Evening Yoga Routine
(from The Art, Science & Application of Kundalini Yoga, by Nirvair Singh Khalsa)
This twenty-minute series is to be done at a very slow, relaxing pace as it helps to clear the effects of a busy, stressful day. This series is on the video “Morning Yoga Stretch/Evening Yoga Relaxation” by Nirvair Singh Khalsa.
1. Lower Spine Rock (2 mins) – Lie flat on your back & draw both knees up to your chest. Keeping your head flat on the floor, wrap your hands around your shins. Draw your knees to the chest in a slow & easy rhythm while consciously relaxing the lower back. Breathe normally.
2. Front Stretch Left & Right (90 secs/side) – Sit up & keep one leg extended with the opposite foot at the inner thigh of the extended leg. Inhale, and on your exhale, reach both hands forward, grabbing what you can (thigh, knee, shin, ankle, or toes). Deepen the breath & hold steady. Consciously relax as you breathe in and out of the nose. Switch legs.
3. Basic Spinal Flex (2 mins) – Sit up & cross both legs. Place the hands on the shins. Inhale through the nose, lifting the chest as you tilt the pelvic forward. Exhale through the nose, gently tilting the pelvic back. Continue the rhythmic movement, linking it with the breath. Keep the chin level to the ground throughout.
4. Half-Spinal Twist Left & Right (1 min/side) – Stretch both legs out & give them a shake. Bring the R knee up, crossing it over the extended L leg, placing the foot on the floor, knee is high. Take the R hand & bring it behind you on the R side, using the L hand to wrap around the R knee. Straighten up & keep the chin level to the floor while turning your head to look over the R shoulder. Hold the position, breathing as deeply as you can through the nose. Switch sides after 1 minute.
5. Cow (45 secs) – Come onto all fours into a “table” position. Hands should be under the shoulders with fingers facing forward, knees hip distance apart. Tilt the pelvis, lifting the tailbone, while dropping the belly toward the floor & lifting the head up. Hold the position with long, deep breathing.
6. Cat (45 secs) – From the Cow position, push up through the shoulders, arching the spine toward the ceiling, curling the tailbone under & bringing the chin to the chest. Hold the position with long, deep breathing.
7. Extended Baby Pose (45 secs) – Sit back on the heels, placing the forehead on the floor, bringing the knees as wide as necessary. Stretch out the arms in front of you, palms flat on the floor. Breathe normally.
8. Shoulder Rolls (30 secs/direction) – Come up to sit cross-legged. Bring the hands to the knees & begin rolling the shoulders in big circles while breathing normally. Reverse directions after 30 seconds, and then relax.
9. Neck Rolls (45 secs/direction) – If your neck allows, begin to roll the head in circles, moving slowly, keeping the breath relaxed. Consciously relax the neck, throat & shoulders. If the necks does not allow the rolling, you may turn your head from side to side, slowly, inhaling to one side and exhaling to the opposite. Reverse directions after 45 seconds.
10. Cooling Relaxing Breath (4 minutes) – Sitting in a comfortable position, place your hands in Gyan Mudra (so the thumb & index finger are pressed) at the knees. Make a tunnel with the tongue if possible (otherwise, extend the tongue onto the bottom lip) & inhale very slowly & deeply over the rolled tongue. Exhale equally slowly through the nose. You may relax the tongue on the exhalation.