Yogic Sukshma Vyayama (Loosening and strengthening practices) are safe, rhythmic, repetitive stretching movements. It is a specific ancient technique of yogic postures and dynamic movements. Sukshma Vyayama is the system of yogic practices which loosens your joints and removes the energy blockages. This system has a strong purifying effect, thus boosting the body energy. It can be practiced for 15-20 minutes to improves flexibility of the body and relieve mental stress.
How to practice Sukshmavyayama ;
We starts with the lowest joints, our toes and progress upwards to the neck. Each dynamic movement is done 5-10 times and static once are held for 5-9 breaths.
1. Toe Movements
Open and close the toes as if we are trying to grab a thing on the floor with our toes. Repeat 5-10 times.
2. Ankle Movements
- Flex and point the foot gently. Repeat 5-10 times.
Practice ankle circles. Trace a complete circle with your foot, first clockwise then anti clockwise. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Inhale; lift your arms up at the shoulder level, palms facing downwards.
- Exhale; bend the knees and bring down your body to the squatting position.
- In the final position, both the arms and thighs parallel to the ground.
- Inhale; and straighten the body.
- Exhale while bringing down the hands.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
- Strengthen knees and hip joints.
- Avoid this asana in case of acute conditions of arthritis.
4. Fingers and wrists
- Close the fingers to make a fist and then release. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Make a fist with thumb inside and do wrist rotations, first clock wise and then anti clock wise. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Practice elbow curls, extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor and bend the elbows to touch your fingers to the shoulder. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Repeat the same with your arms in front of you.
- Shoulder Rotation
- Rotate your shoulders with the elbows bent or with straight arms.
- Repeat it 5-10 times. In clock wise and anti-clock wise direction.
- Shoulder Stretch
- Feet together the body straight, the arms by the sides.
- Raise your both arms sideways above your head with the palm outwards. Bring it down in the same manner.
- The arms must not touch the head when going up or the thighs when coming down.
- Palms must be open with finger together
- Practice of this loosening exercise makes the bones, muscles and nerves of the shoulder region healthy.
- These practices are helpful in cervical spondylitis and frozen shoulder.
- Right and Left Twisting
Look side to side, gently coordinating your breath with the movement. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Forward and backward bending
- While exhaling, move the head forward slowly and try touch the chin to the chest.
- While inhaling, move the head as far back as is comfortable.
- This is one round, repeat 5-10 times.
- Right and Left Bending
While exhaling, bend the head slowly to the right; bring the ear as close as possible to the shoulder without raising the
shoulder. Similarly, while exhaling bend the head to the left side and repeat the same. Repeat it for 5-10 times.
- Neck Rotation
- Exhale; bend the head forward trying to touch the chin to the chest.
- Inhale; slowly rotate the head clockwise in circular motion, exhale while coming down.
- Do a full rotation.
- Then rotate the head in an anticlockwise direction.
- Inhale; go back and exhale, come down.
- Repeat for 5-10 times.
- Move the head as far as possible. Do not over strain.
- Keep the shoulder relaxed and steady.
- Feel the stretch around the neck and loosening up of the joints and muscles of the neck.
- Can be practiced sitting on a chair.
- People with neck pain can do the practice gently especially when taking the head back to the extent it is comfortable.
- Elderly people and persons with cervical spondylitis, high blood pressure may avoid these practice.
8. Trunk Twisting
- Keep the legs about 2-3 feet apart.
- Rise both the arms up to the chest level with the palms facing each other and keep them parallel.
- While exhaling twist the body forwards the left side, so that the right palm touches the left shoulder, come back with inhalation.
- This is one round. Repeat it to 5-10 times.
- Do slowly with normal breathing.
- Cardiac patients shall do with care.
- Avoid this practice in case of severe back pain, vertebral and disc disorders, after abdominal surgery and during menstruation.
Advantage of Practicing Sookshmavyayama:
One of the best sequence that promotes physical energy & mental calmness. These joint movements are simple and easy to practice, while remaining both deep and effective. They stimulate circulation and warm up the body; provides nutrition to all the joints, energizes and heals the body while calming the mind, improves awareness and concentration and prepares the body for more challenging Yoga Asanas.
You can do sookshmavyayama anytime and anywhere. But for the best benefits, do these in a quiet and well ventilated room.
Stay healthy and positive with Aayurmantra.
Author: Dr. Divya Damodaran
Reviewed by : Dr. Seleena.V
Source: Ministry of AYUSH Gov. of India.