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Home Yoga Minor Excercise Spinal Streaching Execercise
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Minor Excercise
Written by Dr. S.M. Acharya   

Yoga for Spine

Three Minute Relaxation Technique

Frequent attacks of common backaches are the single biggest cause of absenteeism from productive work all over the world. It is estimated that 4 out of 5 persons in the world, more so, sedentary workers and executives at all levels suffer from those nagging backaches resulting in loss of millions of man hours and billions of dollars worth of production worldwide annually.Yoga for Spine

With the onset of computerisation, internet, etc, more and more persons are spending long hours sitting in front of their machines and screens, straining theirs back against the rule of nature, causing damage to their spinal columns creating nervous troubles, aches and pains of varied nature.
If timely precautions and curative measures are not taken, the occasional troubles slowly complicate into lumbago, cervical spondylosis, sciatica, slip-disc, etc, and the person may require highly invasive spinal surgery. Such troubles, if neglected, may turn into irreparable degeneration of the ligaments and even cancer of the spine.

Prevention is better than cure and cheaper too. All animals and birds follow their natural way of eating, drinking, sleeping, walking and even indulging in sex. Man is the only animal, a two-legged one, of course, who goes on breaking all rules of nature and natural behaviour. If men could follow nature and all natural rules, he could certainly avoid various problems, including backaches.

Looking at the animals and birds instinctive movements of limbs and habits of eating natural food best suited to them. I suggest a simple yogic exercise that stretches the spine helps it to attain its natural curvature. It has worked wonders and helped cure one fully within a couple of weeks of practice. Briefly, the technique is a three or four minute toning up regimen.

Step 1 - After waking up in the morning or even after an afternoon nap, lie straight on your back on a relatively hard bed with your palm placed in place of the pillow under your head facing upwards. Thus, the hands fix the spine. Then try to induce natural stretching as if we are taking what is called in Hindi an ’angdai' (instinctive stretching). This is good for even those suffering from Cervical Spondylosis.  Do not over stretch. Just do it like an innocent child when lying in the lap of the mother.  If you are already suffering from backache, it may take a few days to induce this natural stretching.

Step 2- Now, remaining in that relaxed position, join your big toes, touching each other lightly. Then quickly pull up the feet towards your head without moving the heels and wait for a second. Push back your feet quickly without force keeping the heels fixed there only. Then relax for a second or two, enjoying the nice feeling and do it again to repeat it for 10 times (or more if you are comfortable and have the time to enjoy longer).
The second step is to repeat the same but instead of jerking down the feet, move one foot clockwise and the other anti-clockwise without moving the heels, in a synchronized manner to complete a full circle. Relax and enjoy leaving both the feet at their original place, Repeat this too for a minimum often times or more.

Step 3- The third step is to do the same in the reverse direction. Take the feet in a reverse manner without moving the heels but raising the knees. When the toes come up and touch each other, the knees also come up. Move the feet downwards as in the first step mentioned above, the knees falling down automatically and relax. Enjoy that beautiful sensation felt in the entire spinal area and the back. Repeat ten times or more.

Step 4-Thefourth step is to take the legs six to ten inches apart, as apart as you feel comfortable. Then pull up both feet together, keeping the heels on the bed. That will make both the knees rise up slightly, feet working as lever. Bring the knees together quickly but without force. Then push back the feet effortlessly to their original position. The knees will automatically fall down where they were initially placed. Repeat it for 10 times or more enjoying the relaxation. Perform it playfully as if a child is playing with his legs.Spinal Streaching Excercise

Step 5- Finally, draw both the feet to the middle of the bed so that, the knees would also rise up; just like when we draw our legs towards us when reading a book lying on the bed. Now pull up the feet, not the heels. Then quickly bring the knees together without force. Stay for a second. Then drop down the feet back to their place with a slight thud. This is highly relaxing for leg muscles and for the mind to unwind from tiredness and tension. Repeat ten times or more.

This entire relaxation technique takes 3 to 5 minutes. Thereafter, start taking your feet slowly downwards towards the end of the bed to make them straight, thinking only that you are stretching from head to toe in a straight line to grow taller and taller without allowing any other thought. When fully stretched, take a deep breath, keeping your palms under the head all the time, then start inhaling slowly to the full and then try to induce the same ’angdai' effortlessly while exhaling. Then relax for a few seconds.

For getting up from the bed, turn sideways and get up. Lf you have neck pain, then after standing up, put your palms behind your head, breathe in and raise your heels a pit as if you are standing on the toes just for a second, take ’angdai' and start walking straight.

This way you can keep your posture straight throughout your life without stopping as many aged people do.  It will keep you free from most aches and pains of the spine and the joints as long as you live.

Hence, the good health slogan can be said as:

"Three minutes a day, keeps the doctor away

And, whenever you are too tired, just lie down and do this 3-minute stretching to come out 'Fresh like a flower' each and every time.  Putting this into your daily routine, you will yourself as a rejuvenated person.

Source - Nisargopchar Jan 2011

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