For those of you who know all about the rocket but are scratching their heads after reading the term rocket yoga, hold on for a minute. We promise that rocket yoga is not as complicated as rocket science but surely has some science of its own. Confused? Do not worry, we are going to simplify this for you and help you to reap out the maximum benefits of these rocket yoga exercises. All we need from you is to have some patience and read along to know all about rocket yoga, its benefits and the correct way of performing these exercises to reap the maximum benefits out of it.
What is Rocket Yoga?
Rocket yoga is a fast paced, dynamic exercise sequence which is a modified version of the traditional Ashtanga asana developed by Larry Schultz. After learning Ashtanga asana from K. Pattabhi Jois, the sanskrit scholar and developer of Ashtanga asana, Schultz brought some modifications into it and came up with the idea of rocket yoga. As ashtanga asana is the base of this yoga technique, rocket yoga looks pretty similar to it but is a simpler version of the exercise which is divided into 3 parts.
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Said to be the base of power yoga, rocket yoga is said to stretch out the body and open up a person's joints and muscles. This yoga includes postures like seated pose, twists, standing pose, surya namaskar and some bends along with some warm up exercises. Schultz’s purpose was to make the traditional Ashtanga pose a bit easier and esseible to as many people as possible because the traditional Ashtanga pose was difficult to perform and could not be practiced by some people with physical problems.
A physical exercise that can help one to clear their mind and open up the stiff muscles, rocket yoga is a smooth exercise series that combines breath and movement. Rocket yoga does not need to be followed in any particular order and is known for breaking the concept of hierarchy. This nonlinear structure of rocket yoga is something which made it so popular amongst the masses.
A free flowing power exercise, rocket yoga is further divided into three parts called Rocket 1, Rocket 2 and Rocket 3. Each of these series focus upon providing flexibility and strength to the body. Let us take a close look at these three series in order to understand them better.
Similar to the traditional ashtanga asana, Rocket 1 series focuses upon the hip muscles and the core strengths. It helps in opening up the hip joints by inversion techniques, forward bends and arm balances. This exercise series helps in strengthening the core and leg muscles.
Modification of the second series of the traditional Ashtanga asana, this exercise series acts as a complementary to the first one and helps in boosting the energy. It incorporated different techniques like seated poses, backbends and spinal twists. Apart from this it also consists of yoga asanas like supta vajrasana and bakasana.
The last and final series of the free flowing rocket yoga exercise, this is a dynamic and fast paced process that has a series of transitions from ashtanga 1 to ashtanga 3. It helps in improving the flexibility and strength of a person with the help of balancing, twisting and folding techniques.
Benefits of Rocket Yoga
By now we are aware that yoga does not just come with spiritual benefits but can impact our overall health. As yoga exercises have an impact on our mind, body and soul, let’s take a close look at the benefits of the dynamic rocket yoga exercises.
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- Relieves stress and mild depression
- Increases consciousness
- Improves balance and strength
- Is therapeutic for conditions like asthma, sinus and insomnia
- Helps to cure constipation
- Helps in increasing focus
- Prevents diabetes
- Helps to detoxify the body
- Strengthens lungs, neck and head
- Improves the blood flow to the pituitary glands and brain.
- Strengthens the arms and helps to lose the back muscles
- Slows the process of aging
- Improves endurance capacity
- Provides a stretch to the upper back
- Tones the abdomen and inner thighs
- Provides strength to wrist and shoulders
How to perform Rocket Yoga?
A dynamic free flowing exercise that does not come with just 1 or 2 but plenty of health benefits that too physical and mental, rocket yoga is a must try. To reap out the maximum benefits of this yoga technique perform the following exercises with or without support depending upon your balance.
#1. Crane Pose
Also known as the bakasana, this posture is similar to the shape of a standing crane bird. An exercise that would help you to stretch out the upper back, provide flexibility to the body, increase mental strength and provide endurance to the body. Bakasana is an intermediate level exercise that should be practised empty stomach. Follow these steps to perform this exercise-
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- Stand upright on a yoga mat by placing your feet together.
- Bend forward so that your hips go back and your fingertips are touching the ground.
- Place your palms flat on the ground and go higher by lifting your heels up and transferring that weight onto the toes.
- Make sure that your hands are flat and your sight is stuck at an object in the front.
- Push your body a little forward so that your knees are right behind the elbows.
- Look forward, lift your hips up, find a balance and higher your toes.
- Starting with your right, take your sight foot up slowly and do the same with the left one while your knees are placed at your elbows.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds and slowly come down.
#2. Peacock Pose
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Also Read: Yin Yoga: Concept, Benefits, How To Do It
A positioned inspired and named after one of the most beautiful birds, peacock pose or mayurasana is a rocket yoga exercise which comes with a lot many health benefits. This yoga posture is said to prevent diabetes, calm the mind, cure constipation and detoxify the body. An exercise which needs to be practised empty stomach with a clean bowel, mayurasana is an intermediate level yoga exercise. Follow the given steps to perform mayurasana and enjoy its benefits-
- Start off on a yoga mat by kneeling down so that your feet are joined together and knees are as far as they can be from each other.
- Fold your arms in a way that your elbows are positioned somewhere between your chest and the belly.
- Squeeze your arms together and bend down in order to bring your hands flat into the ground.
- Ascend the chest forward while bending the arms a bit and press in the palms. Find your balance and slowly lift your knees up in the air.
- Once steady, open up and extend your legs backwards.
- Hold this position for about 30 to 40 seconds and then slowly come down.
#3. Scorpion Pose
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Popularly known as the vrischikasana, the scorpion pose is an advanced level rocket yoga exercise which helps to strengthen up your arms. This yoga posture helps to enhance the brain activity by promoting the blood flow towards the brain as well as the pituitary glands. Moreover these exercises loosen up the back muscles and slow down aging as well. Follow the given steps to get the most out of this yoga posture-
- Stand straight on a mat and bow down to bring your hand on the mat.
- Ensure that your pals are flat against the floor.
- Raise your tight leg and extend it backwards so it is in the air.
- Get on the toes of your left foot and find a balance.
- As you are able to balance yourself up, do a little jump on your toes and extend the left leg as well so that both your legs are straight up in the air.
- Bend your legs on top of your head while folding your left knee and keeping the right one straight.
- Slowly and steadily bring your left leg above the head.
- Try to extend your legs in order to touch your head with your toes.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and slowly come down.