- Smile and sit in the Staff pose (Sanskrit name: Dandasana). Your legs are extended in front of you. The knee caps are facing the ceiling. Your feet are flexed and slightly (10 – 12 inches) apart from each other.
- Your shoulders are above and in line with your hips. Push your shoulder blades together and then relax them slightly. Lift your waist and chest; firm the abdomen.
- Place the palms next to the hips on the floor. Your fingers are pointing towards the feet.
- Keep your head straight and your neck elongated. Lock your elbows, and straighten your arms. Stay in this starting position for five breaths while you are preparing for the following exercise.
- Breathing out, tuck your chin into the chest.
- Inhaling, move your head back as far as comfortable. In a position like Crab pose (Sanskrit name: Kulirana) or Reversed Table pose, still inhaling and pressing into your hands, raise the buttocks, and lift your body upwards. Bend your knees with feet flat on the ground. Press your palms and feet into the floor.
- Your hips are lifted making a table of your body. Let your head relax down but keep it in line with the spine. Don’t cause any tension in your neck.
- Breathing out, come back to the starting position and tuck your chin into the chest again. Repeat 21 times.
- Finally sit straight and smile. Bend the right leg, and allow the sole of the right foot to rest along the inner left thigh. Bring the left sole to snuggle the right calf. Your knees are wide and close to the floor.
- Breathe in and lift your arms upwards above your head. Fold forward. Bring your forehead close to the floor (if you are very flexible, than rest your forehead on the floor), and pull your arms on the ground as far as possible away from your body. Stay in this position for a while. Change legs and repeat the stretch.
- Finish the fourth Tibetan smiling and sitting on your heels with the hands on your abdomen. Between thumbs and forefingers form a shape of a heart. Seven times inhale deeply the universal love which permanently surrounds you.
This exercise stretches the front of the body including the hip flexors. It strengthens the spine and legs, strengthens also muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms and wrists, relieves throat congestion, and reduces heartburn. It improves the respiratory, digestive, nervous, cardiovascular systems, and influences all the glands and their hormonal secretions. It activates all the chakras aiding rejuvenation.
Two Exercises in One
- We begin with the Upward facing Dog pose (Urdhvamukha Svanasana). Smile and lie flat on your abdomen. Bring your palms on the floor directly under your shoulders; the fingers are pointing forwards. The elbows are close to the body; feet are 10 -12 inches apart, and the toes are curled under.
- Inhaling raise your head, shoulders, and chest off the ground; your arms are strong and pushing up the upper body. Your thighs are engaged, and abdominal muscles are tight.
- Keep the legs straight and knees away from the floor. The whole weight of your body is resting on your hands and toes.
- Your shoulders are down and away from your ears. The chest is lifted forward, and your head is raised upward. Look up.
- Exhaling, bring smoothly your body into Downward Facing Dog (Adhomukha Svanasana). Simultaneously raise the buttocks and lower the head keeping the hands and toes rooted at the same place. Maybe you need to adjust the distance between your toes and hands once. Your legs and arms are straight. Your body forms now an inverted letter “V”.
- Your body weight is evenly distributed on your hands and feet. Lower your heels to the floor, and bring your head to the chest. Press the sitting bones upward as you press the chest in the direction of your knees. Stretch your arms. Don’t bend your knees. Press your shoulder blades flat to the back.
- Inhaling, move smoothly into the Upward facing Dog pose lowering your buttocks and bringing your head upwards. Repeat the two poses as one exercise 21 times.
- Finally move smiling into the Extended Child’s Pose as described in the third exercise.
- Finish the fifth Tibetan smiling and sitting on your heels with the hands on your belly. Between thumbs and forefingers form a shape of a heart. Seven times inhale deeply the universal love which permanently surrounds you.
The exercise improves breathing, rejuvenates, strengthens, and invigorates. It keeps the spine healthy, and removes backaches; tones ovaries and uterus, and helps preventing hot flashes. It reduces arthritis, calms brain, and strengthens the nerves and muscles in all body parts. It stimulates circulation especially in the upper body and lessens constipation. It massages and it is beneficial for all abdominal organs.
Smiling Meditation for Rejuvenation
- Lie on the floor in the Relaxation pose (Savasana). Your feet and palms are relaxed, your arms are apart from the body while your palms are up. You are free of any tensions. Relax fully.
- Close your eyes. Smile.
- Stay in “now”. Feel the quality of “now”. Your only moment of consciousness is in now. What problems do you have right now? None, of course! Be grateful for that.
- Feel the warm sense of comfort, happiness, and security.
- Send your gratitude to the universe.
- Send the energy of your smile and joy to the whole world. Fill your environment and the whole universe with your smile.
- Breathe in and think, “I am happy,” breathe out with, “Yes, I am.” Know and accept the fact that you are happy.
- Hold this position and stay with your smiling spirit few minutes or as long as you like it. Feel the gratitude for everything in your life.
Please write your experiences with these exercises, or your questions, in the comments below. I appreciate every feedback.
I honor the Spirit in you
Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. It is recommended to consult your doctor first. Especially if you experience lower back difficulties, or have neck problems.
The author does not have any liability for any injury or damage that may result from the use of any exercise or suggestion contained in this article.
The instructions and advices are in no way intended as substitutes for medical consulting.