Unless you live in a bungalow, you will find yourself going upstairs and downstairs many times a day. You may have to carry your baby or piles of linen and clothes, moss basket, carry cot or baby seat. This sequence will help you to protect your back and also to stretch your spine as you go up and down. Make the stairs a prop to regain or gain fitness each day, with yoga.
Going up and down the stairs, bending and extending your legs while keeping your back straight can make a striking difference to your energy level at the end of the day.
1. Going up, lift your bent knee really high and stretch up before you take your weight on your top foot. With practice, you can learn to inhale as you bend and exhale as you stretch.
2. Practice shifting your weight from your stretched back leg to your front bent leg, extending your leg muscles fully as you go upstairs. Keep your back straight.
3. Going down, bend your knees deeply, keeping your back straight all the time. Inhale as you lift your knee, before lowering your leg down to the next step on the out-breath.
Swing on the banister
These stretches expand the movements that you make while going upstairs and downstairs. Practice them while leaning on a banister or a table. They will strengthen your lower back and legs to walk upstairs and downstairs without strain.
1. Starting in Tadasana, bend your knees, keeping your back as straight as possible. Have your hands on your hips or hold on to the banister with one hand. Go down on an out-breath, extend back up on an in-breath.
2. From the same starting point, swing your left bent knee as high as you can on an in-breath. Keep your standing leg slightly flexed. Let your leg go down to the floor softly as you exhale and push with your foot on an in-breath to swing your bent leg up again. Repeat a few times then change legs.
3. Stand on the side of the banister with your legs extended in a wide step, turning your back foot slightly outward. Stretch your arm on the side of your front leg, using the banister, on an in-breath.
4. On the out-breath, bend your knee and allow your lower back to stretch. This in an easy static version of the walking warrior. Change sides. Use any convenient support if you do not have a banister.
You can further go on to use the stairs for back bend or push ups for better alignment in your neck and shoulders and get more range of motion.