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10- MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)    (6)
DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE Session 6
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Start in the all fours pose –knees under hips, hands under shoulders. Have a couple of chairs placed about an arm length in front of your shoulders. Move one hand to one chair and then the other hand to the other chair. Hands need to be a little wider than shoulder-width apart and placed so just the wrists are over the edge of the chairs. If your shoulders/ upper back are a little restricted, you can have your elbows bent and pointing sideways – in which case you will want your hands a bit further apart so the forearms are parallel. Allow your back to move into a back bend so our shoulders sink a little, and then draw your hips backwards and your tailbone downwards so your back lengthens and straightens. Feel the length between crown of head and tailbone. Shift your weight onto one leg, and move the other leg backwards until just the tips of toes rest on the floor. For several breaths imagine an elongation from the shoulder down the side, through the hip and leg, and out of the toes – as you do this, allow the hip of this side to sink. Then, keeping the hip of this side low, lift the leg to in-line with the trunk. For several breaths imagine the elongation from shoulders to the toes. Then, keeping the hip on this side low, lift the leg as far as feels comfortable – feel the work in the buttocks and hamstrings as you hold for several breaths. Lower the leg and bring the knee back to beside the other leg. Repeat to the other side.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Move into the all-four pose. Consider adjusting your hand and feet position – for example, placing hands wider than shoulders usually makes the pose a little easier. Spread your fingers wide and make sure that the middle fingers of each hand are parallel. Curl your toes under so that the stretch is distributed across all your toe joints. Lift your knees about six inches off the floor – your knees should remain very bent. Feel/imagine your weight sinking down through your feet and hands. Now push down through your arms as though you are trying to push your hips away from your hands – allow your trunk to move so that it becomes in-line with your arms. The aim is to straighten and lengthen your spine – this is aided by really pushing your hands away from you. Then, keeping your heels off the floor, slowly straighten your legs until your knees are about 15 degrees away from being fully straight – or as far as feels comfortable without losing the length or alignment of your spine. Exhaling, slowly sink one heel downwards so the leg straightens and, inhaling, bend the knee forwards to beside the other knee. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat several times to each side. To come out of the posture, reverse the movements used to enter it to return to the all-four pose.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From all fours, lift one arm up sideways and rotate the trunk about the axis of the spine until the arm is pointing upwards and your eyes are looking along the arm. Then lower the arm, taking it between the opposite shoulder and the floor and take the shoulder to the floor. Move slowly between these two positions several times and then repeat to the other 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 a dark line (of any colour) extending away into the distance. And then imagine following along the line in your mind – watching how the line gradually becomes paler and paler and, as the line becomes paler, imagine your speed of travelling along it slows. Until the line becomes so faint it is not visible and you are in stillness. 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.
N.B. THIS YOGA SESSION IS NOT FOR THOSE WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR OTHER REASONS FOR AVOIDING INVERTED POSES