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Basic Yoga Excercises Explained

Jan 4, 2008
We are going to try some exercises for the neck and eyes which will help do away with eye strain, tension, and stiffness of the neck. You can do them whenever you please.

Just drop your head forward, then rotate it several times. If the rolling goes smoothly without any grinding or crackling noises you have nothing to worry about; if it doesn't, better try the neck exercises.

TECHNIQUE: Here is how the neck exercises are to be done:

Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and keep the hands on the knees. If you prefer to sit on a chair, choose a hard one, otherwise you will find it difficult to keep your back straight, which is essential.

Relax the whole body. You should be conscious of it only from the neck up - the rest should remain motionless and as unstrained as if you were sitting under water up to the neck.

1. Now close your eyes and effortlessly and gently let your head drop forward and backward, then again forward and backward. Do each exercise four times to begin with. Later on you can increase the number to six or more. When dropping the head backward keep your facial muscles relaxed; the lips should part slightly when the head is thrown back.

2. In the next exercise, you first turn your head to the extreme right and return it to normal position; then turn to the extreme left and return to normal again. Repeat four times. Turning the head to the sides contracts the muscles, returning to normal position relaxes them.

3. In the third exercise you bend your head to the right as if someone were pulling your right ear towards the right shoulder, and straighten the head, bend it to the left and straighten again. Repeat four times.

At the end of the last exercise, pat the neck with the back of both hands, smacking it under the chin and on the sides. To pat the back of the neck, use your palms and finger tips.

The daily practice of these exercises will loosen up the tension in your neck muscles and keep them relaxed and elastic. It will also control any tendency to a double chin and help to improve your eyesight. The vision gets better and clearer as the ophthalmic, or eye, nerves receive a richer supply of blood.

Eye Exercises

Remain sitting in the same position as before. Open your eyes, then check on your posture. Is your spine erect?

Now raise your eyes and find a small point that you can see clearly without straining, without frowning, without becoming tense and, of course, without moving your head. While doing this exercise look at this point each time you raise your eyes.

Next, lower your eyes to find a small point on the floor which you can see clearly when glancing down. Look at it each time you lower your eyes. Breathing should be normal - that is, you don't have to do deep breathing.

Technique:

1. (a) Raise the eyes to look at your chosen high point.

(b) Lower the eyes to look at your chosen low point.

Repeat four times. Close the eyes and rest a moment.

2. Now do the same using points to your right and to your left, at eye level. Keep your raised fingers or two pencils on each side as guides and adjust them so that you can see them clearly when moving the eyes to the right and to the left, but without straining.

Keeping the fingers at eye level, and moving only the eyes, look to the right at your chosen point, then to the left. Repeat four times. Blink several times, then close your eyes and rest.

Your neck and eyes will greatly benefit from these exercises.
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