Yoga For Your Health – Pg 9
you can and then suddenly flop back on to the floor. Again you are in Savasana and the ensuing relaxation will be more complete after the preceding tension and concentration required by the ANGLE
This first Yoga asana, the Corpse Posture, is one of the most important and although you may be itching to learn something a little more spectacular 1 do want to impress on you that stretching and relaxation is the beginning of all Yoga. It calms the mind and renews the body with energy and the life force which is known as PRANA. SO do practice Savant wherever and whenever you possibly can.
Many people make their first mistake of the day the moment they open their eyes in the morning, and they start a chain reaction which echoes throughout the day. They open their eyes, look at the clock, and leap out of bed in a frenzy. The poor human body is built to withstand an appalling amount of abuse but to subject it to this kind of punishment, day after day, is simply courting trouble. Think what happens to your nervous system when you wake up and hurl yourself out of bed in the morning. Shock and an unspeakable buffeting. Is it necessary? Give yourself a little time to return to this world from the threshold of another. Set your alarm clock just five minutes earlier than usual, try this Yoga waking up routine, and see the difference to your whole day.
Waking up Routine
The word stretching is reiterated throughout this book and it crops up here too, first thing in the morning. Stretch up your arms with your fingers interlaced and palms upwards, stretch your legs, open your mouth wide and yawn several times. As you lie in bed, still half asleep, keep on yawning and stretching like a cat and then finally relax your body and do the following leg stretching exercise.
Leg stretching exercise
This is very simple. While lying in bed with your feet together push one of your legs down towards the bottom of the bed as though you were trying to lengthen it. Point your toes and you will feel a pull from your hip right down to your heel. Hold this position for one minute only and then relax. If you haven’t a clock with a minute hand then simply count to sixty as you push your leg forward. After a moment’s rest repeat the exercise with the other leg. As this is a very potent exercise for the nerves do not repeat it more than once at a time for each leg. It may be repeated when you go to bed at night if you so wish.
After the Leg Stretching exercise very slowly get out of bed, stretch once more with your arms above your head and I assure you that your usual morning half dead feeling will be conspicuous by its absence.
I will end your first lesson in stretching and relaxation by describing an exercise taken from the ancient system of SOORYA NAMASKAR OR SUN EXERCISE because it is practiced facing the sun as it rises, or at least in the early morning. There are twelve positions which bring flexibility to the spine which is so vital if one is to perform the more strenuous Yoga asanas. Of the twelve, which stretch various ligaments and give