Ever thought of trying yoga as an alternative to other forms of exercise? Or, perhaps, for some other reason? Don't know where to start though? Well, I found this routine, which may be of interest to those of you who this applies to.
To begin with, put on some soft, soothing music… try Hariprasad Chaurasia’s bansuri (bamboo flute), or Ravi Shankar’s sitar. The names of the asanas sound complex, don’t let that scare you off, most of the positions are fairly simple. Oh, and breathe normally through all these exercises. And also, don’t force your body to stretch beyond its capacity. Take it easy, and stretch further as you become more flexible with regular practice. So, here goes –
Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Turn the foot of your right leg outward, and the foot of your left leg a little inward. Raise your arms by your sides and hold them parallel to the floor. Now, bend sideways from the waist to touch your right foot with your right hand, with the left arm stretched toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a minute. Straighten up. And repeat on the other side. (Gives a great stretch and improves the flexibility of the body. Improves the balance too.)
Stand with your feet together. Raise your arms overhead and bend forward from your waist and touch your toes. As you become more flexible, you can grab hold of your ankles and try to get your forehead to touch your knees. Hold for one minute. And return back to the starting position. (The spine and the hamstrings get a great
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend you left leg at the knee so that the sole of the foot rests on the inside thigh of your right leg. Now raise your arms and bend forward, and get hold of your right leg’s toes with both your hands. Try and get your face as close as possible t your right knee. Hold for one
minute and come up. Repeat on the other side. (Good stretch for the hamstrings and the back. Gives your internal organs a massage.)
Sit with your legs stretched sideways as far out as possible. Bend forward to try and touch your chin on the floor in front of you, while you grab hold of your toes on either side with your hands. Try to keep your spine as straight as possible, and try not to bend your knees. Hold for one minute. And release the stretch. (This gives an intense stretch to the inner thighs. Improves the flexibility of the pelvic region.)
Sit erect with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. Now raise your arms up and bend forward and grab hold of your toes. Try to get your face as close to your knees as you can. Don’t allow your knees to lift off the floor. Hold for a minute and come up. (The spine, hamstrings and calf muscles get a good stretch. Massages the abdominal region.)
Lie flat on the floor on your belly, with your arms by your sides. Now lift your head, torso, arms, and legs off the floor, so that you are balancing on the lower part of your belly. Hold for one minute, and come down gently. (Great for toning up the back muscles. Strengthens the spine.)
Lie flat on your belly. Place your palms on the floor at shoulder level. Now lift your head and chest off the floor, straightening your arms, while the lower portion of your body, from belly down, remains on the floor. Stretch your head back, looking up at the ceiling. Hold for a minute, and come down gently. (Great for the spine. Gives a nice stretch to the chest and arms.)
Lie on your belly, face down. Bend your knees. Reach back with your hands to grab hold of each ankle with each hand. Now, pull your legs up from behind, and lift your head and torso up. Hold for one minute, and release out of the stretch gently. (Another one for your back muscles and spine.)
Begin by lying on your back, arms by your side. Now, place your hands, palms down, under your lower back. Then, tautening your abs and tightening your leg muscles, lift both legs off the floor to a height of 30 degrees. Hold them there for a few seconds (count a slow ten silently). Then raise your legs to a height of about 60 degrees, and hold for a few seconds. Then lift up to 90 degrees or straight up. Then reverse the process, coming down to 60 degrees, then 30 degrees, then down on the floor. (Very good for the abs.)
Lie on your back. Lift both your legs and your hips up, off the floor, and swing them over to reach over your head, so that the tips of your toes touch the floor above your head. Hold for one minute. (Terrific for the spine, and massages the abs too. But requires some expertise. So get expert help for this one.)
Lie on your back. Lift both your legs and your hips off the floor, lifting them straight up, until your whole body is balanced on your shoulders and the nape of your neck, with your hands supporting your waist from behind. This is considered to be the queen of all the asanas (the king being the Sirshasana, or the head stand, which is too advanced for me). Anyway, the Sarvangasana tones the whole body, including the glandular system deep inside. But this exercise too needs a fair amount of expertise. So, learn the technique from an expert first.
Lie flat on your back. Close your eyes and let your whole body go limp. Breathe deeply and slowly. And relax completely for one minute. Feel the soft music flowing over you and through you. (Great relaxation after doing the asanas.)
Well, that's it. Actually, the fun thing about this set is that you get a total body workout in just about 15 minutes.
Above taken from this page.