Day 4 – Lying on your back Asanas…!!!
We start Day 4 again with half an hour of Pranayama which covers 7 breathing exercises essential for healthy living as described by Baba Ramdev and then move on to performing these 14 Asanas. As such the 7 Pranayamas themselves are sufficient to bring you to a state of wellness in body and mind; on top of that the Asanas compliment the routine to make your joints more flexible and your muscles more strong. If you maintain this routine on a daily basis you will not suffer from ailments that cripple our day to day living.
As we reach Day 4 of our routine the Pranayamas remain the same but the exercises start becoming more advanced and difficult to perform. Caution is advised to people with cervical spondylitis, as they must at all times avoid bending their necks forwards. People suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure must also avoid a few of these exercises which we’ll mention as and when. Again, the exercises will start by performing some warming up routines to make your joints flexible after sitting in one Asana (Sukhasana or Siddhasana or Padmasana) for half an hour while performing the Pranayamas.
Day 4 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 4 Asana 1: Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) – Lay down in Shavasana (Corpse Pose). Make sure your feet are stretched downwards, knees are straight and your hands are placed next to your sides, palms down. Heart patients and people with high blood pressure must avoid performing this Asana. Lift both your legs slowly and turn them towards your head first. At the same time lift your back and support it with your hands. Now lift your legs upwards at 90 degrees from the ground. Make sure your legs are stretched upwards and knees are straight. Hold this pose for a minute or two while breathing normally. Now remove your hands from their supporting position and bend your legs towards your head. Now slowly lower your back down and rotate your legs back to their original position. The Asana ends with you lying down in Shavasana again. This Asana is extremely beneficial for Thyroid Gland, Eyes and Hair. Your face will always be lit up with redness of extensive blood flow. Youth will always accompany you, wrinkles will not populate on your face and dark circles will not appear under your eyes.
Day 4 Asana 2: Halasana (Plow Pose) – Again starting with Shavasana slowly raise your legs and rotate them over and above your head. Place them on the ground above your head making sure your knees are completely straight. Hold this pose for a minute or two while breathing normally. You may support your back with your hands if you feel the need. Then slowly return to the original pose. This Asana is very good for stomach related ailments along with Diabetes and Thyroid. It is also very useful in increasing kids’ height.
Day 4 Asana 3: Karnapidasana (Knee to Ear Pose) – Similar to Halasana lift your legs slowly from Shavasana and rotate them over and above your head. Place them on the ground above your head. This time bend your knees and try to place them next to your ears as far as possible. Hold this pose for a minute or two while breathing normally. You may support your back with your hands if you feel the need. Then slowly return to the original pose. Also similar to Halasana this Asana is beneficial in stomach related ailments, Diabetes, Thyroid and in increasing kids’ height.
Day 4 Asana 4: Uttanpadasana (Raised Leg Pose) – This is a fairly simple Asana. Keeping your legs together lift them up to an angle of 30 degrees. If you are not able to perform this Asana with both legs then do it one leg at a time. Make sure your legs are fully stretched and knees. Hold this pose for a while and slowly lower your legs back down. Although it is very straightforward, it is, in fact, pretty strenuous. Keeping your legs up in the air will get very tedious very quickly.
Day 4 Asana 5: Naukasana (Boat Pose) – Place both your hands on your thighs. Make sure your legs are together and your feet stretched downwards. If you have back ache, then don’t lift yourself up. While breathing in, lift your body from both sides as far up as possible. First lift your head, then hands and finally legs. Don’t lift yourself too far up, maybe at around 30 degrees. Even your hands must be only a little bit above your thighs. Maintain this pose for a moment and then slowly lower your body back down while breathing out.
Day 4 Asana 6: Padangustha-Nasa-Sparsasana (Toe to Nose Pose) – Bend your right leg at the knee and grab your right foot with both hands, fingers interlocked. Make sure your left leg is absolutely straight, feet stretched. While breathing out, pull your foot and try to touch your nose with it, by lifting your head. If you have back ache, don’t lift your head. Hold this pose for a moment and then while breathing in relax it back to its original pose. Repeat it on the other side.
