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Bhujangasana Session 2
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position - feet on the floor, knees pointing to the ceiling. Either place your hands by your sides or rest them on your trunk. Relax. Bring your attention to your lower back. While exhaling, press your lower back down into the floor – then release while inhaling. After a couple of breaths, change the area of your back which you press down to your middle back (about where your rib-cage ends). Then start to lengthen your exhalation so that, after pressing your middle (and lower) back down, you can continue the spinal movement to curl your upper back and neck upwards. This results in your head lifting towards your knees. Note that it should feel as if it is pressing the middle back down that causes the upper spine to curl and lift the head. Start inhaling as you gently uncurl your upper back and neck so as to lower your head back to the floor and then continue your inhalation as you stop pressing the middle (and lower) back down. Continue for 2 to 4 breaths.
Roll onto your front, forehead resting on the floor/mat, arms by your sides; pull your shoulders down towards your feet. Tuck your chin in so that there is enough room for your nose – if necessary, place a couple of folds of a towel under your forehead. See if you can move your feet a little away from your hips. Relax. Feel your weight sinking down. Then bring your attention to, and tune into, the subtle movements that occur in your lower back with your breath. Then start to mentally increase the movement so that it starts to travel up and down your back:- as you exhale, feel the lower back sink down and encourage that sinking down to travel up your spine. Inhaling, feel the lower back rise: allow the lift to travel up your spine. Each time you exhale, try to take the sinking a little higher up your spine until the area between your shoulder-blades sinks – let your attention rest on experiencing this area rise and sink. As you get into this exercise, you will find that your head and shoulders tend to lift as the area between the shoulder-blades sinks. Allow your head and shoulders to sink while inhaling. However, you will probably find that head and shoulders do not sink all the way down with each inhalation so that they tend to end up a little higher with each breath. To release this exercise, first lower your head and shoulders on an exhalation. Then, gradually move the sinking/raising region of your spine back down to the lower back.
Roll onto your back and bring your knees to your chest. Place your arms out at shoulder level – palms facing upwards if comfortable. While exhaling, take your knees a little to one side and then, while inhaling, bring your knees back to centre – take care not to move your knees so far to the side that you cannot easily recentralise them. Also, keep your knees together and close to your chest. Repeat 2 to 5 times to each side.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. Try imagining a friend sitting beside you sending you love and goodwill. The friend could be any sort of being that you feel love, trust and respect for:- so your friend could be any sort of intelligent being such as a fictional character or person from history, someone you have heard of, a dead relative, an important person in your life, or even God. Try imagining your friend sitting beside you in as much detail as you can and feel the love and goodwill flowing to you from your friend. After a while let your friend move away, knowing that your friend’s love and goodwill continues to flow to you. 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.