Y-39 Upward Stretch

From the standing relaxation position, simultaneously bring your right arm straight up in front of you, as you inhale and come up onto your toes. Stretch upward while holding your breath. Now simultaneously exhale, lower the arm behind you and come down onto the heels. These movements should be slow and graceful. The eyes are open and concentrated on a point in front of you for greater balance.

This can be done 3 times with each arm separately and then 3 times with both arms together.

Breathing Ratio: Once you master the movement, you can incorporate the breathing ratio of 1 : 2 : 1. This means the retention of the breath is twice the length of the inhalation or exhalation. So if you count om 1, om 2 om 3 as you inhale, then the retention is om 1, om 2, om 3, om 4, om 5, om 6 and the exhalation is om 1, om 2, om 3. This could also be 2 : 4 : 2 or 4 : 8 : 4, depending on your breathing capacity.

It is better to start with a ratio which is easy and comfortable. Never force your breath or your body. Gradually over the years increase the length of time.

This breathing ratio also applies to the Sideward Bend and the Triangle Pose.

Contraindications: Serious lower back problems, hernia,

Benefits: The spine is stretched upward and all the muscles of the body (especially the back and arms) are stretched and released of tension. A valuable preparatory exercise.

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