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How to Increase Back Flexibility through Yoga Exercise?

Yoga is the perfect way to bring back that lost flexibility and savor the happiness of good health.

Yoga is an ancient healthcare practice that is a great remedy to many health and mental ailments in one’s body. Many Delhiites have started to understand these good effects in the body and are talking up yoga classes in yoga centers in Gurgaon. There are also yoga teacher training in Delhi, for people living in the city.

The backbone is the part of the body that is responsible for the posture, the health of organs, the functioning of the nervous system as well as the shape and size of the body.

Yoga has many asanas that tend to the flexibility of the back, keeping it nimble and tender for the better of the entire body; here are a few of those asanas:

1. Uttanasana (the forward bending pose):

This is the best asana to start your yoga for the back with. This prepares the back for all the other asanas that you are going to practice.

To perform this asana:

• Start with standing on the ground in an upright position with both your feet together and your hands on the sides.

• Taking a deep breath, bend your upper body forward while bending from the hips/waist).

• Try and touch your toes with the tips of your fingers.

• Your knees should be straight and at a considerable distance from the chest.

• Without applying a lot of stress, let your head and neck hang in the air. Hold the pose for 30-40 seconds while breathing freely and comfortably.

2. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose):

This is a good pose to support and strengthen the main frame of the back bone.

To perform this asana:

• Lie flat on your back on the ground with your palms facing the ground.

• Next, bend at your knees while the feet are still touching the ground.

• Now using the support of your palms lift your lower body above the ground.

• Now slide your arms a little back and lift your upper body above the ground in the air.

• Now breathe freely and deeply for 30-40 seconds as you hold that asana above the floor.

3. Dhanurasana (bow pose):

This is a pose that stretches and strengthens the back and works toward its flexibility.

To perform this asana:

• Start with lying on your abdomen palms facing the sky.

• Now resting your abdomen on the ground, raise your head up and stretch it towards the feet.

• Now gently raise your legs as well and stretch it towards the head.

• Now with both your hands hold your feet and pull it towards the head.

• Now stay in this position for at least 30-40 seconds while breathing freely and comfortably.

4. Eka pada rajakapotasana (one legged king pigeon pose):

This pose really supports the flexibility and the strength of one’s spine and body.

To perform this asana:

• Start by resting your body weight on all your four limbs. While doing so, your knees should be straight below your hips and your hands should be placed slightly ahead of your shoulders.

• Now bring your left knee slowly moving towards the left wrist. While doing this your left shin would be facing the ground.

• Now bring your left foot near the right knee.

• Gently pull your right leg towards the back, so that your thighs are pressing onto the ground.

• Stay in that position for as long as you can while breathing freely and deeply.

5. Ardha bhekasana (half frog pose):

This is a pose that helps you stretch your back bone inwards as most asanas would focus on your back bone stretching outwardly.

To perform this pose:

• Lie on the ground with your abdomen touching the ground.

• Now press your arms towards the ground and start bending your head and the torso backwards towards the hip.

• Bend your left legs from the knee and try touching the hips with your foot.

• Now use your right forearm to press against the ground so that all your weight is rested on the palm and gently hold your left foot with your left hand.

• Now putting pressure on the right palm, try and pressing the left leg towards the ground with the help of your left hand that is holding the foot. Try to press it for as long as you can.

• After about 4-50 seconds release the pose and repeat it with the right arm and right leg.

These 5 poses are great to make your backbone more flexible and limber. Try them to find out.

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Most people have the wrong concept of meditation. They think that you have to sit like a Yogi on a mountain top or in a quiet place and adopt a specific position or posture to meditate. Well, I am going to show you here how easy it is to meditate anywhere and anytime. You can be at work, at home or driving in your car. You will get instant benefit from this exercise and wonder why you did not learn it before.

There are many systems of meditation invented, but not many people understand the purpose of meditation. They use various techniques to calm their mind, but when they go back to their routine, their minds go back to their tortured state and confusion. There is no real peace, understanding or enlightenment in the individual.

Meditation is not about concentrating on one object and blocking out the rest in mind. It is not just about calming your mind and acquiring some peace. It is not about religion or religious beliefs. In my mind, the real purpose is to discover the timeless dimension where there is eternal peace. It is also learning about yourself, how you operate in your mind and harmonise your inner and outer worlds. It is a pathway to self-discovery.

MEDITATION – A Pathway to Self-Discovery

Now you may not realise it, but the timeless dimension is just as real as the time dimension we are living in, where we have the past, the present and the future. It is eternal, peaceful, and always in the present. The only thing that separates you from the timeless is your perception.

