Stretching and Breathing Exercises
Although Sagittarius is an upbeat and optimistic sign, the Archer lives in dynamic tension, as illustrated by the Centaur’s drawn arrow, which is never released. Its mental activity overtaxes the nervous system. Many of us can relate to the condition of being wound up and unable to let go. Mental, emotional, and physical stress and over-stimulation, resulting in a challenged nervous system, is a common condition in our technological society.
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation techniques can greatly alleviate systemic tension, reduce stress, soothe and strengthen our nervous system, and calm and elevate our mind to our neutral ‘peace’ channel. Meditative breathing takes advantage of the link between our breath, nervous system and mind. Stretching tranquilizes the nervous system and produces mental and physical well-being.
Practice this for a week and you will feel your nervous system getting stronger. You will notice yourself becoming less reactive and feel more relaxed. Extend the times of the long deep breathing in the exercises if you wish.
Follow the kriya with meditative breathing. Inhale deeply through the nose, exhale whistling through the mouth for 5-11 minutes. Then inhale deeply through the mouth whistling and exhale through the nose for 5-11 minutes.
It is beneficial to warm up with leg stretches and spinal flexes, focusing on stretching the spine and opening the channels to activate and circulate energy.
(A) On back, raise both left leg and right arm to 60° and hold for 1 minute (or more), breathing through the left nostril.
(B) Switch legs and arms and continue with left nostril breathing for 30 seconds (or longer).
(C) Inhale deeply, exhale completely, and pinch both nostrils, holding the breath out for 30 seconds.
(D) Relax on the back for 5 minutes.
On back, raise right foot and right arm 6″ and hold with long deep breathing for 2½ minutes. Inhale, hold for 10 seconds, exhale, and hold out for 3 seconds. Relax for 3 minutes.
On back, raise both feet 60° off the ground, legs straight, toes pointed forward, with hands behind neck in Venus Lock, elbows on the ground, and do long deep breathing for 2 minutes.
In Back Platform Pose on elbows, raise left leg up to 60° and hold with navel breathing for 1 minute. Relax 2 inutes.
Walk around on the knees only (without touching feet to the ground) with arms out to the sides at 60° for 2 minutes. Relax. (For fourth vertebra)
- Jump up and down on the toes for 2 minutes.
Soles of feet together, clasp feet with the hands. Inhale and then while exhaling pull the head down to the left knee; inhale up, then exhale, pull the head down to the right knee for 2-3 minutes (variation: lower head to center after the right, i.e., left, right, center, left, right, etc.).
Deeply relax before doing a pranayama or mantra meditation.