Who said a leg fracture should keep you down? Shilpa Shetty Kundra, who recently fractured hers during shooting and has been advised a six-week recovery, is doing yoga to keep herself supple and strong, of course, after resting for the mandatory 10 days.
Sharing her video on Instagram, she wrote, “After 10 days of resting in, I realised… no reason is good enough to not stretch. So, even though the injury needs me to take it easy for a few weeks, inactivity can make you rusty. So… I decided to practise the routine of Parvatasana, followed by Utthita Parsvakonasana and concluded with Bharadvajasana. Anyone who is unable to sit on the floor, or is suffering from knee or back pain can do these stretches on the chair. These asanas are beneficial to strengthen and improve the flexibility of the spine and the back muscle, and are also helpful for the digestive system. However, the third pose ‘Bharadwajasana (twisting pose)’ should be avoided during pregnancy. Don’t let anything get in the way of your routine. You can overcome the biggest hurdles simply by believing YOU CAN and having the WILL to change things.”
So what are the three asanas that Shilpa is talking about?
Parvatasana: Essentially this pose is part of the Surya Namaskar routine where you lift up your hips while exhaling and face your chest downwards as if you are behind a mountain. Your chest and legs should be positioned in a way that your body forms an inverted V. Says yoga guru Kamini Bobde, “It strengthens the nerves and limbs but Shilpa is a trained practitioner and we do not know the severity of her fracture. So be sure to perform this pose only when you are sure of not aggravating your injured area or any other sensitivities.”
“This posture strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, ankles, nerves, muscles, bones and ligaments. It stimulates blood circulation in the upper spinal area, particularly between the shoulder blades. It is good for children. And it is good for tackling low backache too,” she advises.
Utthita Parsvakonasana: Place your feet 3–4 feet apart or any distance that gives you stability. Rest your hands on your hips. Turn your right foot out so that your toes face the front of your mat; turn your left foot slightly in. Align your right heel with your left heel. Then bend your right knee to bring your right shin and thigh to a 90-degree angle with your right kneecap in line with your right ankle. Take a deep breath, extend your arms out to your sides. Then, reach them up overhead and lengthen through your sides. Allow your pelvis to shift: Rotate your left hip slightly forward, and shift your right hip back as you begin to fold to the right. Keep your torso and spine long as you side bend.
Place your right hand to the outside of your right foot. Sweep and extend your left arm over your left ear, maintaining a straight line from your left foot all the way up to your left fingertips. Your palm should be facing down. Attempt to widen your collarbones to create space between your left shoulder and left ear. Press through your outer left foot. Look at your left thumb. Hold here for 5–10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
“This asana is very good for strengthening the hip area, taking care of ENT problems and maintaining the fluid balance between ears. This strengthens your core muscles that support the spine and is an all body stretch. This is one asana which directly addresses all problems in the ear system. It also gives the maximum twist to your spine, stomach and the hip area. The holistic effect addresses prevention and cures problems related to balance,” says Bobde.
Bharadvaja’s Twist: Do the Dandasana or place two legs parallelly on a flat surface. Then lean on to your right hip and swing your legs to the left, bending your knees and placing both feet to the outside of your left hip so that your left ankle rests in the arch of your right foot. Place your left hand under your right knee with your fingers pointed back toward your knee, and take your right hand to the floor behind your right hip. Inhale and lengthen your spine; exhale and twist your torso, keeping your left sitting bone heavy.
“This again works on the spine, activates the digestive system, massages and regulates the intestinal tract, works on the thyroid and perks up the entire endocrinal system because you are twisting the neck. Basically, it works major parts of the body, keeps them oiled,” adds Bobde.
(Kamini Bobde is a Kundalini practitioner who follows the Swami Satyananda Saraswati tradition of yoga. She is the author of Kundalini Yoga for All: Unlock the Power of Your Body and Brain. Published by Penguin)