Dealing with oneself when we have nothing to do is not an easy process. With no work to do and nothing to engage ourselves with, our inner mental chatter and chaos surface itself. As this inner chaos becomes more profound it is often perceived as anxiety and restlessness. The more we resist this feeling, the more it penetrates deeper into our psyche.
Yoga and related methodologies help to deal with these situations effectively. Yoga asanas and pranayama, when done correctly, bring inner peace and mental clarity. In these times when most of us are cooped up in our homes and most of us are not working, it’s important to utilize these times to inculcate some good habits, which should not stay limited to this lockdown period,but these habits should be continued as a part of daily routine afterwards as well.
In this blog we have chosen to give some simple yet spot on movements to target the shoulder and hip joint complex so as to feel more open and moveable in these key areas. When a good range of movement is achieved in these areas, the spine will start to feel more relaxed and supple as well.
Shoulder Joint Movements:
Reverse arm position: Stand by the side of the wall (your right side being closer to the wall). Distance between the body and wall should be 8 to 10 inches. Rest your hand on the wall slightly lower than your armpit level. Fall forward so that the right arm is extended behind you. Turn the fingers of the right hand facing backwards away from the body. Press the hand firmly on the wall and feel the stretch running along the whole inner right arm. Try to keep the right shoulder and right hip moving forward.
Urdhva Hastasana with the wall: Stand facing the wall (4 inches distance max). Keep your feet hips width apart. Lift your arms overhead and rest them on the wall. Try to achieve maximum length in your arms without elevating the shoulders much. One may also cup the fingers and rest the finger tips on the wall. Prevent your lumbar from arching by bringing lower spine into the body and don’t let the chest reach forward to the wall.
Forearm stretch with external rotation of the shoulders: This stretch can be done with both arms together or single arm at a time.Stand facing the wall (one arm distance from the wall), rest the hands on the wall in line with shoulders or slightly down. Rotate the fingers down so that base of the palms are facing the ceiling and fingers are pointing down to the floor (triceps are facing down and biceps are facing up). Keep arms wider and reach slightly down if it’s too much a stretch for you.
External rotation with arm extension: Stand with your back facing the wall and reach your right arm back to the wall behind you. Rest the hand on the wall with the fingers pointing down and biceps facing up. Press the hand nicely and try to keep the hips and shoulder pointing to the front.
Gomukhasana in Tadasana: Stand in tadasana (for detailed description on tadasana see the link). Bring the right arm back and rest the right hand in between the shoulder blades with palm facing out. Lift the left arm up in front of you, bend the arm at the elbow and reach your left hand to your right hand in between the shoulder blades. Interlock the fingers and keep the head straight. In case of stiff shoulders, use a belt or hand towel to grab the hands.
Baddhakonasana: Sit on a folded blanket or a block and bring the soles of the feet closer to each other by bending the legs at the knees. Knees are reaching down to the floor and heels are in front of the groins. Grab the feet and reach the tops of the feet down to the mat as if you are opening a book. Buttocks should be pressed down and spine should be kept straight and tall. In case of tight hips, keep the hands behind the back on the blocks and try to bring the knees down by externally rotating the thighs
SuptapadagusthasnaVariation 2: Lie down on the mat and bring the right knee to the trunk. Grab the big toe or use a belt/hand towel to get a hold of the right foot. Straighten the right leg at the knee and bring the right leg out to the side stretching the inner leg and back of the thigh.You can bring right elbow down and keep the right leg well off the ground instead of dropping it all the way down to the floor.
Piriformis Stretch: Sit on a chair or a stool. Keep your knees and feet in line with each other. Rest the right ankle on the left leg, closer to the left knee.Bend the trunk over and try to reach the hands on the floor. You may also grab the shin or rest the hands on blocks. This is a very good stretch for managing sciatica problems as well.
These simple functional movements and asanas will help you achieve a good range of movement which will help you take up a good yoga asana practice as well. Our personalized online yoga classes and online yoga courses help students achieve a deeper understanding of the movements involved in yoga asanas. We offer individualized yoga teacher training online certifications and online yoga classes and short term online courses. Check out the links for more information.