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Ardha Utkatasana Session 4 Image
Stand in Tadasana, feet hip-width apart, parallel and pointing forwards. Step one foot forwards a comfortable distance. Check your feet are still parallel and point forwards Ė if necessary, lift the back heel a little and replace so the back foot points forwards (rather than out to one side). Bend front knee until the shin is vertical (donít bend knee more than this), keeping the back heel on the floor. Let your arms be relaxed by your side. Inhaling, bend the back knee as much as you can whilst keeping your back heel firmly pressed against the ground. Exhaling, attempt to draw your tailbone further downwards, then press through your back heel/foot as much as you can until your back leg is straight. Repeat 3 to 4 more times. Step back into Tadasana. Repeat the movement to the other side.
Stand in Tadasana facing a wall an armís length away. Check your feet are hip-width apart, parallel and pointing forwards. Place your palms on the wall, fingers pointing upwards. Bend your knees just a little and draw your tail-bone towards the floor. Keeping your shoulders over your ankles (keeping your arms straight will help keep you honest about this!) slowly tilt your pelvic girdle backwards and, allowing your hips to move backwards, bend your knees. As you do this, step your hands down the wall so arms remain horizontal at shoulder level. Bend your knees as far as feels comfortable (not taking your hips lower than your knees). Then press down through your feet as much as you can without causing your legs to straighten, and draw your tail bone downwards. This will encourage your lower back to straighten and lengthen and also move the back bend up the spine. Hold this position for up to 10 breaths. Press through your feet to straighten your legs.
Lie in semi supine with a folded towel (or a soft yoga block) under your sacrum (back of pelvic girdle), then straighten your legs along the floor. Draw one heel along the floor to your hip so the knee bends upwards. Bring this knee as close to your chest as you comfortably can. Then place a palm on the chest side of the thigh and press thigh as firmly as you can into this palm. Inhaling and keeping the thigh pressed firmly into the palm, unbend the knee, drawing the shin to vertical (then towards your trunk if you are flexible enough). Exhaling and keeping the thigh pressed into the palm, relax the leg so it bends and the foot returns to your buttock. Repeat 2 to 4 more times. Return foot to the floor, then straighten the leg. Repeat to the other side. Remove the padding from under your sacrum before settling for relaxation.
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. Imagine a star in the sky overhead is your special star Ė that it is shining light to you and bathing you in light that is particular to you and your needs. Feel yourself bathed in the beautiful starlight. Imagine the colour and quality of the light the star shines on you - what sort of qualities such as love or wisdom or resourcefulness is the star offering you. Choose to invite the light and quality into your self. Feel yourself fill with the light from the star. Feel yourself filled with starlight. Feel the quality of the starlight in you and becoming part of you. Thank the star for the gift of the light. 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.