KRIYA – EXERCISE SERIES FOR THE LOWER BACK

(Yoga for Skiers and Runners (out-of-print), Nirvair Singh Khalsa.)

  1. Pelvic Grind Left. Place your hands on your knees and begin grinding yourself in a big, smooth circle going to the left. Lift the chest up high as you tilt the pelvis back, then lean to the left, then arch and lean forward, then lean to the right. Keep the chin level to the ground in both positions. Normal breath (90 seconds).

Doing this exercise, by itself, for 31 minutes a day can maintain your youth.

  1. Pelvic Grind Right. Continue grinding yourself in a big, smooth circle going to the right. Lift the chest up high as you tilt the pelvis back, then lean to the right, then arch and lean forward, then lean to the left. Keep the chin level to the ground in both positions. Normal breath (90 seconds).

Great for lower back and hips. Helps with elimination.

  1. Basic Spine Flex. Place the hands on the shins right above the ankles. Grasp the shins firmly and inhale through the nose, keeping the chest up high and tilting the pelvis forward. Exhale through the nose, keeping the chest high and tilting the pelvis in the opposite way. Inhale, flexing the spine forward; exhale, flexing the spine backward (3 minutes.)

Basic spinal flex strengthens and stretches the lower back in a way that aids sitting for long periods of time in meditations. It changes brain wave patterns after three minutes to make you calm.  

  1. Spinal Twist (Washing Machine). In Easy Pose, grasp the shoulders with the fingers in front, thumbs in back. Inhale and twist to the left, exhale and twist to the right. Breathing is long and deep. Continue 26 times and inhale facing forward to end, hold 5-10 seconds and then relax the breath. Relax 30 seconds.

Loosens the waist and torso. Opens up the nerve channels on either side of the spine.

  1. Bear Grip at the Heart Center. Lock the fingers in Bear Grip at the heart center. Move the elbows in a see-saw motion, breathing long and deep with the motion. Inhale, bring the right elbow up, exhale, bring the left elbow up and continue for 26 times. Inhale and hold for 5-10 seconds, exhale, pull Bear Grip and relax for 30 seconds.

Good for upper back and shoulders. Opens the heart center. 

  1. Shoulder Shrugs. Still in Easy Pose. Shrug both shoulders up on the inhale, down on the exhale. Do this for less than 2 minutes. Inhale and hold for 15 seconds with the shoulders pressed up to the ears. Relax the shoulders.

Releases tension in the shoulders. Opens upper spine, energizes heart and throat centers. 

  1. Shoulder Rolls. Remain comfortably seated in Easy Pose. Keeping the hands on the knees, roll the shoulders together in big, slow, smooth circles. Continue for 90 seconds with relaxed breath.

  1. Sat Kriya. Sit in Rock Pose on the heels and knees. (Sit in Easy Pose if needed.) Arms are held up overhead with the upper arms hugging the ears. Fingers are clasped together with the index fingers pointing straight up and the palms touching. The other fingers are interlaced. Chant the word, “Sat” as you sharply pull the navel point in, visualizing pulling in energy at the navel point. Chant the word, “Nam,” as you relax the navel, visualizing energy exiting at the brow point. Let the breath regulate itself. Eyes are closed and focused at the brow point. (Three minutes.)

The rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the navel center in Sat Kriya produces waves of energy that circulate, energize and heal the body. While chanting, the spine stays still and straight. This is neither a spinal flex nor a pelvic thrust. You stay firmly seated on the heels through all the motions of the kriya. The abdominal contraction is focused at the navel point. There is an automatic contraction of the rectum and the sex organ areas as in the lower body lock called “root” lock or Mulbandh, but the lock is not forced and is pulled naturally from the navel.

  1. Deep Relaxation. Come out of position and rest on your back. Have the arms by the sides, palms facing up with the legs uncrossed. Allow the breath to return to normal. Have the knees up for comfort, if needed.

Comments: This short exercise series helps to stretch and strengthen the lower back. In addition, it will help improve digestion and balance the energy center.