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BOW POSE Session 7 Image
Lie on your back with a folded towel or two under your sacrum – the more mobile you are in your hips with regard to extension the higher this pile of towels can be (see guidance for next exercise). Position the folded towels so they are mostly under the lower (closer to your feet) half of your sacrum and then straighten your legs along the floor. Bend one leg up to the crooked legged position and then bring this knee to your chest. If your hands will reach, place them on your knee to help draw it close to chest. Tuck your chin in and lift your head to your knee, curling your spine into flexion and place hands on knees (if you have not already done so). Place the palm of the straight leg side on the floor with arm straight. Inhaling, first rotate the arm to bring the palm face up, then swing the arm round (staying as close to the floor as is comfortable) until pointing over head – head staying close to knee throughout. Exhaling, bring the arm through the air to the floor by your side – as it moves downwards, imagine hand pressing through viscous fluid to aid the contraction in abdomen and curling towards knee. Repeat 2 to 4 more times. Exit the position by reversing the movement of entering. Repeat to the other side.
Lie on your front, with thighs resting on a folded towel or two. With knees bent so heels are close to buttocks, you want the height of the towels to be low enough that with your knees hip-width apart you are still able to get your pubis to rest and press against your mat. If you wish, have a thinly folded towel to rest either your chin or forehead on. Loop a towel around your ankles; then work hands up the towel as close to your feet as is possible whilst keeping your head on the mat or folded towel. Settle your hips and pubis downwards. Bring knees together – in this exercise, we are aiming to keep knees together and thighs remaining on towel support. 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 feet move away from buttocks. As you do this, let your trunk be pulled into a backbend, adjusting head position so 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.
Move into child pose – and rest your forearms (one on top of each other) on a couple of folded towels; then rest head on forearms. Inhaling, lift your hips up enough that you can transfer weight out of one leg into the other. Exhaling, move and straighten the un-weighted leg backwards, then sink your hips down so the hip and knee of the bent leg are fully flexed. Inhaling, lift hips up enough to draw the straight leg forwards to beside the other leg. Exhaling, lower hips returning to the supported child pose position. Repeat 3 to 6 times before settling in a position for relaxation.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try imagining you are lying on a soft rug with cushions in front of a fireplace with a roaring fire. Enjoy the feeling of warmth radiating into you from the fire. Enjoy the sounds of the fire and relax into the peacefulness of the silence that lets you listen to such subtle sounds. 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.