Yoga for Rejuvenation – give your day its second wind!

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As the mercury climbs higher and days become a whirlwind of activity, we often find ourselves reaching for a cool drink and a moment’s rest before stepping back into the headlong rush that marks the summer months. Not to be left out of any scenario, Yoga steps in here as well. So if you’re thinking Yoga is just about a serene space on a calm early morning that lets you take a deep breath and collect your composure, think again. This version of Yoga that we’re talking about can be done anywhere, any time and has a snappy, specific goal: rejuvenation. So if you have 20 minutes to spare during the day, just work some asanas into your day and watch your day perk up. Its works far better (and longer) than a cup of coffee!

Chair Cat stretch: Sit on a chair, spine erect, with your knees out and away from the chair. Your legs should be perpendicular to the floor and your ankles should be under your heels. Keep your hands, palms down, just above your knees. Stretch your spine backwards and arch your neck upwards as far as it will go. Inhale while doing this. Then exhale slowly and curve your back inwards till your head is bending low towards your knees and your back is fully stretched. Repeat 3 times. This is a warm up to get your muscles to relax an d your blood to flow easily.

Neck stretch: Taking deep breaths, move your head to each side, so that your chin is in line with your shoulder. Next, inhale and look up, arching your neck back as far as it will go. Then exhaling, look down till your chin touches your lower neck. Finally, rotate your head, clockwise 3 times, and anti-clockwise 3 times. Men start with your left side and women start with the right. This eases the stresses of the day, most of which we store in our neck and shoulder muscles, which are the first parts that we tense when we are concentrating, or laboring through hard physical or mental work.

Child Pose: Now that you’ve relaxed your muscles, it’s time to work on your blood. Do the Balasana or child pose. Kneel on the floor with your feet pointed inwards and your big toes touching. Sit on your heels and bring your head down to touch the floor in front of your knees. Fold your hands in a namaste above the head so they rest on the floor in front of your head. Hold the pose for a minute. This stimulates the easy flow of blood through the body, and works as a mini-blood purification exercise.

Thread the Needle pose: This is a development of the Balasana pose that helps to open your hip area, an essential if you spend long hours sitting at your job. The Parsva Balasana can be done from where you ended your Balasana. After completing one minute of the Balasana, go on to all fours, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Exhale and slide your right arm underneath your left arm with the palm facing up. Bring your right shoulder down to the floor, and resting your right cheek on the ground, gaze on a point to the left. Stretch your left hand on the floor above your head, palm facing down. Make sure your neck isn’t absorbing the strain of the pose, and keep your hips raised high enough that their weight rests your legs and doesn’t filter down on to your shoulders. Hold the pose for a minute and repeat on the other side.

Warrior 2 Pose: This hip-opening exercise starts by standing with the feet at hip-distance and arms at both sides. Turning to the left, exhale and move your legs apart as far as your feet will go, making sure to always keep your heels aligned. Turn your right foot 90 degrees so both toes are pointing to the top of the mat. Lift your arms to shoulder height so they are parallel with the floor. Exhale and go down as much as you can, or until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Stare straight ahead, focusing on one single point and hold the pose for a minute. Repeat on the other side. Named after one of the fiercest deities in Hinduism, this Veerabhadhrasana is the ideal way for your to channel your inner warrior, so you’re all revived, restored and rejuvenated to face anything the rest of the day may bring.

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