Last week, we discussed the importance of a strong spine in maintaining the youth and vigour of the body. Taking the discussion further, in this article, let us delve into the energy aspect of spine.
Exercise is only to do with the body, yog deals with your complete body Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vigyanmaya and Anandmaya kosha. As you delve into higher practices of Sanatan Kriya, these layers reveal themselves to you. The layer immediately next to the physical body is the Pranamaya, where prana (the force in creation) flows through a network of nadis and chakras. Of special significance is the Sushumna Nadi, on which all the major chakras in the body rest and through which prana flows from the base to higher centers.
Clairvoyantly, it is seen like glowing white tube at the center of body. Any congestion in this nadi causes stagnation of prana, breeding disease and old age.
The spine is a reflection of the Sushumna in the physical body and a kink in the spine is indicative of blockage in flow of prana in Sushumna.
Let us, hence, move on in our series to strengthen the spine. Lie on your back with heels joined together and eyes closed. Maintain the awareness of the spine.
ArdhShalabhasana: Stretch the right arm forward, over the head and the left arm along the thigh, both the palms lying flat on the ground. Take a deep breath and then raise your left leg straight off the ground. Forehead and arms remain fixed to the ground. Hold for seven counts. Exhaling, gently release and bring the leg down. Repeat the same with the opposite leg and hands.
Yaanasana: Place the arms straight above the head, palms resting on the floor. Inhale and then raise the legs upwards and arms together without bending knees and elbows. Head is also raised, perpendicular to the ground. Hold this posture for a count of seven. Exhaling, come down gently.
Bhujangasana: Place your elbows close to the waist, the palms facing downwards next to the shoulders. Inhale. Gently raise your forehead, followed by the neck, the shoulders, and the upper and middle back such that the navel rests on the ground. Gently tilt the head backward such that the chin is pointing forward. The elbows are raised slightly off the ground and held close to the waist. Hold this posture. Exhaling, return in the reverse order, head coming down the last. People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis or hyperthyroidism must not practice this without expert guidance.
Regular and correct practice of the above seven steps:
· Encourages the vertebral column to resume its natural shape and releases compression of the spinal nerves thereby strengthening the spine.
· Eases stiffness in the back which eventually leads to freedom from backache.
· Helps relieve pain from spondylitis and cervical strain so much so that they can comfortably continue to lead their lifestyles (for instance, sitting on computer) without a headache.
· Strengthens the back post-pregnancy and helps young mothers cope with the hectic regime of their baby(s)’ upbringing.
· Helps people of all age groups cope with lower back related problems which are caused due to stress and weakness
· Induces strength and flexibility in the back, especially among those who start early in life
· Maintains a youthful appearance for long without investing in expensive cosmetics and artificial diets or visits to the gym
NOTE – Asans initially should be done under strict supervision of an expert only.
Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, ‘Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension’ is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more