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MOVING THE YOGA WAY

Covid 19 has put us all into a mandatory captivity and a new normal. Here are my two cents on this.

New normal

Work from home, online classes, and virtual meetups mean more screen time for work and leisure.

More sustained postures with rounded shoulders, forward head, and poking chin.

Increased chair sitting reduces hip and knee flexibility.

Less weight-bearing activities lead to reduced bone mineral density.

More screen time disrupts melatonin production and hence reduces the quality and quantity of sleep.

All of these cause chronic fatigue, irritability, painful muscle knots, or myofascial triggers.

As a pain clinician, this is where I find my patients in a classic Pain -Weakness cycle.

How can yoga help?

Yoga is a way of life and an experiential science. For this blog, I am going to focus on the movement component of yoga ie Asanas.

The practice of asanas makes us move the body in the range we don’t usually move. This improves flexibility and overall coordination.

Frees up the tight hips and groin muscles

Breathing while holding the asanas makes us mindful of the pattern of breathing and helps to improve the quality rate and depth of breathing.

Increases the secretion of our feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin,  endorphins and reduces the level of cortisol which greatly decreases stress.

Improves the Samatvam or balance of the body and mind.

Dos and don’ts

This is to give you tools for safe practice and not intended to replace a qualified practitioner. It is ideal to consult a practitioner to make a program tailor-made for you.

If you are a beginner or restarting after a long gap, start with a 15 to 20 min routine to be done preferably on an empty stomach.

Choose a manageable time and be consistent.

Give a day’s rest in between sessions.

Focus on the form and not the number of poses done.

Get in and out of the pose gently.

Attempt a pose how much ever comfortable. Breathe mindfully focussing more on the exhale in that position.

Always end the routine with belly breathing, keeping exhale twice of inhale. Start with 3 rounds and proceed up to 20 rounds at one time. Once comfortable with this, you can try both nostril pranayama like ujjayi or sheethali and then go to cleansing kriyas like kapalbhati and Nadi shodhana pranayama.

Sample routine

Setubandhasana- 5 rounds hold for 15 sec each time.Follow the same for all the poses 

Pawanmuktasana 

Spinal twist with knees bent and then 1 knee straight

Shalabhasana

Bhujangasana

Goumukhasana

Dandasana

Vrikshaasana

End the routine with Savasana for 1 min and belly breathing 3-5 rounds with exhale twice of inhale.

Hope this blog motivates you to move gently, mindfully, and with control…Want to sign off by wishing all of you a movement-rich month..

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