Last week we read about the different forms of arthritis. This week know how to restore mobility of the body by practising yoga
7. Ankle movements
• Maintain the same sitting pose on the floor (Dandasana) or on chair. Move your ankles slowly clockwise and then anti-clock wise 10 times, and stretch your feet up and down. Feel the stretch and maintain the complete awareness on your legs, especially on the knees, ankles, and thigh.
8. Wrist movements
Keep your arm forward at shoulder level.
• Make a fist of your right hand and rotate the wrist, ensure that the palm faces in the downward direction throughout the rotation. Make as large a circle as possible. Move your wrist clockwise and then anticlockwise 10 times.
9. Fingers stretching
• Close and open your fingers 10 times and maintain and feel the stretch in elbows as well as in the carpal area.
10. Marjari asana (cat pose)
• Stand on your knees slightly separated and place your arms vertically in line with the shoulder, palm touching the floor. As you inhale, raise your head up and get an arch on your back and stomach down, maintain it for a while. As you exhale, you take your chin towards you collar bone, get a hunch back on your back, and contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks. If you are suffering from cervical pain, avoid the chin down move.
11. Variation of Janusirshasana
• Sit on floor with legs outstretched. Bend the right knee and place the right heel touching the left upper thigh. Keep the left leg straight. While inhaling, raise your arms up and while exhaling, bend side and reach your left leg with left hand and right hand around your waist in such a way that shoulders are out, back straight and twisted. Hold and repeat the same with the other leg.
12. Hasta sanchalan (Movement of arms)
• Lie down on your back, legs near to each other. While inhaling, rotate your arms sideways without touching then on the floor and take it above your head and place your left palm over the right palm. Stretch your arms upward direction and legs in the downwards direction.
13. Janu sanchalan (Movement of knees)
• Lie down on your back, legs near to each other. While inhaling, take your arms over your head, hold the opposite elbows and place them on the floor. Squat your legs and press your left knee over your left right foot. Same way, repeat it with the other leg.
14. Paad sanchalan (Leg movements)
• Raise your arms and keep these in line with the shoulders. Raise your left leg straight and cross it over the right leg and try to keep both your legs straight. Repeat the same with the other leg.
15. Sahaj Hasta Bhujang asana (simple cobra pose)
• Lie down in Makarasana. Place your elbows in front of your chest. Raise your arms vertically upwards, placing your palm under your chin and look upward. Hold it for a minute.
16. Sarpasana (Snake)
• Lie down in Makarasana. Release this pose; place your elbows in front of your chest, arms parallel to each other. Inhale and straighten your arms and try to look upwards.
Once you feel improvement in your joints, you can then add on more Asanas and Pranayama. You shouldn't try any new postures without consulting the experts. You should feel better within 15 days, if you practise religiously twice a day, three hours after a light meal or on an empty stomach. You shouldn't stop practising, just because there is no pain or there is no time. You must understand that this is now a way of life and practice throughout your life.
Prema Nagesh (The writer is a yoga instructor and therapist based in Muscat)