Once you’ve done this Asana with individual legs, you may also perform the same with both legs. This Asana is very beneficial for stomach related ailments like gastric, constipation, acidity and indigestion.
Day 4 Asana 7: Kandharasana (Shoulder Pose) – Bend both legs and place your feet near your hips. Grab both legs around the ankles. Then, while breathing in, lift up your back as far as possible. Make sure your shoulders and your heels are firmly placed on the ground. Hold this pose for a moment and then, while breathing out, lower your back to the ground.
Day 4 Asana 8: Dirghnaukasana (Extended Boat Pose) – This Asana is performed exactly like Naukasana, with the slight difference that instead of keeping your arms over your thighs; you will extend them above your head. Place both your hands above your head, palms facing up. Make sure your legs are together and your feet stretched downwards. While breathing in, lift your body from both sides as far up as possible. Lift yourself up to about 30 degrees. Maintain this pose for a moment and then slowly lower your body back down while breathing out.
Day 4 Asana 9: Katiutanasana (Raised Back Pose) – Again, this Asana is similar to Kandharasana with a slight difference. Bend both legs and place your feet near your hips. Place both hands on your side, palms facing down. Then, while breathing in, lift up your back as far as possible. But, in this case, make sure your shoulders and hips are firmly placed on the ground. This will create an arch of your back. Hold this pose for a moment and then, while breathing out, lower your back to the ground.
Day 4 Asana 10: Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose) – Bend your legs halfway and place your feet at 90 degrees to the ground. Now position your hands under your waist so as to support them up. Make sure your head is placed on the ground. Now while balancing yourself on your elbows, slowly extend your legs downwards. This will create a bridge like posture. Hold this pose for a moment and then slowly remove your hands from under your waist while bringing your feet closer to your body. Now lower your back down and relax your legs.
The following 3 Asanas are performed to reduce weight and balance out your weight evenly over your whole body.
Day 4 Asana 11: Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) – Lift your right leg up to 90 degrees and rotate it back down. Repeat for the other leg. This same exercise may also be performed with both legs together. Make sure your legs are straight at all times. You may repeat this exercise from 5 to 10 times. People with heart diseases, high blood pressure and Hernia may avoid doing this exercise.
Day 4 Asana 12: Padvritasana – Again, keeping your legs straight, rotate them around your hips so as to make a complete circle. Place your hands firmly on your side, palms down, to balance yourself while performing this exercise. You may do this first with your right leg, then left leg and finally with both legs. First do it clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat each one of these exercises 5 to 10 times.
Once you’ve done this Asana with individual legs, you may also perform the same with both legs.
Day 4 Asana 13: Dwichakrikasana (Leg Rolling) – Lift both legs up together. Then bend them at the knees so as to touch your thighs to your chest and then straighten them back down. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Day 4 Asana 14: Markatasana (Monkey pose) – This is the 14th and last Asana for the day. While lying down, bend both legs so as to place your heels near the hips and stretch your arms onto your sides. Now rotate your hips towards your right so that your knees touch the ground, ankle on ankle and knee on knee. At the same time rotate your neck so as to look in the opposite direction. This is one of the most important exercises for your lower back and it is very simple and easy to perform. Do the same in the other direction. Repeat at least 5 times on each side.
The second method of performing this Asana is to spread your legs apart while maintaining the same pose. Again rotate your hips towards your right all the way down, this time right knee lands on the ground and left knee on the right ankle. At the same time rotate your neck so as to look in the opposite direction. Do the same in the other direction. Repeat at least 5 times on each side.
The third method of performing this Asana is a little difficult but very effective for your spine. Lift your right leg at 90 degrees. Then rotate it to drop near your left hand. At the same time rotate your neck so as to look in the opposite direction. Make sure your knees are absolutely straight and feet are fully stretched. Do the same in the other direction. Repeat at least 5 times on each side.
You may also perform this with both legs together.
As we conclude Day 4 of Yogic exercises, it is important to relax by lying down in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) for a while. Relax your legs and place your arms on your sides while slowly breathing. This will let your body calm down and your breathing will become normal and relaxed. Concentrate on your breathing and immerse yourself in the spirituality of your beliefs. Your mind and body will align and all psychological and physical ailments will leave you.