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This series of practices, taken from Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati, loosen up all the major joints in the body.

Each joint has its own particular asana, and some joints, like the ankles, have multiple asanas to promote their full range of motion.

Classically these postures are performed in a sequential order from the toes to the neck, however, they can be practiced individually to warm up particular joints in preparation for
stronger practices. Mobilizing the joints in this way promotes the flow of synovial fluid, a liquid that revitalizes the tissue and protects the joint from degeneration.

These asanas are excellent for those with rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart problems or other ailments where vigorous physical exercise is not advised. Because they are simple and easy to do their potency can often be overlooked, but they are powerful!

Each movement is an opportunity to delve deeper into yourself, to heighten the awareness of the body, breath and mind.

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Neck movements

Greeva Sanchalana

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Shoulder socket rotation

 Skandha Chakra

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Elbow rotation

Kehuni Chakra

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Stretch the right arm in front of the body, shoulder height.
  • Have the right hand comfortable either a loose fist or open and relaxed.
  • Support the right upper arm with the left hand.
  • Bend the right arm at the elbow and rotate the lower arm around the elbow joint in a clockwise direction.
  • Make as large a circle as possible while keeping the upper arm steady and parallel to the floor.
  • Practice 5-10 times clockwise, then 5-10 times anti-clockwise.
  • Gently lower the right arm.
  • In the same way, practice with the left arm.

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Elbow bending

Kehuni Naman

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Wrist bending

Manibandha Naman

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Straighten the arms in front of the body, shoulder height.
  • Open the palms of the hands and have the fingers together and straight.
  • As if pressing the palms against a wall, bend the hands backward from the wrists, fingers point upwards.
  • Hold for a moment then bend the hands forward from wrists so that the fingers point towards the floor.
  • Practice 5-10 times.

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Hand clenching

Mushtika Bandhana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Straighten the arms in front of the body, shoulder height.
  • Open the hands, palms down and stretch the fingers out wide
  • Close the fingers tight to make a fist with the thumbs inside.
  • Mindfully open the hands again and stretch the fingers out wide.
  • Practice 5-10 times.

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Full butterfly

Poorna Titali Asana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the knees and bring the feet towards the buttocks.
  • Separate the knees to the sides and join the soles of the feet together.
  • Bring both the heels as close to the perineum, (the general region between the anus and the genital organs) as comfortable.

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Hip rotation

Shroni Chakra

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the right leg and position the right foot on the left thigh.
  • Place the right hand on the right knee and the left hand under the right ankle.
  • Using the muscles of the arm, rotate the right hip by making circular movements with the raised leg.
  • Practice 10 times clockwise and 10 times anticlockwise.
  • Repeat with the left leg.

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Half butterfly

Ardha Titali Asana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the right knee, lower it to the side and position the right foot on the inside of the left thigh.
  • Place the right hand on the top of the right knee.
  • Rest the left hand comfortably on left thigh.

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Knee crank

 Janu Chakra

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the right knee and place the sole of the foot on the floor in front of the buttocks.
  • Interlock the fingers of the hands under the right thigh.
  • Raise the foot from the floor. and rotate the lower leg in a large circular movement; straightening the leg at the top of the upward movement.
  • Keep the upper part of the leg (thigh and hip), as still as possible.
  • Practice 5-10 times clockwise and 5-10 time anti-clockwise.
  • Repeat with the left leg.

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Knee bending

Janu Naman

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Kneecap contraction

Janufalak Akarshan

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Gently contract the muscle surrounding the right knee, drawing the kneecap back towards the thigh.
  • Hold the contraction for 3-5 seconds, counting mentally.
  • Release and relax the kneecap.
  • Practice 5-10 times.
  • Repeat with the left kneecap.
  • Then practice contracting both kneecaps together.

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Ankle crank

Goolf Ghoornan

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the right knee and bring the foot towards the buttock.
  • Turn the knee out to the side and gently place the right foot on the left thigh.
  • Have the ankle far enough over the thigh so it can rotate freely.
  • Support the right ankle with the right hand.
  • Hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand.
  • Using the left hand rotate the right foot 5-10 times clockwise and 5-10 times anti-clockwise.
  • Change sides.

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Ankle rotation

Goolf Chakra

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Keeping the legs straight, separate the feet so that they are shoulder width apart.
  • Keep the heels on the floor during the whole practice.
  • Without moving the ankles, for a moment, take the awareness into them.

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Ankle bending

Goolf Naman

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Without moving the ankles, for a moment, take the awareness into them.
  • Bending from the ankle joints, mindfully move both feet backward and forward.
  • Stretch the feet towards the floor to lengthen the shins, then draw the feet back towards the knees, elongating the calves.
  • Hold each position for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

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Toe bending

Padanguli Naman

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Without moving the toes, for a moment, take the awareness into them.
  • Mindfully move the toes of both feet forward and backward, keeping the feet upright, ankles still and relaxed.
  • Hold each position for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 5 -10 times

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Seated Base position

Prarambhik Sthiti

  • Sit with the legs outstretched in front, feet slightly apart.
  • Place the hands, palms down, beside the body.
  • Lift up from the tailbone and align through the head, neck and spine.
  • Keeping the elbows straight, lean back a little, using the arms to support the torso.
  • Keep the chest lifted and shoulders relaxed.
  • Close the eyes and go within.

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