By Yogi Ashwini

Our body is the vehicle to our soul. It is also not permanent and will age eventually. Therefore, it becomes essential that we understand it and strengthen it, so that we may live a longer, balanced and healthy life.

Fast paced modern lifestyles, while having its perks, also brings with it a long chain of health implications, some of which can be life-long. Stress, ruptured joints, weak & bent spines, loss of glow and stamina, are just some of its natural by-products.  It is said that gymming continuously for years can ruin your knees, dry up your vital fluids, and damage your spine.

Yog, as shared earlier is not about rapid breathing exercises, or tying yourself in knots, it is a beautiful journey of the self.

In this issue, we will start by understanding who we are on the physical level, with the very basic rotation of our joints. The basic joint rotations ensure health and longevity of the body by removing the spent prana (the ‘life force’ the runs the entire Creation and our bodies) that gets accumulated at your joints and ensuring free flow of energy in the body.

Sanatan Kriya details six joint rotations starting from the neck, moving downwards to the shoulders, wrists, hip joint, knees and finally ankles. All the rotations are performed with internal awareness, keeping the eyes closed and synchronising the movement with Ujjai breath.

Slowly stand up without leaving the Ujjai Pranayam, start with the first rotation:

1. Neck Rotation

Close your eyes and be aware of your neck.

Now slowly start rotating your neck from right to left. Synchronise every rotation with one cycle of the breath, i.e. inhale in the first half of the rotation and then exhale in the second half of the rotation. But be very careful to move very slowly with complete awareness of every muscle and bone that is being used. Seven clockwise and seven anti-clockwise rotations are enough at this stage.

2. Shoulder Rotation

Keep the first three fingers on your shoulders and once again synchronising with your breath, bring your elbows to join in front of your nose, then up towards the sky, and then stretching backwards, back to the starting position. Seven cycles in this manner and seven cycles in the reverse, i.e., taking your elbows backwards, then up and then joining them in front of your nose. Your awareness should be on the movement of your shoulder.

3. Wrist Rotation

Closing your fist with the thumb inside, stretch your arms in front, at the level of the shoulders and rotate your wrists only, not the fore- arms. Do seven cycles each of clockwise and anticlockwise motion.

4. Hip Rotation

Keeping your hands on your hips, making sure that your head does not move, rotate your hips only, seven times left to right in circular motion and seven times in reverse direction.

5. Knee Rotation

Place your palms on your thighs, dip down slightly at the knees, bring your feet together, keeping your spine erect. Now move the knees together seven times left to right in circular motion and seven times in reverse direction.

6. Foot Rotation

Stretch out your right leg and rotate the foot seven times clockwise and seven times anticlockwise. Then repeat with your left leg.

7. Taad Asana

Stand straight, going on your toes, making sure that your body weight is evenly distributed on both your feet. Be very careful to maintain an even distribution. Once you are evenly balanced then raise both your palms skywards above your head. Maintain this posture for at least five minutes.

Most of you will find these basic rotations very difficult if you are doing them properly. You might also having a feeling of unsteadiness and a strong urge to open your eyes. This is your first experience of state of disturbance within your own self. It also shows how uncoordinated are you with your own physical bodies.

Till our physical bodies are not in a state of balance we cannot think of bringing our mental and emotional states into balance. Of the thousands of people who have been introduced to these basic practices we found that those who have been practicing these basics regularly have experienced a certain level of calmness and balance in their physical bodies. There also has been a definite lowered blood pressure and pulse rate with an increased efficiency.

Those of you who would like to take help to understand the process of each of the practices discussed so far can get in touch with Dhyan Foundation. 

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.