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Have you ever had a thought that yoga is just not your cup of tea, as you don’t have a flexible body that can fold into a pretzel?
Well, you’re not alone.
I have been teaching yoga for many years now. One out of every three of my students and fellow practitioners has expressed their initial disinterest and fear of yoga because they believed they didn’t have the flexibility or strength for yoga poses.
But yoga is not just about physical flexibility. It’s about the simplicity of the mind, where one can experience union and harmony, peace and joy, and stillness and comfort. To illustrate, I’ve created an easy, simple yoga sequence that anybody can do, designed to be easy and enjoyable, but also to lead you into a first-hand experience of the true depth of yoga.
A Subtle and Powerful Yoga Experience
Sukshma yoga is an excellent sequence that promotes physical energy and mental calm. It is a form of yoga made up of gentle flowing movements that are simple and easy to practice, while remaining both deep and effective.
Sukshma is a Sanskrit word meaning “subtle”—something that is delicate, soft, or not very obvious, but still remains important or deep. This is how Sukshma Yoga is—gentle, and that what it does affects us at a deeper level.
This practice has its roots in ancient yoga, and it is not very known to the most modern yogis in the world today. Thanks to efforts of yogi Dhirendra Brahmachari, who learned Sukshma Vyayama from a great yogi, Maharishi Karthikeya Maharaj of the Himalayas, we have access to these esoteric techniques again.
So grab your yoga mat, and a comfortable small cushion to sit on if you require, and join me for this 1-hour Sukshma and Easy Yoga sequence.
5 Major Benefits of Sukshma Yoga
- Stimulates circulation and warms up the body. The most important benefit of Sukshma Yoga is the stimulation of the circulation of blood throughout the body. This brings oxygen and other fuels to the muscle cells that warm up the body. Warmth gives the blood vessels in the muscles time to dilate, and thus increases the blood flow, making a greater supply of oxygen available to the muscles for more demanding yoga poses, and later reducing the risk of injury and muscle soreness.
- Provides nutrition to all the joints. As we attend to all the joints one by one, we stimulate the synovial fluid in the joints. Synovial fluid is a viscous (“thick”) fluid within a joint cavity that provides protective cushioning and lubrication within a joint. It also brings nutrients to joint tissues that have no direct blood supply.
Moving a joint through its full range of motion is one of the best ways to activate the production of synovial fluid from the synovial membrane and increase the flow of nutrients into the capsule. In addition, waste products are released out of the capsule through the synovial membrane, thus preventing its storage in the joint capsules. This keeps the joints agile and active, and helps in preventing arthritic changes and pains as we age.
- Energizes and heals the body while calming the mind. Sukshma Yoga takes no time or preparation. This gentle yoga opens up subtle energy channels within the body, and even a brief session will leave you feeling fully relaxed and rejuvenated. Each small movement releases stress, demonstrating the mechanics of prana (energy) movement within the body.
Breathing is an important element of Sukshma Vyayam. The muscle contraction and release during deep, conscious breathing stimulates circulation, making fresh oxygen available to the muscles. When we do gentle deep diaphragmatic breathing without much effort, it calms the mind, reduces muscular tension, and facilitates healing. This is why we begin the sequence with a few rounds of deep yogic breath.
As we proceed through the sequence, you may become aware of the way in which often forgotten body parts hold large amounts of tension. You may also notice that through the combination of loving attention and soft breaths, these parts of our body delicately release accumulated stress and tension, bringing freshness and new life.
- Improves awareness and concentration. The Sukshma Vyayam also serves to improve awareness, focus attention, and enhance concentration. Moving our attention throughout all the joints in a sequential method helps us to evaluate and address one’s physical and/or mental tensions associated with each of these joints.
- Prepares the body for more challenging yoga poses. Regularly doing the Sukshma Vyayama improves joint health by enhancing flexibility and strength. These flowing movements can also serve as excellent warm-ups, preparing not only the body, but also the mind, harmonizing both to ensure the maximum benefits from a more challenging yoga practice.
Recharge and Rejuvenate—Anytime, Anywhere
You can do Sukshma Yoga anytime and anywhere—sitting at home, at your workstation, while travelling in a car or bus, or even in an airplane. But for the best benefits, do these in a quiet and well-ventilated room.
Whether you have a few seconds, a few minutes, or full hour, give these gentle yoga techniques a try, and experience the magic!