VAYU NISHKASANA (WIND RELEASING POSE)

As the name suggests this is an excellent practice for removing wind, and at the same time it stretches and loosens up the muscles of the legs.

Technique

Assume a squatting position. Again if necessary sit with your back to a wall. Grasp the feet with the hands, keeping the arms inside the legs (refer to figure 1). Then inhale and raise your head. Exhale and straighten the legs, while simultaneously pointing the top of the head towards the ground. This is shown in figure 2. The legs should be as straight as possible but without strain. Maintain this pose for a short period and hold the breath. Then while inhaling, bend the knees and return to the squatting position. This is 1 round. Do up to 10 rounds.

Note: the hands must hold onto the feet throughout the practice.

Summary

Many people will find some of these practices a little difficult at first. Do not become discouraged, only do your best. With regular practice these six exercises will definitely loosen up your legs, especially when supplemented with other asanas.

Practise these exercises whenever you have the time. They can be done at any time (except directly after meals) and in any place. Aim to do all six, for they each have a part to play in making your legs more supple. The more you practise them the more likely you are to achieve the flexibility needed to eventually master the classical meditative asanas. Remember, an essential factor in loosening up the legs is your mental attitude. If you attempt these six exercises and find that your legs are too stiff, don’t immediately despair and stop the practices. In this case you have almost defeated yourself before you have begun. No matter how stiff your legs, you must believe that with practice and time they will eventually become supple.

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