Basic Yoga Exercise for Flexibility
One of the most important basic yoga sets on this website, is the Yoga for Meditation Set. It is part of the Silent Mind Meditation Program, which is the essence of my personal meditation practice, and details the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, which in my view is the ultimate meditation practice.
This Yoga for Meditation set is excellent for those looking to improve their flexibility, especially the flexibility of their lower body, which is essential if you are going to sit for long periods of meditation. It consists of some great basic yoga stretches which should be a part of every yogi’s toolbox. But, of all the great flexibility improving yoga poses that are a part of this set, there is one that is key for those who are keen on sitting more comfortably. That is Yoga Cradle Rock.
Yoga Cradle Rock, is a basic yoga stretch which one is usually taught early in their yoga training. It is from the school of Hatha Yoga, but is used by most other types of yoga as well.
As simple as this yoga exercise is, it is really a difficult one to describe in words and an illustration demonstrating how to do this pose correctly is long long overdue. So first, many apologies for those who have been waiting patiently for an illustration, but I am happy to announce that you wait is now over as I have gotten Trupti to do this demonstration for us and you will find those illustrations below.
More Basic Yoga Exercises and Stretches:
For Yoga and Meditation Certification Program Students:
For students enrolled in the Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Program or Online Meditation Certification Program, this is a great exercise to do early in your class, as it will help your students sit comfortably for any meditation or sitting poses you plan to do. Also, as this is a relatively easy exercise to do, almost all students can practice it.
Basic Yoga Stretch – Yoga Cradle Rock
Below please find details of how to practice Yoga Cradle Rock, along with illustrations, step-by-step instructions, benefits and practice tips. Please note the cautions regarding your knees when doing this exerise.
Yoga Cradle Rock Illustrations
A. How to Yoga Cradle Rock:
- Sit with your legs extended.
Next bend your left leg at the knee and cradle it with left art as shown in Illustration #2. To cradle the leg hold onto the left leg with your left arm from underneath (your left elbow will be on the inside of the knee joint and you will be holding your left foot from the outside).
Now with your right hand hold the left foot as shown in Illustration #3. This is the basic position you take and you can now begin to do the movement.
- Now rock your leg back and forth bringing the ankle towards your chin. Make sure you rock gently and not put too much pressure on the knee joint or the hip joint. You will be able to accentuate the movement as your hips start to open up and you start to warm up.
- Once you are done with the left leg, repeat with the right leg.
- You can do this exercise with normal breathing or if you are ready you can do it which practicing the Breath of Fire.
B. How Much To Do:
- As with any stretching exercises, it is important to do it for a few minutes to really reap the benefits. So with cradle rock I would suggest 1-3 minutes per leg.
C. Basic Yoga Cradle Rock Benefits:
- Helps open up your hips and increases the flexibility and health of this region.
- Helps improve the flexibility and health of the knee joints.
- Overall is excellent for those who wish to meditate as it helps you sit in the traditional cross legged postures. For those who aspire to sit in half-lotus or full-lotus, this exercise is a must do.
D. Practice Tips for Yoga Cradle Rock:
- Be sure not to overstrain your joints, especially your hips and knees when doing this exercise.
- You can also do 3 rounds of this exercise, switching legs in between each round. It is a good way to extract maximum benefit from this key pose.
- Do this pose prior to sitting for your daily meditation (which I am sure all of you are doing :-), to help you sit more comfortably.
- I suggest doing this exercise regularly, if you are keen on sitting for long periods of time.
PS: If you enjoy this exercise or any other exercise on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, please do share them with your friends. I appreciate your support.