Most people experience the timeless when they are away from any man-made structures out in the countryside, on a mountain top or in the bush. There, the eternal dimension is so overpowering that one can feel the time stop. It is a spontaneous occurrence. The mind becomes alert and still without a single thought to disturb it, where the observer in mind, and what is being observed becomes one phenomenon. One becomes part of the universe. What one experiences is real and beyond words. It is not imagination. It is only when the stupid ego utters some inane words such as " Oh what a beautiful sight this is... etc." that the magic spell is broken.

Here you did not realise that you had stepped into the timeless dimension, but uttering those words brought you back to your present time zone. Please understand the ego. It is a great survivor and is afraid of disappearing from the mind. It uses the thinking process to travel in time by using words and sentences. If you did not verbalise, you would find that your thoughts have no substance.

Thus thinking is an acquired habit we use to fill our mind with thoughts. One thought ends and another one begins. When we are not thinking, we are always doing something else. We may be listening to music, watching television, playing sport or taking part in other escapist activities. One fears that if one stopped thinking, one might disappear from the mind. The thoughts go round and round like a squirrel in a cage. The mind is never empty. This constant stimulation of the subconscious mind makes it grow restless and turbulent. One yearns for peace.

While soothing music can help us calm our mind, it is meditation one should turn to for acquiring real peace and tranquillity. Meditation should be fun and a constant learning process. It is a path to enlightenment. You do not have to adopt a specific position or posture.

Please understand that meditation is not about focusing on one thing and excluding everything else. In my mind, it is an all-inclusive process and initially requires a bit of practice. Here is a simple way to meditate and discover the timeless, anywhere and anytime. When we contemplate this way, life becomes an eternal meditation.

It does not matter where you are. You may be at work sitting at a desk or sitting at home in your lounge watching TV. Look at the picture in front of you. Look at all the objects in front of you without saying a single word in your mind. You can recognise and know all the objects in your view without naming them or focusing on any particular one. Now broaden your vision to take in the whole picture of the room, except the back of you. Do not say a single word. You now have a panoramic view of the entire room except the back of you. There is an observer (the ego) in your mind observing the whole picture, fully alert and in the present. If you watch closely, you will notice an ethereal stillness in the room. At the same time, please note that you have not disappeared from the mind. Your mind is not blank. You are trying to understand the present.

While doing this, please become aware of your habit of thinking trying to interrupt your observations. Do not try to control your thoughts. Let them flow freely. Note how words activate your thinking process. If you did not say or use names (verbalise), the thoughts have no life in them—the same thing with emotions. Become aware of the feeling that might be disturbing you. Stay with it. Note that if you put words to your feelings, you intensify them. If you do not verbalise, the feelings evaporate.

Also, please become aware of the words you use in your mind. Train yourself to replace negative words with positive words, even if you do not mean it. Our subconscious mind responds reflexly to words, not their meaning. For example, if you are driving in a hurry and under tension, say this "Relax, slow down. What is the rush? There is plenty of time". You will be surprised to find yourself relaxing and slowing down.

When you practise meditation this way, you will soon come to recognise the phenomenon of the observer and the observed, becoming one in your mind. It is a spontaneous occurrence. When this happens, you are experiencing the timeless dimension. You will soon realise that you are an eternal part of this universe. You will understand what peace of mind is and what eternity is.

The timeless dimension is like 3D-picture. At first, it looks flat. But if one keeps looking at it, the depth (the third dimension) appears. Most of us are looking at reality with a tunnel vision, focusing our attention on a small area. With the simple method described above, you will soon be able to look at the picture with a panoramic view.

Do you still think it is difficult to practice meditation this way? Try it; it is easy. First, look at a distant object. Then broaden your view to take in the whole picture except the back of you. Now you have a panoramic view. Doesn't this technique alone give you instant relief of tension in your facial muscles? Develop this good habit. Soon your perception will change. When you look at the picture in front of you with a panoramic view, you will feel instantly relaxed. You will not be developing any new wrinkles on your face. Practising meditation every day the way I have described above, will keep you mentally young and refreshed. You will not have to worry about Alzheimer's Disease. It will also slow down the aging process.

If you wish to learn more about how your mind works, read the "The Enchanted Time Traveller – A Book of Self-Knowledge and the Subconscious Mind". It will help you to understand your subconscious mind, and how you can manipulate it. Visit Website: http://theenchantedtimetraveller.com.au


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