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Bhadrasana Session 10
Sit with your knees in the crooked position – that is with soles of feet on the floor (about 2 foot lengths from your buttocks), knees pointing upwards. Allow your knees to lower sideways so that the soles of the feet become facing. Gently move alternate feet a little at a time as close in to your pelvic girdle as is comfortable – use your hands on your shins or feet to help. Draw your feet as far in towards your buttocks as feels comfortable – using your hands on your shins to help if you wish. Bring the soles of your feet together. Lean your trunk backwards to enable you to place your hands on the floor behind you – fingers pointing forwards and wrists under shoulders. Press the pads of your big toe joints together and then also press the outside edges of the feet together. Keeping the chin drawn into the neck, have a sense of the chest lifting and expanding. Draw shoulders downwards, with an active sense of pressing the hands down into the floor, and then also roll the shoulders backwards to encourage the chest to expand forwards more. Hold for several breaths and then gently relax the legs and bring the trunk to upright.
Keeping legs in the cobbler pose position, use your hands to help you move your weight forwards so that the buttocks lift off the floor. Then bring your hands forwards to the floor in front to help you with maintaining your balance on the edges of your feet. [The movement of shifting one’s weight forwards can be made easier by sitting on a yoga block or folded towel – once one’s weight is off the block / towel, one can then move it out of the way.] Aim to keep your weight on the edge of your feet and lift along the length of the spine – aiming to make it long and essentially straight. Keeping your weight on the edge of your feet, allow your buttocks to sink backwards to the point where your weight is mostly supported by your heels (rather than further along your feet). If you sink your buttocks to move further back than this, you will fall back onto your buttocks. Hold for several breaths. Then move your hands to behind you and gently lower your buttocks to the floor and then lift knees and straighten legs.
Lie you your back with your legs in the crooked position – soles of feet on the floor, knees bent and pointing upwards. Place your hands on the out side of the abdomen so that your arms are in loose curves with elbows resting on the floor. Straighten one leg along the floor – imagine length along the back of the leg and have the ankle forming a right angle. Inhaling, roll the straight leg outwards and, at the same time, lift the arms through the air to the floor either side of head (maintaining the shape of the arms in a loose curve.) Exhaling, roll the straight leg inwards and, at the same time, move the arms through the air to return the hands to the abdomen. Repeat 2 to 4 more times. Draw the straight leg up to return the foot to beside the other one. Repeat with the other leg.
Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: Bring your awareness to your little toes – observe what sensations you can observe from the surface and inside of the little toes. Imagine each toe filled with “aliveness” and imagine this “aliveness” to be connected with the “aliveness” of your feet, and then the “aliveness” of your body as a whole. Repeat for each toe in turn. Remember not to rush sitting up (and then standing) after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.