May 10

Seated Yoga Warm Ups

Following meditation, breathing exercises, and eye exercises, a yoga session then starts to accelerate into yoga warm ups or stretches. These usually involve the stretching or lubrication of the neck, shoulders, wrists, knees, ankles, and toes.

After eye exercises, we proceed to exercises that still maintain the Siddhasana or Accomplished Pose. An exercise that I do even when I am not in my yoga session is the neck roll. When I feel tension on my neck or shoulders, I do this while on my desk. As a matter of fact, even before I practiced yoga, it has been a habit that I do. I am sure many people do it also. I believe it’s an instinctive exercise that everyone does when they feel any neck discomfort.

While still relaxed in the Siddhasana, we close our eyes and continue breathing properly. Then we start by lowering our neck, touching the chin to the chest. We rotate our neck slowly clockwise, moving toward the position where we touch our right ear to the right shoulder, then move our head in a position where we drop our head back, then to the position where the left ear touches the left shoulder, and back to the position where our chin is touching the chest. Remember to do this slowly while still breathing in a relaxed manner. We usually do 2 rotations clockwise then proceed doing another 2 rotations in the opposite direction or counterclockwise.

Now we proceed with the Pawanmuktasana which consists of a series of movements that effectively frees joints and muscles from stiffness and toxins, and releasing wind from the intestines. We start with the lubrication of the elbows and stretch our arms in front at shoulder level with palms facing up. Then we touch our shoulder with the tip of our fingers by bending the elbows. This is done six times at moderate speed. At the sixth time that the fingers touch the shoulders, we keep our fingers on the shoulders and we spread our arms to the side at shoulder level. Then we do the same elbow folds by touching the shoulders again with our fingers 6 times. After elbow folds, we do shoulder rolls. Still keeping our fingers on our shoulders, we move the arms to the front again but this time elbows are touching each other. We move our arms up still keeping the fingers on the shoulders separating the elbows and rotate the shoulders, moving the arms and elbows as far back as possible and forward to tough each other again up front. This is done 6 times and another 6 times in the opposite direction moving the elbows forward and back.

With warm ups completed, we will move on to more complicated asanas during the session. I will continue next time with yoga twisting poses.

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