Yoga and Asana

Ayurvedic ‘warm-up’ exercises

ayurvedic yoga
Warm up exercise

Warm up exercise.

Warm up and stretch properly before exercising to prevent injury and make your workouts more effective. This warm-up and stretching routine should take at least six minutes. Warm up for longer if you feel the need. Ayurvedic healers recommend exercise on a daily basis for good health and longevity.

The ayurvedic approach to exercise focuses not only on the physical benefits exercise imparts, but also on its positive influence on mind, heart, senses and spirit when customized to suit individual needs for balanceThis gentle sequence of warm-up exercises stimulates the cardiovascular system allowing greater oxygen and nutrient exchange within the body. It also promotes the elimination of impurities by increasing the flow of lymph through the muscles and lymphatic system. Repeat each of the movements five times and repeat on both sides of the body or in a clockwise and then an anticlockwise direction.

  • Head: Roll clockwise, roll anticlockwise.
  • Head: Turn to left, turn to right.
  • Head: Bend back, bend forward.
  • Eyes: Roll clockwise, roll anticlockwise.
  • Arms: Swing in a circle backwards, swing in a circle forwards.
  • Shoulders: Rotate backwards, rotate forwards.
  • Shoulders: With elbows bent and at shoulder height and swing backward.
  • Shoulders: With arms outstretched swing backwards.
  • Elbows: Keeping upper arm still circle forearms from elbow joint.
  • Wrists: Rotate clockwise, rotate anticlockwise.
  • Wrists: With forearm still move wrist from side to side.
  • Wrists: With forearm still move up and down.
  • Hands: With forearm still shake the hands, then flick (as though flicking off water).
  • Torso: Raise arms to shoulder height and use them to swing torso from left to right
  • Waist: Facing forward bend left from waist, right arm moves over head.
  • Waist: Bend from waist and then rotate the torso around the waist.
  • Waist: Forward bend, backward bend.
  • Hips: Keeping upper body and legs relatively still rotate in a large circles.
  • Tailbone: Rotate in small circles.
  • Legs: Kicks.
  • Legs: Lift the knee so thighs are parallel with floor – swing lower leg side to side.
  • Knees: Lift the knee so thighs are parallel with floor – circle lower leg from knee.
  • Knees: Kick buttock with heel.
  • Knees: Hold the foot with one hand and pull against buttock.
  • Ankles: Lift foot off the floor, keep the leg still and circle foot from ankles.
  • Ankles: Keeping leg still move foot side to side from ankles and then shake.
  • Feet: Stand on tiptoes several times.
  • Squat: First on ball of foot and then with feet flat.
  • Stand: Have feet flat on the floor; lock the knees loosely backwards; move the hips forward; tuck the stomach in; bring the chest forward; take the shoulders back; keep the neck straight – now relax in this posture and be still – observe the breath gently flowing through the body for one minute before lying down.


  • ·Lie on your back, cover yourself with a blanket and relax – breathe in and slowly allow the out-breath to flow gently down the body and out through the feet.
  • ·Rest your attention on each part of the body in turn, starting with the head and neck, and check for any discomfort breathe into these areas and allow them to relax before continuing.
  • ·Starting at the head, allow each part of the body to relax, feel warm, soft and heavy. Use the breath to allow each area to melt and flow into the floor beneath.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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