A Personalized Exercise Plan That Can Help Many!
Here is a personalized exercise plan that has been designed considering all aspects, physicality, mentality, and overall well-being of an individual. Certainly every individual is unique and needs specifically designed exercise plan. But the fact is that not many people really care for their health as they should and exercise comes last on their agenda. Therefore this is an honest attempt to help people realize the importance of exercise, what to do and how to do. It is in exquisite details; one may improvise on some of the exercises as per their need and bodily requirement. The exercises include some yoga techniques, relaxing exercises, warm ups as well as Pranayam.
Simple guidelines that should be followed before starting exercise—
(1) Your bowels must be cleared before plunging into exercise and Pranayam.
(2) It is very good to be done early morning but if it is not possible, leave a gap of at least 1 and ½ hours after light meals and 4 and ½ hours after full meals.
(3) After you finish exercise, it is better to leave a gap of at least ½ an hour before you have liquids and preferably more than 1 hour before you have meals.
(4) Early morning time is said to be preferable because our both body and mind are at peace after the restful night’s sleep!
(5) Perform these exercises on a mat (preferably thick cotton).
(6) Performing them in open air is preferable. If you want to do them inside the room, at least keep all windows are doors open so that fresh air gushes in. (better not to do within air conditioned room)
First stand in neutral position. That is, forward straight face, forward gaze, shoulders in line, hands positioning the floor, both legs straight with a small distance between two feet.
(1) Neck movements-
· Keeping face upright, bend head forwards with inhalation to touch the chin to the sternal dip.
· Now exhale and bring your head to original position. Bend the neck backwards with the next inhalation. Again bring back to normal with exhalation.
· Now keeping face upright, turn to left side with inhalation. (Don’t touch ear to shoulder but just keep face straight and turn). Do similarly to the right side.
· This completes one cycle. Do such 5 to 10 cycles. Now move the neck in a circular movement alternately on both sides.
· Keep both feet straight; with 1 foot distance apart. Now raise both your hands above your head and make them meet in “Namaskar” position.
· Now lift your feet to stand on your toes. Wait till you can hold the balance.
· Now stand on feet again touching soles to ground and get hands down.
· Repeat it a few times.
· Stand with erect limbs with one foot distance apart.
· Lift your hands over the head and keep them in straight line to shoulders, fingers pointing upwards.
· Bend on either sides of your waist
· Do not bend knees
· Do it 5 to 10 times on either side
(4) Half-rotation through waist vertically-
· Keep your hands straight in shoulder line at right angles to your lower limbs.
· Now keep your back straight and rotate to right and left sides through your waist. Reach as far back as you can.
· Keep toes pointing forward
· Repeat 5 times on either sides
(5) Foot rotations-
· Stand on your feet in neutral position.
· Lift your left leg straight upwards to 45 degrees.
· Do not bend knees.
· Now rotate the right foot in a circular manner on both sides (5-10 times each)
· Repeat with the other leg
(6) Knee rotation-
· Bend your knees and put the palms of both your hands on them, as if to hold for balancing
· Now rotate the knees in circular manner on both sides (5 times on either side)
(7) Waist rotation-
· Keep your hands on your waist on both sides
· Distance your feet by 1 or 1 and ½ feet
· Rotate your waist in clockwise and anti-clockwise fashion (5 to 10 times on either side)
· Stand erect. Inhale and bend forwards in waist to touch the ground
· Now exhale
· Inhale again and come to original standing posture
· Repeat 5 times
Now sit down.
