KASHTHA TAKSHANASANA (CHOPPING WOOD)

This may seem a difficult way to chop wood but it is certainly an excellent method of loosening up the legs. Many people will find this exercise quite difficult for it is very easy to topple backwards when raising the arms.

Technique

Assume a squatting position. Try to place the soles of the feet flat on the floor, with the knees fully bent and separated. Beginners, if they wish, can do this exercise with their backs close to a wall, but try to depend as little as possible on the aid of the wall for support. Clasp the hands together. Straighten the arms in front of the body. Then while inhaling raise your straight arms as high as possible above the head (see accompanying picture). Exhale while lowering the arms. This is 1 round. Practise as many times as you can – up to 10 or 20.

Don’t strain, for this is a position that few people use in everyday life. However, in India, people habitually squat for long periods of time while eating, talking, working and many other activities. In fact, many Indians are far more comfortable in a squatting position than sitting in a chair.

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