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Bhadrasana Session 5
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position – that is with the soles of your feet against the mat (feet parallel and about hip-width apart) and your knees pointing up into the air. Place both hands on your abdomen with palms face down and fingertips just touching. Inhaling, lower one knee sideways away from the other knee and, at the same time, lift the arm of the same side to point upwards and then lower it to the ground, pointing away from the upward-pointing knee. Exhaling, lift the lowered knee back to centre and at the same time lift the arm of the same side to point upwards and then lower it to bring the palm back to the abdomen. Repeat to the other side. Continue for 4 to 8 more breaths, enjoying slow movements and the gentle smooth flow of breath.

Move to lie on your back with your bottom resting against a wall and the soles of your feet (about hip-width apart) also resting against the wall – so that your knees are pointing away from the wall over your trunk. Rotate the legs so the knees point outwards and the soles of your feet come together. Place one hand on each knee (on the corresponding side) – or, if your arms don’t reach, on the insides of your thighs. Very, very gently and gradually press your hands against your knees / legs – taking care not to push to a degree that remotely begins to cause discomfort. Maintaining the current position of your hands, contract your leg muscle to push your knees (or thighs) against your hands – hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Gradually release the leg muscles (without deliberately pushing the knees further towards the wall) and hold for a further 3 to 5 breaths, allowing your legs to be completely relaxed. Release the hand press very, very gradually – muscles often get injured when stretches are released too quickly even when the stretch was otherwise non-harming. Take your hands to the outside of your knees and use your hands to move the knees back to pointing away from the wall.

Move away from the wall and lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position. Have your arms resting by your sides with palms facing upwards. Bend the arms at the elbows to bring the palms to your shoulders. Inhaling, straighten your arms to bring the backs of your hands to the floor by your side and, at the same time, straighten one leg along the floor, keeping the heel in contact with the floor as you do this. Exhaling, bring your palms back to your shoulders and, at the same time, draw the heel of the straight leg back to your buttocks, returning the leg to the crooked position. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.

Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: Inhaling, imagine energy or prana flowing in through one hand, through your arm, shoulder and trunk into your lower abdomen. Exhaling, imagine the energy flows out through the other hand from the lower abdomen via the trunk, shoulder and arm. Inhaling, the energy / prana flows in through the hand that just had energy / prana flow out of it. Continue for several breaths and finish with the energy / prana flowing out of the hand you first imagined it flowing into. Pause for a couple of breaths with your awareness resting in your lower abdomen. 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.