Perhaps the question I’m asked most frequently is about what poses I believe should be done daily to maintain good functioning of life and limb. I’ve come up with 5 poses for beginners, intermediates and advanced students alike. These poses address body parts which are prone to injury or neglect. These poses are low impact, so there’s very little room for injury. So, without further ado, the five poses I’ve homed in on are as follows and in sequence:
1. Marjari Asana or the Cat Stretch – this asana has many physical benefits and is great to gently ease open a stiff spine. It allows you to breathe more deeply, completely and efficiently. It helps to strengthen your wrists and arms, as well as move the cervical region. This goes a long way in maintaining the flexibility of the neck muscles, preventing stiffness of the neck and shoulders, and ensuring that no stress is stored and built up in the neck and along the length of the spine .
2. Virbhadrasana or the Warrior Pose – This is a great pose to tone up your abdomen and legs. Hold it for a couple of breaths to strengthen the legs and tone the abdominal muscles. It allows the chest to fully open up and enables better breathing. Your arms shoulders and legs get a great stretch. The massage to the abdominal organs increases metabolism and helps eliminate excess fat around the waist.
3. Janu Sirsasana or Head to Knee Pose – This pose is a complete stretch for the body. The stretch originates at the back of your ankles and goes up your calves, the back of your knees, your thighs, your back, shoulders and arms. It is believed that this pose helps in preventing wrinkles and calming the mind. It also provides a massage to your abdominal organs and therefore is great to reduce excess fat around your waist and increase your metabolism.
4. Pashchima Namaskarasana or the Reverse Prayer Pose – This is a great one to open up your chest and to stretch, strengthen and tone the arms. Doing this every day ensures that your shoulder blades and back get a good stretch. Movement of the shoulder joint also ensures flexibility and mobility of this joint.
5. Padmasana or the Lotus Pose –The ankle, knee and hip joints tend to get ignored when we have too little time to workout. The Padmasana and its variations ensure that you work on the flexibility of your lower body while at the same time ensuring that you’re working on your posture, your abdominal muscles and your meditation abilities.
Pictures for these coming up soon!