Yoga (asana)is an ancient eastern exercise that is valuable in today’s fast paced society. Yoga is more than a simple workout regime, but rather it is a holistic method of exercise that serves to rejuvenate the body. Weight loss, stress relief, and emotional stability are often experienced by dilligent practitioners.
Yoga is very similar to stretching and is usually performed in a series of movements. The neck, the spine, and the legs are the three basic concentrations of movement in the performance of Yoga. Performed in this succession, they will render the practitioner fit and exuberant. The neck twist is easily performed at any time during the day, by simply turning the head to either side and relaxing the neck muscles.
There may be a gentle cracking of the neck in this exercise. The neck should by no means be forced in this exercise, rather it should simply be left to fall into position. This position should be held for a count of ten before the head is switched to the other side. This exercise serves to bring blood flow to the brain, and ready the body for the important stretching of the spine.
There is an old sanskrit saying that “He who has a flexible spine, has a healthy life”. Indeed, the spine is important to the wellness of the individual, as it serves to relay messages from the brain to the body. There are two simple exercises, which will aid in the flexibility of the spine. The “cobra” is performed by laying flat upon the floor, and gradually pushing upwards with the hands, so that the back is upright, (or near upright), while the legs and pelvis are flat upon the ground. This is a suitable vertical stretch of the spine.
The “cross over”, is performed by sitting upright, placing one leg over the other with the “over” leg bent at the knee, and twisting around away from the over leg, using the arm for torque. This is a suitable horizontal stretch. The leg stretch is performed by sitting upright, with legs out straight, and bending the waist, so as to strive towards touching your toes. There should be a slight burning sensation in the calves, and or hamstrings; you should adjust the length between the feet, so as to stretch various parts of the legs.
Practiced in this sequence, of neck, spine, and leg exercises, yoga should impart a wonderful feeling and a general improvement in overall health. Yoga, together with a healthy vegetable and whole grain-based diet, should serve to improve anybody’s’ quality of life.