Thursday, September 24, 2009



It is best to spend a few minutes gently stretching before performing the sun salutations in Dynamic Yoga. Most of us tend to spend hours just sitting, creating tightness in the hips and often putting a strain on the spine. Doing two of the four warm-up exercises presented here before beginning a dynamic yoga program helps release any stiffness in the back and shoulders. This prepares the body for the relative intensity of the Sun Salutation sequences.

Happy Pose


1 Sit on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you and your arms straight by your sides. Inhaling, cross the right leg over the left. Move your hands back slightly and bend your arms, pressing down with your fingertips to straighten the spine. Gaze forward.

2 Exhaling fold the body forward, reaching out with your arms. Hold for two to five minutes, breathing slowly. With each inhale lengthen the spine and with each exhale deepen the fold in the hips. Repeat with the left leg crossed over the right.

Wide Butterfly

1 Sit in the same position as for Happy Pose. Inhaling, bring the heels of your feet together, bending your legs slightly. Let your knees fall out to the sides. Move your hands back slightly and press down with your fingertips.
2 Exhaling fold the body forward from the hips, grounding the sitting bones and reaching out with your arms. Let your whole body relax over the legs. Hold for two to five minutes.

 Spinal Roll

1 Stand up straight with your arms by your sides, feet hip-width apart, and toes spread. Exhaling, bend at the knees and fold your body forward slowly, letting the weight of the upper body take the torso forward. Allow the spine to curve and the arms to hang down.

2 Continue exhaling until the hands are touching the floor and the entire torso is flopping forward. Relax the back of the neck and let the weight of the head pull the neck long. Hold the pose for 10 breaths. Then, inhaling, roll the body up to standing.

Arms Wrapped Forward Bend

1 Stand up straight with your arms by your sides, feet hip-width apart, inhaling, swing the left arm under the right, bending the elbows. Bring the palms of each hand together. Lift the elbows up and gaze forward.

2 Exhaling, bend the knees and fold the body forward slowly. Let the spine curve one vertebrae at a time. Keep the chin tucked and the elbows lifted. Close your eyes.

3 Continue exhaling until the body is folded forward completely. Hold for 10 breaths, and then slowly uncurl to standing. Repeat with the right arm crossed under the left.

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