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Yoga's Fire Series for Abs
I first taught the Yoga Fire Series 12 years ago. As a series of abdominal poses my class moaned and groaned their way through it, but later they continued to ask for it over and over. In yoga fire is part of the concept of “Agni” which literally means “transforming force”. This transforming force includes the fire of our body, mind and practice.
Our physical “fire” purifies and relaxes the body. Abdominal poses are especially good for strengthening our digestive and elimination processes. In yoga, Agni is thought of as a symbol of all the body’s digestive functions; mental assimilation of new thoughts; clarity and alertness. If our Agni is not in balance we can experience difficulty with our moods, our energy levels, digestive fire; and our perception of understanding our place in the world.
The Fire Series
Precautions: Work within your ability. You should challenge your body but these poses are not easy moves so work up slowly. If your back begins to ache try these variations of the poses, try putting your hands behind your head to support the neck and head or you can also lie down and rest before going on. These are not the type of poses that you do many repetitions. By focusing on your core and performing the pose properly it only takes a few repetitions for you to benefit. You might want to try doing a few reps of any or all of the poses daily.
The Basic Beginning Position
•Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
•Lean back onto the elbows which are placed directly under the shoulders. Your forearms are parallel to the side of your body
•Roll your shoulders back and down and draw your chin towards the throat.
•Engage your core by drawing your belly button back towards the spine and keep it there for the entire pose.
•Start in the beginning position.
•Bring both legs straight up.
•Keep one leg lifted at about 90% and lower the other leg toward the floor.
•Do not allow the lower leg to touch the floor.
•Then reverse legs and continue the process.
•Start in the beginning position.
•Bring your legs about 20% off the floor.
•Draw one knee in towards the chest and stretch the other leg out long.
•Switch the legs back and forth gracefully. Once you feel that you are becoming sloppy it is time to stop.
•Start in beginning position.
•Inhale and lift both legs together halfway up.
•Exhale as you lower them, hovering just above the floor.
•Raise and lower slowly. Faster is not better in these types of exercises.
Double Leglift Part 2
•After you have concluded the repetitions from the Double Leglift you will go right into this pose.
•Lift both legs straight up about 90%.
•Lower both legs slowly and gracefully to 20%.
•Inhale up and exhale down.
It is important that you do not strain your back. Practice each pose first to see if you are going to need to modify it. One of the easiest ways to modify is to do all the exercises as described only bend your knees. As you practice your back will become stronger and perhaps you will be able to do a few at a time with straight legs.
It is always important to check with a medical professional before starting these or any other exercise. Live well, practice yoga.
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