Begin by lying on your back, allowing your awareness to float through your body. if you notice any area of tension in this resting pose, have the intention to release it. Now take in a deep breath and bring your right knee up to your chest. Grasp your leg below the knee with both hands and gently bring your chin to your knee. Hold this position for a few moments, breathing easily and feeling the sensations in your body. After several breaths, slowly straighten your leg, exhaling as you return it to the floor.
Repeat the pose with your left knee, bending it to your chest as you inhale, while raising your chin to your knee. Again, breathe easily for a few moments, then slowly lower your head and leg to the floor while exhaling.
Now, while inhaling, lift both knees up to your chest, grasping both of your legs with your coupled hands. Hold for several moments, easily inhaling and exhaling and being aware of the sensations in your spine.
Now, holding both of your legs below the knees, gently rock backward and forward three or four times, then gently rock side to side several times.
Returning to your back, gently begin bicycling motions with your legs. Placing your hands by your sides, extend first one leg, then the other. Inhale and exhale in rhythm with each leg extension. After about half a minute, return both legs to the floor.
These are useful starting poses, for they begin mobilizing energy in the body. According to Ayurveda, yoga's sister branch of Vedic science, the vital airs of the body, known collectively as vayu, are the basis of all movement. Vayu governs the movement of thought, the movement of air, the movement of muscles, the movement of blood, and the movement of elimination. On a cellular level, it regulates the movement of DNA molecules, the movement of proteins, and the movement of hormones. Health results when vayu is moving harmoniously.
Vayu has a natural lightness, which naturally impels it to move in an upward direction. When vayu is disrupted as a result of stressful experiences, its job of eliminating toxins down and out from the body is impaired. Impairment in the elimination function of vayu results in energy stagnation, and the accumulation of subtle toxic-ity in the body. These wind relieving poses bring vayu back to its appropriate home in the pelvis so it can perform its essential duty of moving toxins down and out of the body.
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