With the advent of the pandemic, we all found ourselves in conditions for which we were not ready. But only in our hands can we help ourselves to restore inner balance. Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient method that helps to promote emotional and mental health through the body. By directing our gaze to the fixation points (drishti) and adding deep breathing with sound through the nose, we not only tighten the muscles, but also transfer our attention to the main centers of our body.
Authorized teacher of Ashtanga yoga in the tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and leading teacher of Holi studio Daria Vasyanovich shared with us a set of 5 exercises that will help restore harmony and peace with oneself.
Before starting yoga practice, try to find the most comfortable place in the house. You will need some free space and a practice mat. Pay special attention to your breathing. This is very important for returning to a state of harmony and balance.
Purse your lips as if you are going to speak in a whisper. While inhaling, say: SB, while exhaling: HAM. You should have a light, pleasant hissing sound. Then close your mouth and try to breathe through your nose while maintaining the SO-HAM combination. Try to breathe this way throughout the practice.
This complex is ideal for morning practice. Surya Namaskar enables the body to wake up, gently stretch it and prepare it for basic asanas.
Stand at the beginning of the mat, bring your feet together, reach behind the crown and tighten your lower abdomen. Inhale: raise your hands up, join your palms and direct your gaze to your fingers. Exhale: tilt to straight legs, fingers or palms touch the floor near the feet.
Inhale: raise only your head. If your palms are not touching the floor, bend your knees to place your palms firmly on the mat. Exhale: we step with our legs or make a jump to Chaturanga (a plank with bent arms near the body), legs are straight (if you find it difficult, you can leave your knees on the floor), the chest parallel to the floor.
Inhale: we push off the floor with our feet, roll onto the back of our feet, keep our knees and hips in weight, leaning only on the palms, bend in the thoracic region and go out into the Dog, face up.
Exhale: we return our feet back, push the pelvis up, lowering our head, put our palms parallel to each other and stand from five to ten breaths in the Dog, face down. Inhale: we return the legs either with a jump or with steps to the hands, the head remains raised.
Exhale: lowering the head and bending the elbows, we try to go into the slope as much as possible and press the stomach against the hips. Inhale: slowly straighten up, raising your arms and folding your palms together above your head, directing your gaze to your fingers. And as we exhale, we lower our hands down.
Perform the entire Surya Namaskar complex 5-7 times. Make sure your breath sizzles with a soft sound. Next, we move on to the main asanas.
Spread your feet across the width of the pelvis parallel to each other, while inhaling, bending down, grab the big toes, while exhaling, bending your elbows backward, lower your head and hold this body position. Breathe with sound for 5-10 breaths.
- We take a breath. Step back with your right foot and place your feet parallel to each other. We exhale.
- Turn your right foot forward with your toes, bend over the side and grab the big toe of your right foot with your right hand, extend your left hand up in line with your right hand, look up to your left palm.
- Hold this position for 5-8 breathing cycles. After that we take a breath. Straighten fully, leaving your arms out to the sides. We exhale. Repeat on the other side. Then return to the starting position at the beginning of the rug.
Sitting on the mat, stretch your legs forward with your toes pointed at the ceiling and your knees relaxed. Lean forward towards your feet and grasp your big toes. If this does not work out yet, grab your shins, lower your head to your knees and remain in this position for 5-7 cycles of hissing breath.
Sitting after Pashchimottanasana, bring your feet closer to each other and spread your knees to the sides. The heels press tightly against each other, with each palm grab the middle of the foot of the same name, and put your elbows on the inner thigh. Lowering your head, try to gently tilt towards your feet and keep breathing with sound. Fix the pose from 5-8 breathing cycles.
- Lying on your back, clasp your palms under your lower back, elbows and shoulders should be pressed against the mat. Stretch your legs up, pressed together. In this position, you cannot move your neck, look in different directions. Hold it for at least 15 breaths.
- Then slowly lower your back, pelvis, legs and feet onto the mat and stay in this position for a while.
- To complete the practice, pranayama is ideal - a breathing exercise (read also: "5 breathing practices that help stretching").
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. You can sit on the floor in Turkish style or even on a chair - the main thing is that nothing distracts you or bothers you. Put your left hand on your left knee or thigh, on your right hand press your index and middle fingers to the middle of your palm, straighten the rest. Block off the left nostril with your ring finger and the little finger of your right hand. Inhale through the right nostril, as you exhale, close the right nostril with your thumb and exhale through the left. Perform 5-10 such cycles through one nostril, then change and repeat the whole combination through the right nostril, inhale, exhale through the left.
The described asanas have an active effect on the entire body, especially on the blood circulation, nervous and respiratory systems. By doing these asanas and pranayama, you will feel the body become more flexible, the breathing is deep and even, and the mind is calm. Such a complex will take you from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your breathing rate.
About the expert:
Photo: Getty Images, press archives
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