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10- MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)    (7)
DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE Session 7
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From kneeling, lean your trunk forwards to bring your forehead to the floor (i.e. move into child pose). Swing your arms to place your hands on the floor as far forwards of your head as feels comfortable. Leaving your hands there and keeping your buttocks on your heels, lift your shoulders as much as possible. Inhaling, lift the back of your neck, expand your chest downwards and tilt your pelvic girdle to move the tailbone towards the ceiling so that your spine moves into a backbend. Exhaling, tilt your pelvic girdle to move the tailbone towards the floor, lift the middle of your back and lower your head to move your spine into a forwards bend. Continue for several breaths and then move into child pose for a pause.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Move into the all-four pose. Consider adjusting your hand and feet position – for example, hands wide of 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 the back of your neck, expand your chest downwards and tilt your pelvic girdle to move the tailbone towards the ceiling so that your spine moves into a backbend. Maintaining the spinal backbend, lift the knees a little off the floor and imagine the tailbone being pulled up and back until the arms are in line with the rest of the trunk. Keeping the knees bent (and heels off the floor), then imagine you can tilt the pelvis to point the tail more upwards, allowing the shoulders and upper spine to sink. [Omit this last bit if you are hyper-mobile in either shoulder or elbow joints.] Then press through the hands downwards sufficiently to bring the arms back into alignment with the upper trunk. Then slowly, with good awareness of the shape of the lower back, allow your heels to sink downwards until the lower back is straight and in alignment with the upper back. If your heels are firmly pressed into the floor and your lower back is still in a backbend (rare but this can be so for a few), then continue imagining the sinking of your heels and in addition imagine drawing your tailbone downwards. Hold for several breaths. Release by moving the trunk forwards and bringing the knees down to the floor – from here move into child pose for a little pause.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Roll onto your back and place the soles of your feet on the floor, feet together, knees bent and pointing upwards. Lift one leg and place the foot on the front thigh of the other leg close to the knee. Roll onto the side of the lower leg. Place the bottom hand on the closest knee and then stretch the other arm out in front at shoulder level on the floor. Keeping your eyes on the hand of the straightened arm, slowly move this hand so that it stays touching the floor and moves in a semi-circle: first move it slowly up in line with your head, and then round to behind your back. Then return your hand by retracing the movements back to its starting point. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Then roll onto your back and return the foot from your thigh to the floor. 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 beautiful glowing rainbow and looking at each of the colours of the rainbow in turn. And, while looking at each colour, think of something positive or pleasant that you associate with that colour. And then, remembering the pleasant &/or positive ideas, gradually allow the rainbow to fade. Once the rainbow has faded, keep the memory sof the pleasant and positive as a gift from the rainbow that remains with you even though the rainbow has now gone. 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