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Bhadrasana Session 8
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position. Straighten one leg and lift the arm of that side overhead. Place the other arm across your trunk. Press the foot of the bent leg into the floor so that you roll over onto your side. Some women might be more comfortable with a thin cushion under their ribs. Check your body is in line – bottom leg straight and in-line with trunk, head resting on the bottom arm. Place the hand of your top arm on the floor to aid your balance. Bend your top leg and place the knee, lower leg and foot on the floor in front of the other leg. Exhaling, lift the bottom leg and inhaling, lower the bottom leg. Repeat 3 to 5 more times, then roll onto your back. Repeat to the other side.

From semi-supine (back on floor, legs in crooked position) bring your knees to your chest. Take your knees a little wide of your trunk and move your lower legs to bring your ankles over your knees. Slide your hands along your forelegs to your feet and curl your hands round the outside edges of your feet. (Ideally, you won’t need to lift your head and shoulders to take hold of your feet but if you need to, once you have hold of your feet, relax your head and shoulders down to the floor). Bring the soles of your feet together – interlock your fingers so that both feet are now held by both hands. Check that your shoulders are against the floor and the back of the neck long – if necessary, draw both downwards. Draw your heels towards the base of your pelvic girdle (allowing your knees to move apart) – taking care to keep back of shoulders against floor and back of neck long. Press the pads of the big toe joints into each other – and, maintaining this, now press the outside edge of your feet into each other and feel this encourage the knees to move apart. Press the heels into each other. Reinforce the pressing in the pads of the big toe joints and, maintaining this, reinforce the pressing of the outside edge of the feet into each other. Hold for several breaths. Then slowly relax the legs, allow your feet to move away from your pelvic girdle and let go of feet. Return to semi-supine.

From semi-supine, lift one leg and place its ankle on the outside of the opposite knee. Lower the knees to the side of the body of the leg with the foot still on the floor. Place the hand from the side you have rolled towards on the knee closest to the chest and gently press down a little (but do keep both shoulders resting on the floor). Place the arm of the other side beside your trunk, with palm facing upwards and turn your head to face the opposite direction as your knees. Inhaling, at the same time as turning your head to face upwards, swing the arm (from the opposite side to knees) away from the trunk as far as feel comfortable, keeping the back of the hand against the floor. Exhaling, at the same time as turning the head to face the opposite direction to the knees, swing the arm back to the side of your trunk. Repeat 2 to 3 more times, then gently lift your knees back to centre and return the foot of the lifted leg back to the floor. Repeat to the other side.

Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: Imagine energy (or prana) in your hands. Inhaling, imagine some of the energy moves in a half arc to above your body and, exhaling, the energy completes the arc and enters the other hand. On the next inhalation and exhalation, the energy flows in an arc in the other direction. Repeat for an even number of breaths (i.e. so you finish with the hand you started with). Then for the next few breaths, imagine, while inhaling, that energy from both hands moves in a half arc to above the body, and, exhaling, the energy moves through the rest of the arc into the opposite hand. 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.