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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND BOW POSE    ( 9 ) 

BOW POSE Session 9 Image
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back. Bend both knees and bring them to your chest. Curl your lower back as well as your upper back up off the floor as you draw knees and head towards each other. Straighten both arms on either side of your legs with palms facing downwards. Inhaling, first rotate one arm to bring the palm facing upwards and take the back of the hand to the floor. Then swing the arm away from the side until pointing over head – keeping the arm as close to the floor as feels comfortable as you do this. At the same time as this arm movement, straighten the leg of the same side to roughly parallel with the floor. Exhaling, draw the knee of the leg close into the chest and, at the same time, move the arm to vertical and then press the arm downwards as though pressing through a viscous fluid. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 5 more times on each side. Then uncurl spine down to the floor.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your front, with knees bent so heels are close to buttocks. If you wish, have a thinly folded towel to rest either your chin or forehead on. Loop a towel around your ankles and then work your 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. 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) and buttock muscles so your feet move away from your buttocks and knees lift off the floor. As you do this, let your trunk be pulled into a backbend, adjusting your head position to the neck curve is a natural continuation of the upper back curve. Inhaling, gently relax the quadriceps and buttock muscles so heels return to buttocks and the head returns to the mat or folded towel. Repeat 3 to 6 more times.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back and bring your knees close to your chest. Place both hands on one knee and squeeze the knee as close to the chest as it will go – lower back and sacrum, continuing to rest on the floor. Inhaling, remove the hand of the not held knee side and move the arm to rest on the floor at shoulder level and turn head to look along length of arm. At the same time, straighten not held leg, upwards. Exhaling:- bend the knee back to the chest, return head to centre, place hand that was to the side on the knee just moved close to chest and then move the other hand to also on the knee and squeeze this knee as close to the chest as it will go. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 5 more times to each side.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try: imagining lots of little heart shapes in the space on your right hand side. Then lots of little heart shapes your left hand side. Then lots of little heart shapes all around you – left and right, above and below, in front of you and behind you. 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.