Anti Aging Yoga (Step 1)
With International Yoga & Wellness Icon Dr. Kamal
We take good care cleaning, servicing, and decorating our cars, our houses but forget to take care of the bodies that we live with for the rest of our life. We abuse our bodies by dumping lots of unhealthy foods, overeating causing the liver to overwork, going against the circadian rhythms of nature, standing or sitting with hunched back, overuse of our minds and bodies. We rarely give a chance for the body systems to relax, repair, and renew. Love and respect your body helping it to realign, relax, and repair so that it can take care of you. Let’s begin with spine health.
THE HEALTH OF THE SPINE IS LONG LIFE.
Flex Your Spine First
A healthy and supple spine has important psychological effects. Mental and physical equilibrium are closely connected. People who suffer from depression tend to walk with drooping shoulders and curved backs. Over time, the muscles beside the vertebral muscles become chronically strained and tensed. This in turn contributes to their mental depression and is all due to the painful compression of the nerves between the vertebral column.
If the spinal curves are habitually disturbed, gravity becomes the enemy. Here, I share with you some simple yoga exercises that will help to keep your spine supple and limber and while relieving stiffness in the back and tension in the muscles and nerves.
1. Half Front and Back Bends for back care
Stand tall with your legs slightly apart and with your hands on your hips.
As you exhale, support your back with your hands and arch back. Push your hips slightly forward and keep your buttocks tight while keeping both legs straight at the same time. Stay for 2 seconds and return to the standing pose as you inhale.
Now you exhale, bend forward and keep your torso parallel to the floor while you lengthen your back. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Stay for 2 seconds and inhale and return to the standing pose. Maintain the rhythm of breath when you perform this exercise (Exhale-inhale-exhale-inhale).
Do this 10 times.
Benefits: This is a wonderful exercise for opening your chest, strengthening your back, and opening tight hips. It is also great for stretching your hamstrings. It helps relieve stiffness in the back, neck, and shoulders.
2. Side Stretch for Back
Stand tall with your feet apart, slightly wider than your hip-width distance. Keep your legs straight with your arms hanging on the sides near your body, loose and relaxed. Gently tighten your buttocks and keep your hip to the front.
As you inhale, raise your left arm up while lengthening your spine and stretch upwards. As you exhale, push your hip to the left while sliding to the right. Keep both feet flat and both legs straight at the same time while tightening your buttocks. Keep your chest open and bring your left bicep above your left ear.
As you inhale, bring your torso back to the center. Next, raise your right arm up while you lengthen your spine and stretch upwards. As you exhale, push your hip to the right while sliding to the left.
This is one set.
Repeat 10 sets.
Benefits: This technique keeps your spine supple and helps to relieve stiffness in your shoulders. It also helps to massage your large intestines and relieves constipation. Great for reducing fat in your waist, keeping your waist trim.
3. Cat and Cow Stretch
Come on your fours while keeping your arms shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart. Please ensure that your hands are in line with your knees, arms and your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. If you have any knee pain, please place your knees on a towel for cushioning.
Keeping your arms straight, inhale and lift your chin up while you arch and depress your spine towards the floor. As you exhale, round your spine as you push yourself away from the floor, keeping your chin tucked close to your chest and pulling your naval into the spine. Please keep your arms straight.
Do this 10 times while bringing your awareness to your spine as you practice.
Benefits: This is an excellent exercise for keeping the health of your spine, increases the flexibility of your neck, shoulders, and spine while gently toning the reproductive organs.
4. The Cobra & child pose
From all fours, shift your weight back and sit on your heels with your arms in front of you in the Child’s Pose. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart with your shoulders relaxed. As you inhale, press your palms down while you slide or move your body forward and place your pelvis on the floor.
Keep your buttocks tightened, palms flat on the floor, elbows bent and tucked close to your body while you open your chest and lift your chin up to face the ceiling. Please ensure that your pelvis and your naval touch the floor. As you exhale, return to the Child’s Pose. This is one set.
Repeat 10 sets.
Benefits: The cobra pose is a wonderful exercise for strengthening your lower back and relieving stiffness of the spine and back pain. At the same time, it also helps keep the spine healthy and supple.
5. Half Locust Pose for back care
Lie on your abdomen with your legs together and chin on the floor. Interlace your thumbs together, with your palms facing downwards, and place them underneath your pelvis.
As you inhale, raise your right leg up while tightening your buttocks. Hold for 5 seconds and as you exhale lower your leg down. Repeat the same with the other leg. This is one set.
Practice 10 sets.
Benefits: This exercise is great for strengthening your hips, lower back muscles, and tones your buttocks.
6. Trunk Roll
Lie on your back with your arms at shoulder level and both knees bent. Next, place your left leg over your right leg. As you exhale, drop both legs with the knees bent to the right while turning your head to the left. Keep both shoulders relaxed in this position. Stay in this posture for about 10 seconds, breathing normally.
Repeat the other side. This is one set.
Practice two sets.
Benefits: This exercise is great for relieving tension and stiffness in the spine.
What you do with your body throughout the day matters
Your physical, mental, vital, dormant, creative, spiritual energy is generated through the spine.
Take special care to live a healthy and joyful life. When you walk, first let the chest walk first then your feet next. Keeping your shoulders back and down. When you sit, maintain the curve of the spine. For those who work long hours sitting/or in front of the computer, take short breaks in between to stretch your body. When you sleep, make sure your chin is slightly towards your chest with a comfortable pillow supporting your head and neck.