Remain sitting as in the previous exercise. Fold the left leg.
Place the left foot on the right thigh.
Place the left hand on the top of the bent left knee.
Relax your whole body, especially the folded leg.
Gently push the left knee up and down.
l he bent leg should be as relaxed as possible, the movement being applied by the left arm. Simultaneously, mentally repeat to yourself: "I am loosening up my ankle, knee and hip joints and will eventually be able to touch the floor with my folded knee." Move your knee up and down 50 times. After completing slowly straighten your bent leg, without jerking or twisting the knee. Then bend your leg, bringing your heel to the buttocks and lastly straighten it again. This releases muscular tension. Fold your right foot on to your left thigh. Repeat the same process, moving your right knee up and down 50 times.
Note: With practice and the right mental approach everyone should eventually be able to touch the knees to the ground. We emphasize that you must adopt the correct mental attitude; in other words, if you expect to eventually touch the floor with your knees, then you will.
This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles and joints of the legs in preparation for meditational poses.
Fold the left foot on the right thigh as in the previous exercise. Hold the bent knee with the left hand. Rotate the knee clockwise 10 times. Simultaneously mentally repeat to yourself: "I
am loosening up my legs and will eventually be able to touch the floor with my knees." Allow your bent leg to remain passive, using the force of the left arm to rotate the knee. Repeat 10 times anticlockwise. Now straighten your bent leg, without jerking or twisting the knee. Bend the leg once, bringing the right heel near the buttock-Then straighten the leg. This removes muscular tension and further loosens the joints. Repeat the same procedure with the other leg folded.
Note: We emphasize the importance of the mental repetition while performing the exercises. The whole point of it is to loosen up the legs so that you can eventually touch the knees on the ground. Ifyou don't have this goal in mind, the exercise is 75% less effective.
Some people may find the exercise easier if they hold the foot of the folded leg with the opposite hand while rotating the knee with the other arm.
UTTHANASANA (SQUAT AND RISE POSE)
This exercise strengthens and loosens the whole leg, specifically the knees. When it is perfected, one should be able to squat comfortably on the ground with both heels flat on the floor.
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