We offer our "Meru" practice as the most effective and economical Yoga series for injury rehabilitation. This practice was one learned in India from staff at Banaras Hindu University (certification)and is virtually unknown and rarely taught in this country.
It is the Banaras University Yoga Department's number one selection for injury rehabilitation, basic digestive cleansing, and physical practice foundation. In short, it is the practice that frees the body up to do Hatha Yoga physical practice. This series should be learned and perfected, along with Surya Namaskara/"Sun Salutation", before attempting an Asana practice.
I find it remarkable that people think it is wise to attempt an Asana practice, by itself, as means of rehabilitating injuries. If you are not doing some kind of basic, foundation Yoga practice to release your injuries first or receiving intelligent bodywork, it is likely that an Asana practice will strain your injuries further.
In the Hindu cosmology, Meru Mountain is believed to be sacred and the dwelling place of the deities. This metaphorical reference carries back into the most fundamental practice in Yoga: being free of injury and free of digestive toxins, one can begin to scale Yoga's Meru in quest of it's summit.
In the anatomic schematic that is behind the Meru metaphor, the body is divided into two main parts: the head and trunk on one hand, and the legs on the other. In man, the center of the body is between these two, at the base of the spine where the legs begin. In Sanskrit, this is called Mooladhara Chakra.
This central point supports the spinal cord and trunk via the power and alignment of the legs. It is in through this area that most major injuries network from the legs to the spine.
It also in this area that the digestive tract ends and toxins are excreted from the body. The ability to complete the digestive process is affected by the soundness of the anatomical structure of this area.
Lastly, it is from this base point that all of the energy centers of the body align with the central nervous system on it's circuit to the brain. Yogic meditation systems usually start with "waking up" this area so the spinal energy can increase and run smoothly.
This base point of the spine is the foundation of the axis of the body. Hence, man's spine is called Merudanda, the Meru or axis-staff, just as Mount Meru is the axis of the earth.
The Meru exercise series opens up all of the injuries of the legs and trunk so that they can heal. In the final phase, the shoulders and neck are open up and cleansed.
Throughout this process, all of the organs of digestion are purged of toxins. Having Meru as part of your exercise regimen gives one the power rehab both the muscular and digestive systems.
The series takes at least four private lessons to complete.
FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION, READ ON...
(Stolen on the web, from people way smarter than me...)
The legs and feet are gross matter which show less signs of consciousness than the trunk with its spinal white and gray matter; which trunk itself is greatly subordinate in this respect to the head containing the organ of mind, or physical brain, with its white and gray matter. The position of the white and gray matter in the head and spinal column respectively are reversed.
From the center upwards, consciousness more freely manifests through the spinal and cerebral centers. Here there are the seven upper regions or Lokas, a term which Satyananda in his commentary on Isha Upanishad says, means "what are seen" (Lokyante), that is, experienced and are hence the fruits of Karma in the form of particular re-birth.
These regions, namely, Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah, Tapah, Jana, Mahah, and Satya Lokas correspond with the six centers; five in the trunk, the sixth in the lower cerebral center; and the seventh in the upper Brain or Satya-loka, the abode of the supreme Shiva-Shakti.
The Merudanda is the vertebral column. Western Anatomy divides it into five regions; and it is to be noted in corroboration of the theory here exposed that these correspond with the regions in which the five chakras are situate.
The central spinal system comprises the brain or encephalon contained within the skull (in which are the Lalana, Ajña, Manas, Soma chakras and the Sahasrara); as also the spinal cord extending from the upper border of the Atlas below the cerebellum and descending to the second lumbar vertebra where it tapers to a point called the filum terminale. Within the spine is the cord, a compound of gray and white brain matter, in which are the five lower chakras.
It is noteworthy that the filum terminale was formerly thought to be a mere fibrous cord, an unsuitable vehicle, one might think, for the Mooladhara Chakra and Kundali Shakti. Recent microscopic investigations have, however, disclosed the existence of highly sensitive gray matter in the filum terminale which represents the position of the Muladhara. According to Western science, the spinal cord is not merely a conductor between the periphery and the centers of sensation and volition, but is also an independent center or group of centers.
The Sushumna is a Nadi in the center of the spinal column. Its base is called the Brahmadvara or Gate of Brahman. As regards the physiological relations of the Chakras all that can be said with any degree of certainty is that the four above the Mooladhara have relation to the genito-excretory, digestive, cardiac and respiratory functions, and that the two upper centers, the Ajña (with associated chakras) and the Sahasrara denote various forms of its cerebral activity ending in the response of Pure Consciousness therein gained through Yoga.
The Nadis on each side called Ida and Pingala are the left and right sympathetic cords crossing the central column from one side to the other, making at the Ajña with the Sushumna a threefold knot called Triveni; which is the spot in the Medulla where the sympathetic cords join together and whence they take their origin -- these Nadis together with the two-lobed Ajña and the Sushumna forming the figure of the Caduceus of the God Mercury which is said by some to represent them.