Pada Sanchalanasana (cycling)
Stage I : Lie in the starting position and relax.
Raise the right leg.
Bend the knee and bring the thigh to the chest.
Raise and straighten the leg completely.
Then lower the straight leg in a forward movement.
Bend the knee and bring it back to the chest to complete the cycling movement.
The heel should not touch the floor during the movement.
Practise 10 times in a forward direction and then 10 times in reverse.
Repeat with the left leg.
Breathing: Inhale while straightening the leg.
Exhale while bending the knee and bringing the thigh to the chest.
Stage 2: Raise both legs. Practise alternate cycling movements as though peddling a bicycle.
Practise 10 times forward and then 10 times backward.
Breathing: Breathe normally throughout. Stage 3: Raise both legs and keep them together throughout the practice. Bring the knees as close as possible to the chest on the backward movement and straighten the legs fully on the forward movement.
Slowly lower the legs together, keeping the knees straight, until the legs are just above the floor.
Then bend the knees and bring them back to the chest.
Practise 3 to 5 forward cycling movements and the same in reverse.
Do not strain.
Breathing: Inhale while straightening the legs. Exhale while bending the legs to the chest.
Awareness: On the smoothness of the movement and proper coordination, especially while reverse cycling. en relaxing, be aware of the abdomen, hip, thighs and lower back, and the breath.
Contra-indications: Not to be performed by persons suffering from high blood pressure or serious back conditions such as sciatica and slipped disc.
Benefits: Good for hip and knee joints. Strengthens abdominal and lower back muscles.
Practice note: Keep the rest of the body, including the head, flat on the floor throughout the practice. After completing each stage remain in the base position and relax until the respiration returns to normal.
If cramping is experienced in the abdominal muscles, inhale deeply, gently pushing out the abdomen, and then relax the whole body with exhalation.
Do not strain; this applies especially to stage 3, which is a more strenuous practice.
Credits: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Bihar School of Yoga