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BOW POSE Session 6 Image
Lie on your front, with legs straight and parallel, and head turned so the side rests on the floor. Explore which direction it feels most natural to have your head turned towards and then start with your head turned the other way. Place your arms on the floor at shoulder level, palms facing upwards. Inhaling, lift back of neck, shoulders and arms off the floor – arms remaining in line with shoulders and lifting shoulders as high as you can. Exhaling, press arms backwards, aiming to take palms towards each other and encouraging your shoulders to lift a little higher. Inhaling & aiming to maintain the lift of the shoulder, return the arms to in line with the shoulders. Exhaling, lower shoulders, returning head and arms to floor with head turned to face the other way. Repeat so that the head ends up turned to face the original direction. Repeat 2 or 4 more times so head ends up turned towards the original side.
Lie on your front, with legs straight and parallel and forehead resting either on the mat or a thinly folded towel. See if you can move your feet away from your shoulders. Bend your knees, bringing the heel as close to your buttock as feels comfortable. Loop a towel around your ankles and then work your hands up the towel as close to your feet as possible whilst keeping your forehead on the mat or folded towel. Settle hips and pubis downward. Bring knees together – in this exercise we are aiming to keep knees together and resting on the ground. You may find it helpful to rest your chin on the mat or folded towel instead of your forehead. Spend a couple of breaths relaxing your trunk as fully as you can. Exhaling and keeping your trunk as relaxed as you can, contract your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) so your feet move away from your buttocks. As you do this, let your trunk be pulled into a backbend, adjusting your head position so that the neck curve is a natural continuation of the upper back curve. Inhaling, gently relax the quadriceps so the heel returns to the buttock and the head returns to the mat or folded towel. Repeat 3 to 6 more times.
Lie on your back with legs resting on the floor, straight and parallel. Wrap your arms around your shoulders in a hug. Inhaling, lift and straighten arms up to vertical and, at the same time, bend one leg up to the crooked legged position. Exhaling, bring the bent knee to your chest and curl your trunk to bring your head close to your knee as you bring your hands to hug your knee close to your chest. Inhaling, uncurl trunk, returning head to floor and arms to vertical. At the same time, return the leg to crooked legged position. Exhaling, wrap your arms round your shoulders in a hug (the other way to previously) and straighten the leg along the floor to beside the other one. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. Perhaps try imagining you are sitting in a loose but very large group of people. In your lap is a wide bowl with coins in it. These coins represent wealth – and also the good and enjoyable things that wealth enables one to bring into one’s life. So look at these coins and notice their prettiness and their substantial nature. … As you do this, be aware that everyone on the group has their own bowl with coins in it. … Enjoy the feeling that you and those around you have wealth to bring good and enjoyable things into their lives. Remember not to rush sitting up (and then standing) after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to lower, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.