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Ardha Utkatasana Session 3 Image
Stand in Tadasana, feet hip-width apart, parallel and pointing forwards. Step one foot forwards a comfortable distance. Check that your feet are still parallel and pointing forwards – if necessary, lift the back heel a little and replace so the back foot is pointing forwards (rather than out to one side). Bend front knee until it is over the front foot (don’t bend the knee more than this) keeping the back heel on the floor. Lift the arms forwards and up to a position where the elbows are at shoulder level and the forearms are together (or as close together as feels comfortable) and pointing upwards. Inhaling, swing arms sideways so upper arms become in line with the shoulders and, at the same time, slowly straighten the front leg and bend the back knee as your weight transfers from your forward leg to your back leg and your hips move backward to end up over your back heel. Exhaling, swing your arms forwards to the starting position and, at the same time, bend the front leg and straighten the back leg, returning legs to the starting position – repeat 2 to 4 more times on this side. Then lower arms and step back into Tadasana. Repeat the movement to the other side.
Stand in Tadasana, feet hip-width apart, parallel and pointing forwards. Bend your knees just a little and draw your tail-bone towards the floor. Lift your arms forwards to shoulder level with palms facing inwards. Slowly bend your knees forwards and downwards as far as you can whilst keeping your hips over your ankles. Then press down through your feet as much as you can without causing your legs to straighten. Inhaling & keeping your forearms pointing forwards, draw your elbows sideways and backwards (elbows bend) until your upper arms form a line with your shoulders. Exhaling, draw elbows backwards, squeezing between your shoulder blades. Inhaling, encourage your chest to expand forwards and up. Exhaling, see if you can squeeze your shoulder-blades closer together. Inhaling, rotate arms about the axis of the upper arms until your forearms point upwards. Hold this position for up to 10 breaths. Then lower (and straighten) arms sideways as you press through your feet to straighten your legs.
Lie on your back with legs straight and parallel along the floor, arms resting by your sides with your palms facing downwards. Lift your arms to point upwards. Inhaling, lower one arm backwards to the floor beside your head and draw the heel of the same side towards your buttocks so the leg bends upwards. At the same time, lower the other arm to the floor beside your trunk/hip. Exhaling, lift both arms up to vertical and push the heel along the floor until the leg is straight. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Either lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice, or stand or sit for some breathing or meditation. You could try the following as a breathing/meditation or relaxation practice. In turn, bring to mind significant people in your life. For each person, recall their name and face and something you like about them. Then, for the next 3 breaths as you exhale, send them good wishes. Then bring the next person to mind. Remember not to rush sitting up and standing after practising relaxation as it causes the blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.