Eight Prescriptions for Everyday Health

1. FOR DETOXIFICATION:
SEATED SPINAL TWIST

Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your right leg and bring your right heel towards your right buttock. Sit square with your shoulders back and open and take your right arm and place it on the floor behind you. Bend your left arm and place the upper part of the arm on the outside of your right knee. Slowly push into the knee to turn the upper torso to the right. Keeping your spine straight, gently take the twist further with each exhalation. After several breaths, slowly return to centre on an exhalation. Repeat on the other side.
Physical benefits: Clearer, more radiant skin; improved digestion.

Also good for: Lower backache; the twisting action rotates the vertebrae one over the other, massaging the spine. This enhances the blood circulation in the kidney and adrenal area improving circulation and detoxification, and massages the internal organs. It also flushes out toxins, so drink plenty of water afterwards.

 
1. Seated Spinal Twist
 

2. FOR CYSTITIS, IBS, PERIOD PAINS, PMS AND ENDOMETRIOSIS:
THE SQUAT

From standing, squat low with your heels hip-width apart and your feet turned out at 45 degrees. Keep spine straight and abs drawing in. Place hands in a prayer position and use your elbows to push open your knees. Try to sink as low as you can. Your heels will eventually touch the floor. Stay in the pose for five breaths.
Physical benefits: Encourages blood flow to the reproductive organs; allows organs to sit calmly; opens up tight hips and pelvis.

2. The Squat
 
3a. Forward Bend
3b. Forward Bend

3.FOR INSOMNIA AND PENT-UP TENSION:
FORWARD BEND

Sit upright with your legs straight out in front. Inhale and raise the hands overhead (3A). Exhale and bend forwards from the hips, rather than the waist, keeping the chest open and the spine long (3B). Rest hands on the ground either side of your legs.
Stay in the pose and breath calmly for three to five breaths. To exit, come up the way you went down, inhaling as you raise the arms back overhead, lifting up to stretch the spine and then release the arms back down your sides.
Physical benefits: All over calming; lengthens the hamstrings; release tightness in the back; mobilises hip and shoulder joints; releases pressure through spinal nerves.
Also good for: Headaches, backaches, IBS, period pains and PMS.

 

4. FOR ASTHMA AND RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS:
THE BOW

Lying on the floor on your stomach, place your forehead on the ground (4A). Bend your knees bringing your feet up but keep them relaxed not pointed. Reach back to grasp your ankles. Keeping your arms straight inhale as you arch the entire body upwards (4B). Simultaneously lift the head, chest and thighs off the floor and hold for at least 10 seconds. Gradually build up to one minute. Repeat three times.
Physical benefits: Helps open up the chest, invigorates the internal organs.
Also good for: IBS, PMS, period pains, cystitis, endometriosis, poor digestion.

4a. The Bow
 
4b. The Bow
 
5. Down-Facing Dog

5. FOR GENERAL STRESS RELIEF:
DOWN-FACING DOG

Start in an all fours position. Gently push up on to your hands and feet in an inverted V position with hands shoulder-distance apart and feet hip-distance apart. Push hips up the sky and press heels down. Lengthen your spine to form one long line with your arms. Press the palms of your hands down, especially the inside edges and stretch your fingers open like a starfish. Drop your head to release your neck. Take five breaths. To rest, sit back on heels with your arms outstretched.

Physical benefits: Increases flexibility in the hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendon and back; strengthens and tones the arms and shoulders; increases blood flow to the upper body, improving the condition of skin and hair.
Also good for: Backache, PMS and period pains.

 

6. FOR RADIANT COMPLEXION:
LEGS UP THE WALL POSE

Lie down with the back of your pelvis against the wall, with your legs extended upwards. Drop your sitting bones down and open arms out to the sides. Hold for a few minutes, then slowly bring your legs down and roll to the side to come up.

Physical benefits: Clearer skin; better circulation.
Also good for: Varicose veins, relaxing and unwinding, insomnia.

6. Legs up the wall
 
7a. Cobra
7b. Cobra

7. FOR MASSAGING AND STIMULATING ALL INTERNAL ORGANS:
THE COBRA

Lying on the floor bring legs together and forehead on the ground. Place your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders, palms downwards (7A). Pushing the chin forwards, roll the body up and back (7B). When you have come as far as you can (being careful not to extend the arms past a 90 degree bend), stay in the pose and breathe naturally. Hold for 10 seconds, gradually increasing to a minute.
Physical benefits: Promoting flexibility of the lower back; strengthening the arms and opening up the chest.
Also good for: Backache especially lower backache; endometriosis.

 

8. FOR ‘COMPUTER’ BACKS CAUSED BY SITTING AT A DESK ALL DAY:
BACK ROLLS

From a sitting position, bend your legs and rest your feet on the floor. Take arms under the knees and hug your thighs (8A). Bring your chin in and allow your head to gently tip forward. Round the back, inhale and push backwards, rolling onto your back, exhale and roll back up to sitting, lightly touching the mat with your toes (8B). Repeat a few times until you feel the ‘release’ and rest.
Physical benefits: Loosens tight backs through the complete length of the spine (as you roll you stimulate 64 traditional acupuncture points).

8a. Back Rolls
8b. Back Rolls
 
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“Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgement wage war against your passion and your appetite.”
– Kahlill Gibran, The Prophet

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