This exercise is a sequence of movements to help keep your body in balance, flexible and gently stretched.
I have been meaning to make a video of this sequence for a long time. Those in my class will recognise the movements and I hope this will encourage you to have a go at home.
It involves the basic standing pose of Samastiti, a stretch, a gentle back bend followed by a forward bend, then side stretching to each side from standing.
1) Those of you who do yoga will know about the pelvic tilt.
The hips draw back, the coccyx tucks under, and it involves a little lift of your pelvic floor. This movement will help to protect your back. It also helps you keep your balance in the stretch as you balance on the balls of your feet.
So remember to engage your pelvic tilt throughout the sequence!
2) The back bend -
Place your hands on to your hips, take time to draw your shoulder blades together and then you can feel your chest expanding.
3) In a yogic forward bend the hips stay above the legs, but if you have tight hamstrings or any back problems please put a little bend in your knees to ease the lower back strain. Imagine that your lower back is concave. Your chest, like in the back bend feels open, and the front of your body stays long. So don't over do the forward bend especially at the start. Hopefully each time you repeat the sequence it will feel a little easier.
4) To come up out of the forward bend -
Think about your pelvic tilt and engage your tummy muscles, this will give you strength to come up leading with the crown of your head.
5) Keep the inner arm in line with your ear to help keep your body aligned during the side stretches.
6) Smile and keep breathing.
Beginners to yoga should watch the video before trying the sequence themselves. If you have any health issues please consult your doctor. If you are pregnant the pose can be adapted to your needs.
Thanks to brokenarrowfilms for helping me create this podcast.