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Bhujangasana Session 5
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position. Bring your knees to your chest and lightly place your hands on your knees. Exhaling, first contract your abdomen downwards to your spine and then curl your head up to your knees. Inhaling, first slowly lower your head back down to the floor and then relax your abdomen. Continue for 3 to 8 breaths.
Roll onto your front with your 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, you can place a couple of folds of a towel under your forehead. See if you can move your feet a little away from your hips. Move your feet to a little over hip-width apart. Relax. Feel your weight sinking down through your hips and your pubis (the bony bit at the front of the base of your trunk) – keep these two areas pressed down throughout the rest of this exercise. As you inhale, imagine an elongation starting at the base of your spine and travelling up your spine to the crown of your head. While exhaling, lift your head and shoulders (keeping the back of your neck long – that is with your chin slightly pulled into your neck) so that your chest opens and peels off the floor. (Don’t worry if your chest barely lifts off the floor, if at all – practice will develop strength in the back to enable you in time to lift all of your chest off the floor). Inhaling, imagine an elongation starting at the base of your spine and travelling up your spine to the crown of your head. Exhaling, slowly lower shoulders and head back to the floor. Repeat 3 to 8 times.
Roll onto your back and place your legs in the crooked position – feet on the floor, knees pointing to the ceiling. Spread your arms out along the floor at shoulder level with palms facing upwards. (If this arm position is uncomfortable, you can have your arms closer to your sides.) Bring, and keep, your knees and feet together in this twist as though glued together – this means that, as you move your knees, one foot will be lifted off the floor and end up resting on the other foot. Exhaling, lower your knees over to one side and then continue the exhalation while turning your head in the opposite direction. Inhaling, first bring your head back to centre and then, continuing your inhalation, bring/lift your knees back to centre. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 8 times to each side.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try the following. Imagine that you are lying in a pleasant room with a door. You know that on the other side of that door is a wide staircase leading downwards. The staircase is carpeted with very soft fluffy carpet of a colour of your choice. You get up and open the door to see a staircase leading downwards. You take one step on to the staircase and then another – feel the soft carpet underfoot. With each step down the staircase you feel you are stepping down and away from all your stresses and worries. At the bottom of the staircase there is another door, and, beyond that door, there is a beautiful place of peace and calm. When you reach the bottom of the stairs, you are ready to enjoy being in that place of peace and calm - so you open the door and enter. You stay in the beautiful place of peace and calm, enjoying the freedom for as long as you wish and then return through the doorway through which you came. You go up the stairs, with each step taking on the strength, energy and resilience that you need for your life, and then return to the pleasant room you started the relaxation in. 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.