N.B. Those with high blood pressure should avoid versions of child pose that take the head lower than level with the heart (as is the case in the middle exercise here).FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your front with your chin tucked in so your forehead rests on your mat (or a folded bit of towel). Have your arms stretched out along the floor pointing away from your head. Exhaling, squeeze your abdomen in towards your spine and at the same time, bend one knee so the heel moves towards buttock; inhaling, return the lower leg back to the mat. Repeat with the other leg. Continue for 4 to 8 more breaths, aiming for slow breaths and smooth leg movements. Then transfer your hands to beside your shoulders and press down through your hands to lift into the all fours position.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From the all fours position, lower your hips backwards to your heels. Leaving your elbows where they are, rotate your forearms inwards until you can place one hand on top of the forearm or hand of the other arm – both palms facing downwards. Rest your forehead on a block or your hands/arms and encourage your hips to sink backwards and downwards a little more. Bring your awareness to the spine between your shoulder blades. Inhaling, imagine the breath enters into the area of spine between the shoulder blades, slightly lifting the spine. Exhaling, imagine the breath leaves from the under the spine between the shoulder-blades, allowing the spine to lower with a feeling of also allowing the shoulders to sink and the elbows to move a little further apart. Continue this breathing visualisation for 5 or so breaths. Then lift back into the all fours position.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs together and stretched out along the floor; hands resting on your abdomen, palms facing downwards. Have a sense of your legs being active as if the soles of your feet are pressing against an imaginary wall – so that your ankles form right-angles and there is a sense of length / elongation along the back of your legs. Inhaling, bend one knee and draw the heel of that leg along the floor towards your buttock and, at the same time, rotate your arms around the upper arm axis so that the backs of the hands are taken to the floor. Exhaling, move the heel of the bent leg along the floor away from the hip and, at the same time, rotate the arms about the upper arm axis to return the palms to the abdomen. Repeat to the other side. Continue for several breaths, enjoying the gentle movement.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method. You could try the following as a relaxation or breathing visualisation. Bring your awareness to your abdomen, and be aware of the abdomen gently swelling as you inhale, and shrinking and contracting as you exhale. As you inhale, imagine that things in you which are currently no use to you, (e.g. stress, tension, fatigue, aches, worries, poor habits, distractions …..) are drawn into your abdomen. As you exhale, imagine all those things which are not of use to you, collected in your abdomen, and imagine that, as you exhale, they travel out of you through your legs and then feet and on into the earth (and in the earth, by earth “magic” they are transformed into things that are of use and benefit to others.) Continue this feeling yourself becoming freer of those things clogging up your being and your life. Thank the earth for receiving and transforming things from you. 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.