You would think that children enjoyed summer or winter more due to the customary holidays from school that accompany them. But little wonder that the monsoons receive the most votes as their favorite season. The rains are synonymous with mischief, fun and excitement. Almost every kid sitting inside a classroom wishes he or she could be outside playing in the rains. Jumping across mud puddles or sailing paper boats in little rivulets on streets are hallmarks of how kids enjoy the rainy season. While the adults get busy with the umbrellas, raincoats and windcheaters, children love nothing more than dancing in the rain. However, we must prepare to enjoy the monsoon season in a safe manner. Children are prone to catching infections quickly therefore one should take the necessary steps to rain-proof their health. Plan their diet to include Vitamin C in it, which will build up resistance and boost immunity. Lavender and eucalyptus oils can be useful in keeping your home and work spaces free of mosquitoes and other insects.
The science of Yoga contains specific asanas that are especially beneficial when practised during the monsoons. Jal Namaskar is one such sequence and the knowledge of this comes to us from the original source of Yoga, the Himalayas. Jal Namaskar contains asanas which correspond to the tattva (element) of water. This vinyasa is designed with 28 counts that will help you identify and experience the water element within your body.
Flow of Jal Namaskar – Half cycle consists of 14 steps. In order to perform a complete cycle, this needs to be repeated to make it a total of 28 counts.
- Asana 1: Padmasana – Lotus Pose
- Asana 2: Dandasana – Staff Pose
- Asana 3: Naukasana – Boat Pose
- Asana 4: Dandasana – Staff Pose
- Asana 5: Padmasana – Lotus Pose
- Asana 6: Dandasana – Staff Pose
- Asana 7: Halasana – Plough Pose
- Asana 8: Adhomukha Swanasana – Downward-facing Dog Pose
- Asana 9: Supta Vajrasana – Reclined Thunderbolt Pose
- Asana 10: Matsya Asana – Fish Pose
- Asana 11: Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Pose Dedicated to Sage Matsyendra
- Asana 13: Padma Sirshasana – Lotus Headstand Pose
- Asana 14: Pindasana – Embryo in Womb Pose
Teach these following asanas to your children and enjoy a session of yoga with your whole family on a rainy day. These asanas contain the element of water and will provide the practitioner with an added beneficial value especially when practised during the monsoon season.
Padmasana – Lotus Pose
Formation of the posture
• Begin by sitting with your legs stretched out forward.
• Place your right foot over your left thigh facing up.
• Lift your left foot and place it on your right thigh facing up.
• Pull your feet closer to your hips.
• Drop your knees to the floor.
• Straighten your back and place your palms on your knees facing up.
Inhale and exhale softly (Shaant sthithi).
Matsya Asana – Fish Pose
Formation of the posture
• From Supta Vajrasana, place your palms down and slowly lift your upper body up.
• Extend your right leg forward then your left leg, and straighten them out in front of you.
• With the support of your palms, lie down on your back again.
• Using the support of your elbows, raise your upper body and tilt your head back so the top of your head rests on the floor.
• Make sure your back forms a curve and your toes point inwards.
Exhale as you lift your upper body from Supta Vajrasana (Rechak), inhale as you place the crown of your head on the floor (Purak) and retain your breath (Kumbhak).
Ardha Matsyendra asana
Formation of the posture
· Begin by sitting with your legs extended forward.
· Fold your right leg and place your foot next to your left knee.
· Fold your leg in such a manner that you knee is on the floor and your heel is placed next to your right hip.
· Twist your waist and turn your torso to the right side.
· Cross your right knee with your left forearm.
· Bring your knee as close to your left shoulder as possible.
· Hold your right foot with your left palm.
· Place your right palm on the floor behind and look back.
· For a more intense stretch, you may take your right hand behind and your left arm through your right leg and hold your right wrist with your left fingers.
· Stay in this posture for a while.
· Alternate your leg and repeat the steps mentioned above.
Exhale as you twist and place your forearm over your knee and inhale when you look back
Yoga acts like a protective umbrella boosting your child’s immune system while building the healthy habits of discipline and regular exercise. Experience the qualities that water possess; of fluidity, flexibility to adapt to any situation and the most importantly, purity. Inculcate this practice in your child to improve their physical, mental and spiritual health to keep them protected during the monsoons.
(The writer is Grand Master, Founder & Chairman, Akshar Yoga.)