In yoga, it is said that most pranic blockages start in our joints. Ayurveda says that ama or the toxic and undigested waste material tends to settle in the empty spaces of our body, the joints. That is why we practice Sukshma Vyayama, to release any such impurities.
Our joints provide us with mobility by connecting two bones, allowing us to move, rather than being stiff like a log of wood. However, our joints are not simply made up of bones. In order to prevent them from deteriorating due to friction and erosion, our joints contain tissues such as cartilage and synovial fluid, which help keep bones from grating against each other. If this cartilage depletes due to age, injury, or wear and tear, then we start experiencing issues like joint pain and arthritis.
There are many factors that contribute to keeping our joints healthy. These include nutrition, a balanced exercise routine, good posture, stress management, etc. Performing regular joint mobility exercises helps in relaxing and strengthening of joints.
Joint exercises are not very popular in modern yoga practice. Joint health also needs to be taken care of regularly along with working with your muscles for flexibility, strength, and balance.
Yoga is all about striking the right balance and harmony throughout our body and mind.
At Abhyasa, Joint activation exercises are conducted periodically with regular yoga classes.
What is Sukshma Vyayama?
Sukshma Vyayama is a specific ancient technique of yogic postures and dynamic movements that was introduced by Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari. An influential yoga teacher in his own right, Swami Dhirendra was a student of Maharishi Kartikeya. He trained the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was also invited by USSR to teach yoga to the Soviet Cosmonauts. In fact, he founded the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga and was known as Vishwayatan Yogashram. Yogic Sukshma Vyayama techniques are considered to be extremely powerful, as they activate the subtle pranic body. Their benefits include developing memory, intellect, willpower, and sharpening the senses. That is why many of these exercises are performed prior to meditation. Asana practice is not considered necessary if we’re doing these movements. One should practice with care if there is an underlying injury. Make sure to consult with your doctor before starting any physical practice.
One of the best ways to protect our joints is to keep moving mindfully and changing our posture from time to time. These joint movements are an accessible and gentle way to incorporate therapeutic movements into daily life. They improve circulation, remove stiffness and tension, relax the nervous system, and are accessible to anyone. These movements are also a good way to warm up before yoga practice.
Practice the simple routines consistently to keep the joint-related disorders at bay.