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Ardha Utkatasana Session 5 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 point forwards – if necessary, lift the back heel a little and replace so the back foot points forwards (rather than out to one side). Bend the back leg, so your hips move backwards to over the back foot – there is almost a sense of sitting on something (that isn’t there). Lift your arms forwards to shoulder level with palms facing downwards. Inhaling, move your hips forwards by bending your front leg until the shin is vertical (don’t bend the knee more than this) and straightening the back leg. At the same time, move the arms: The arm of the same side as the back leg moves downward until beside your trunk. The other arm moves upwards, encouraging the upper trunk to move into a back-bend with its movement, until pointing upwards (or perhaps slightly backwards, depending on flexibility). Exhaling, return arms and legs to the starting position by reversing the movement. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to this side. Then lower the arms and step back into Tadasana. Repeat the movement to the other side.
Stand in Tadasana, feet hip width apart and parallel. Bend knees, keeping hips over ankles and trunk upright. Adjust as necessary to make your spine long and close to straight. Place the back of your hands on your lower back with one hand higher up the back so the little finger of one just touches the other thumb, increasing your awareness of what is happening in your lower back. Maintaining the shape and elongation of your spine, bend your knees as you move your hips backwards allowing your trunk to lean forwards. Bend your knees as far as you can (but not so far that hips become lower than knees) without taking your trunk more than 40 degrees into an incline. Then press through the feet to the point where, if you press down any more, your legs will straighten. Lift your arms sideways to shoulder level. Inhaling, rotate arms to facing upwards and then lift them sideways as far as comfortable. Exhaling, rotate arms to bring the palms to facing downwards/outwards and then press the arms sideways and down to shoulder level with a sense of pressing through a viscous fluid. At the same time, squeeze the abdomen inwards, and slightly increase the pressing down through your feet. Continue for up to 10 breaths. Lower arms and press feet downwards to straighten your legs; at the same time, lift the trunk back to upright.
Lie in semi supine with toes touching a wall and buttocks a little over a foot length away from it. Lift your legs to rest heels on the wall with legs straight and parallel. Rest palms on your upper abdomen with elbows resting on the floor. Inhaling, allow one foot to slide down the wall until it mostly rests on the floor with just the toes still on the wall. At the same time, rotate the arm of the same side about the axis of the upper arm to bring the back of the hand to the floor. Exhaling, reverse the movements, sliding the foot back up the wall and bringing the hand back to the abdomen and the leg back to the crook’d leg position beside the other one. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Settle yourself for a relaxation : each time you exhale, imagine the word, “restfulness” and feel the meaning in yourself. 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.