· Bend your knees and sit on your heels. Dorsum of your toes (Nail-side) should touch the ground
· Sit in this posture for at least 1 minute initially. Increase the duration slowly
· Keep your hands freely on your thighs
· This is one asana that you can do even after meals; rather it is said that in this asana if you sit after meals, your all digestive juices are directed towards your stomach and intestines and apt digestion takes place
· Sit in Padmasana (Lotus posture), i.e, take both your feet on opposite thighs and sit
· Your thighs should touch the ground as far as possible
· Now place both your hands behind on the central aspect of lumbar region, one above the other
· Now inhale
· While exhaling, bend forwards to touch your forehead to the ground
· Again inhale and come back to upright position
· Breathe slowly and deeply while performing it and concentrate on your breathing
· Sit with both legs spread forwards together
· Hold your toes with hands while bending forward and try to touch the forehead to the lap
· Try to bend as far as possible
· Slowly but surely you will be able to do
(12) Feet rotation-
· Sit similarly like above with feet spread forwards together
· Rotate the feet clockwise and anti-clockwise (5 to 10 times)
(13) Leg thrust-
· Keep your legs straight while sitting
· Keep your hands besides you
· Now move your legs in knees upwards and downwards in a rhythm
· When you get your legs downwards, it should impact a thrust on the ground
· Bend your knees and sit in squatting posture on your toes
· Keep palms on bent knees
· Sit for 1 to 2 minutes in this posture
(15) Butterfly movement of thighs-
· Bend your knees along with a bent in the groins in such a way that your knee caps should face outwards
· Bring your feet together to touch the private area
· In this posture, feet touch each other in soles while touching ground too, knees are wide apart facing outwards, and you are sitting on your buttocks
· Now hold your both feet with both hands and move the knees (legs) downwards and upwards in a rhythm (like a butterfly)
· Over the period of time, the knees should touch the ground when taken downwards
· Perform this for 1 to 2 minutes
Lie in supine position, with face upwards towards ceiling, toes pointing up, and hands by the sides of the body with palms touching the ground.
· While exhaling, lift both your legs to an angle of 45 degrees to 60 degrees while lying down
· Knees should be kept straight
· Put pressure on your palms to lift the legs
· Breathe slowly and deeply and keep in this posture for some time
· Get back to original position
· Repeat 2 to 3 times
· Try with alternate legs if it is not possible initially to lift both legs together
· Lie supine
· Bend the right leg in the groin as well as at the knee joint and bring it up
· Now entangle both hands in each other and curl them around the lifted right knee
· Pull the knee further upwards towards the face with hands
· Now lift your neck and try to touch the knee with your nose
· Do it with left leg
· Now lift both legs together and repeat
(18) Cycling in air-
· Lie supine
· Lift both the legs and move in the air like pedaling the cycle, in both directions
(19) Lateral leg lift-
· Lie on your right side laterally
· Keep your right palm on your right temple and keep the left hand ahead of you in front of chest on the ground
· Now lift your left leg in the air straight way up and bring back to touch the right leg on ground again
· Perform on opposite side too (5 times each)
(20) Side-way knee and leg movement-
· Again lie supine
· Keep palms touching the ground
· Bend legs at knees and keep the soles touching the ground
· Now move the bent knees sideways to touch the ground and again get back to normal position, alternately on both sides
· Repeat 5 times on either side
Now lie on your tummy
· It is a kind of opposite Uttanapadasana (refer 16)
· Lie on your tummy and inhale.
· Your hands should be firmly on the ground besides your body
· Now while exhaling slowly lift your legs up by about 45 to 60 degrees
· Breathe slowly and deeply
· Get your legs back to ground
· Repeat 2 to 3 times
· Lie on your tummy
· Extend both your hands above your head and join the palms together as in namaskara pose
· Now lift the neck up to the chest along with your hands
· At the same time, also lift your legs at the hips with both knees straight
· This posture looks just like a nauka, means, boat
· The entire weight of the body should be carried on your tummy touching the ground
· Breathe slowly and deeply
· Lie on your tummy
· Bend your knees
· Hold the toes with backward stretched hands and hold your weight on tummy
· At the same time lift your neck up to the chest (like in naukasana)
· The end posture looks like a dhanu, means, a bow
· Breathe slow and deep
· This is the last asana to be done
· Lie supine with totally relaxed body
· Hands by the side
· Lie like a corpse
· Feel that you just cannot move
· But keep your senses alert
· Concentrate on your breathing
· Lie in this position for 2 to 5 minutes
Shavasana should be performed before one goes on to performing Pranayam, because mind and body has to fee rejuvenated before you embark on the next breathing exercise.
