as if they were the wings of a gliding bird. If you are not able to lift your leg far enough to place it over your neck, then just lift it up as far as possible and hold the pose for a while. Now very slowly lower your leg down into the initial pose. Repeat it on the other side. Great caution has to be taken during this Asana. If you find it very difficult to perform, than avoid doing it altogether as there is a possibility that you might end up hurting yourself in the process.
Day 3 Asana 14: Dhruvasana (Tree Pose) – Stand on your left leg and lift your right foot up by folding your knee. Grab it with your right hand and place it on your inner thigh as far up as possible. Hold both hands in the Namaskar Mudra. Close your eyes and hold this pose for a moment, while breathing normally. Now return to the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.
Day 3 Asana 15: Hasta-pada-angusta-asana (Hand-Foot-Big-Toe Pose) – Just like Dhruvasana; stand on your left leg and lift your right foot up by folding your knee. Grab it with your right hand and place it on your inner thigh as far up as possible. Now place your right hand on your waist and grab the big toe of your right leg with your left hand. Balance the entire weight of your body on you left leg and extend your right leg in front of you while holding on to your big toe. Repeat on the other side.