Have you ever had a thought that yoga is just not your cup of tea, as you don’t have a flexible body that can fold into a pretzel?
Well, you’re not alone.
One out of every three of my students and fellow practitioners have expressed their initial disinterest and fear of yoga, because they believed they didn’t have the flexibility or strength for yoga poses.
But good news is you don’t have to twist yourself into a pretzel to get the benefits of yoga. Try these easy yoga poses for a nimble and energetic body, and calm mind.
Yoga is for everyone and everybody
The beauty of yoga is that yoga is for everyone. Every body is a yoga body!
Whether you are young or old, flexible or tight, fit or unfit, a regular practice of yoga strengthens the body and calms the mind. Contrary to popular belief, physical flexibility is neither the pre-requisite nor the goal to practice yoga. Striking a perfect pose is not the goal. What matters at the end of a practice is the state of your body and mind. If you feel at peace and in the present moment, then you are practicing yoga. Yoga is work within and not a ‘workout’. Don’t let the intimidating postures scare you away and dim your enthusiasm to practice yoga!
What is Subtle or Sukshma yoga?
Sukshma yoga is an excellent sequence that promotes physical energy and mental calm. It is a form of yoga made up of gentle flowing movements that are simple and easy to practice, while remaining both deep and effective.
Sukshma is a Sanskrit word meaning “subtle”–something that is delicate, soft, or not very obvious, but still remains important or deep. This is how Sukshma Yoga is–gentle, and that is what it does–affects us at a deeper level.
This practice has its roots in ancient yoga, and it is not very known to the most modern yogis in the world today. Thanks to the efforts of yogi Dhirendra Brahmachari, who learned Sukshma Vyayama from a great yogi, Maharishi Karthikeya Maharaj of the Himalayas, we have access to these esoteric techniques again.
Join me for a subtle and powerful yoga experience
Yoga is not just about physical flexibility. It’s about the simplicity of the mind, where one can experience union and harmony, peace and joy, and stillness and comfort. To illustrate, I’ve created an easy, simple yoga sequence that anybody can do. It is designed to be easy and enjoyable, but also to lead you into a first-hand experience of the true depth of yoga.
So grab your yoga mat, and a comfortable small cushion to sit on if you require, and join me for this 1 hour Sukshma and Easy Yoga sequence.
5 Major Benefits of Sukshma Yoga
1. Stimulates circulation and warms up the body
The most important benefit of Sukshma Yoga is the stimulation of the circulation of blood throughout the body. This brings oxygen and other fuels to the muscle cells that warm up the body. Warmth gives the blood vessels in the muscles time to dilate, and thus increases the blood flow, making a greater supply of oxygen available to the muscles for more demanding yoga poses, and later reducing the risk of injury and muscle soreness.
2. Provides nutrition to all the joints
As we attend to all the joints one by one, we stimulate the synovial fluid in the joints. Synovial fluid is a viscous (“thick”) fluid within a joint cavity that provides protective cushioning and lubrication within a joint. It also brings nutrients to joint tissues that have no direct blood supply.
Moving a joint through its full range of motion is one of the best ways to activate the production of synovial fluid from the synovial membrane and increase the flow of nutrients into the capsule. In addition, waste products are released out of the capsule through the synovial membrane, thus preventing its storage in the joint capsules. This keeps the joints agile and active, and helps in preventing arthritic changes and pains as we age.
3. Energises and heals the body while calming the mind
Sukshma Yoga takes no time or preparation. This gentle yoga opens up subtle energy channels within the body, and even a brief session will leave you feeling fully relaxed and rejuvenated. Each small movement releases stress, demonstrating the mechanics of prana (energy) movement within the body.
Breathing is an important element of Sukshma Yoga. The muscle contraction and release during deep, conscious breathing stimulates circulation, making fresh oxygen available to the muscles. When we do gentle deep diaphragmatic breathing without much effort, it calms the mind, reduces muscular tension, and facilitates healing. This is why we begin the sequence with a few rounds of deep yogic breath.
As we proceed through the sequence, you may become aware of the way in which often forgotten body parts hold large amounts of tension. You may also notice that through the combination of loving attention and soft breaths, these parts of our body delicately release accumulated stress and tension, bringing freshness and new life.
4. Improves awareness and concentration
The Sukshma Yoga also serves to improve awareness, focus attention, and enhance concentration. Moving our attention throughout all the joints in a sequential method helps us to evaluate and address one’s physical and/or mental tensions associated with each of these joints.
5. Prepares the body for more challenging yoga poses
Regularly doing the Sukshma Yoga improves joint health by enhancing flexibility and strength. These flowing movements can also serve as excellent warm-ups, preparing not only the body, but also the mind, harmonizing both to ensure the maximum benefits from a more challenging yoga practice.
Recharge and rejuvenate anytime, anywhere
You can do Sukshma Yoga anytime and anywhere–sitting at home, at your workstation, while traveling in a car or bus, or even in an airplane. But for the best benefits, do these in a quiet and well-ventilated room.
Whether you have a few seconds or a few minutes or a full hour, give these gentle yoga techniques a try, and experience the magic!
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