We are going to see 8 basic steps of Pranayam here. There are many more and much difficult poses too of Pranayam but these 8 are the time tested techniques approved by Yog Guru Ramdev, which I am illustrating here. These steps not only give you physical fitness on ALL levels but also improve one’s mental and visual acuity, concentration power, and positive attitude. And a blissful calmness ensues!
- Fisrt sit in sukhasana (normal folded leg posture), padmasana (lotus posture), or vajrasana (please refer earlier asanas for padmasana and vajrasana)
- People who cannot sit down on mat can even perform Pranayam sitting on a chair
- Before starting Pranayam, sit with your eyes closed and try to concentrate on your slow and deep breathing for 1 to 2 minutes
- Perform all steps with eyes closed (once you know all) to enhance one’s concentration level and feel the bliss
· Inhale deeply but little forcefully and exhale in the similar fashion
· You should inhale and exhale fully to utilize your maximum lung capacity
· Believe that with each forceful and deep inhalation, you are acquiring all the positive energies of the universe and with each exhalation you are shedding all the negativism about life
· Inhale through your chest and not abdomen to expand lungs fully
· With each exhalation, slowly pull your navel inwards and upwards
· Do this for 5 to 10 minutes (Starters, go for 5 minutes only)
· This is the most important part of Pranayam
· With each normal inhalation (not forceful), exhale forcefully with a thrust
· While exhaling forcefully, each time draw your navel inwards and upwards
· Initially do this step slowly (may be 30 to 40 exhalations per minute)
· Improve it by slowly increasing the exhalations to 55 to 60 per minute
· People having high blood pressure and other cardiac problems should perform this under supervision and slowly
· Do it for 5 to 15 minutes
· Don’t let yourself fatigued during the step (initially it happens). If it happens, take mid-breaks and do again later after a few relaxing exercises
In between you can do following relaxing exercises-
- Sit in upright posture with legs folded. Put your hands on both knees. Now rotate the shoulders in both directions keeping neck erect. Do it 5 times in both directions
- Put your finger tips of both hands on the shoulders. Rotate your arms clockwise and anti-clockwise 5 times each.
- Bring your both arms parallel to the ground, straight at right angles to the body. Now rotate the wrists in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions 10 times each
- Keeping the arms straight, open and close the fists (flexing and extending at the finger joints)
(3) Bahya Pranayam-
· Inhale deeply
· Now exhale slowly and completely; hold your breath
· While doing so, flex your neck and put the chin in sternal pit
· At the same time, draw your navel inwards and upwards and also hold up the perineal muscles
· All this act is done in complete and held exhalation
· Keep in this position just for 2 to 5 seconds (depending upon your level of comfort) and inhale slowly and get back to normal position
· Remember to do this act under expert supervision initially so that you don’t do mistakes
· Repeat 3 to 5 times
· Inhale deeply and slowly
· Exhale forcefully and completely
· Now hold your breath and move the abdomen inside out (5 to 10 times initially, or as per your level of comfort) without inhaling
· Once you master this technique, you can do it for 15 to 20 times while holding your breath
· Now inhale slowly and deeply
· Repeat 3 to 5 times
· Inhale deeply an slowly
· While inhaling, make a sound through your larynx (you should sense that the sound is coming from deep inside the throat)
· Now close your right nostril and exhale slowly
· Repeat 3 to 5 times
· Close your right nostril first with your right thumb
· Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril
· Now close the left nostril with the ring finger and little finger of right hand, while opening the right nostril and exhale through the right nostril
· Now inhale through the right nostril
· Again close the right nostril with the right thumb, while opening the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril
· It should occur rhythmically without the feeling of discomfort
· Do it for 5 to 10 minutes
· Close your eyes with cups of your hands with index fingers on the forehead (just above the eyebrows)
· With the thumb, close your ears near the tragus (the projection outside your ear). Do not put fingers in your ears
· Now inhale deeply and then exhale slowly with a sound through your nose (ummmm)
· Repeat 5 times
· Inhale slowly and deeply
· Now slowly exhale while chanting “Om”!
· Repeat at least 5 times
That is the end of 8 steps of Pranayam. Now don’t get up immediately. Sit in that posture of absolute bliss for at least 1 to 2 minutes and then begin your daily chores with the amazing surge of energy! God bless!
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