(A Woman’s Book of Yoga, pp. 176-178).
Miracle Bend. Assume a standing position. Place your knees and heels together with your feet flat on the floor and angled out to 45-degrees for balance. Raise your arms straight over your head with your palms facing forward (you can hook your thumbs together to help hold up your arms). Keep your legs straight but avoid locking your knee joints. Stretch up and back 20 degrees. Your head, spine, and arms should form an unbroken curve, with your arms remaining in line with your ears. You may shake in this posture, but do your best to keep up and stretch. Hold this stretch gently with long, deep breathing for 2 minutes.
Called the “miracle bend,” this exercise is said to “bend the negativity out of the human being” (Yogi Bhajan). It will adjust your navel point, balancing your energy and turning anger into calmness.
Pumping the Navel Point. From the above position, bend forward very slowly, keeping your arms straight and close to your ears. Let your torso and your arms hang to the floor. Inhale and suspend your breath in, pumping your belly in and out. Then exhale, hold the breath out, and pump your belly in and out again. Continue the sequence of holding the breath in and out and pumping your belly for 2 minutes. To end, relax your breath and slowly stand up and relax.
Together with the preceding exercise, this exercise works to alleviate feelings of insecurity.
Hip Rotation. Return to a standing position. Spread your legs apart so your feet are as far apart as you can comfortably hold them without losing your balance. Bend your elbows and hold your upper arms by your side with your forearms parallel to the floor. Begin to rotate your hips in large circles, as large as you can, at a moderate pace. The direction can be either clockwise or counterclockwise. Continue rotating your hips in this way for 2 minutes. Relax.
This exercise works on the lower back and hips. It can awaken in you a fearless spirit! This is a common exercise in the military and is done before battle, to loosen up.
Arm Rotation. Place your legs and feet in the same position as in the previous exercise. Hold your arms straight out from your body. Begin a backward rotation of your arms, with one arm rotating clockwise and the other rotating counterclockwise. As you rotate your arms, keep them at least 30 degrees away from your body. Rotate your arms at one rotation per second. While you rotate your arms in this way, bend forward halfway toward the floor, then straighten up and bend backward halfway to your maximum stretch. Each cycle of bending forward, straightening, bending back and straightening takes 15 seconds. Continue this exercise for 1 ½ minutes. To end the exercise, stand straight up and relax..
This exercise may seem like a brain-teaser! Rotating your arms in different directions takes concentration and coordination. This exercise creates stamina and clear thinking and can help prevent an early menopause.
Relax. Relax on your back with your spine in alignment and your arms relaxed by your side with your palms facing upward. You must relax for 10 minutes after this exercise set to receive its full effect and benefit.
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