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10- MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)    (8)
DOWNWARD-FACING DOG POSE Session 8
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, pointing forwards and parallel to each other. Take a comfortable step forwards with one foot. Check your feet are still parallel – if necessary lift the back heel and pivot the foot around on the pads of the toes to move the heel outwards, then lower the heel. Consciously sink the heels into the floor – especially the back heel. Imagine the tailbone sinking downwards. Slightly bend the front knee. Without moving the feet, attempt to draw the feet towards each other against the resistance of the floor – so that the front knee bends until it is over the front ankle. Bring your arms forwards to shoulder-level. We are going to move the arm of the same side of the forwards leg: Inhaling, lift the arm forwards to vertical allowing the upper back to extend as you do this. Exhaling, lower the arm backwards to shoulder level at the same time as rotating the shoulders around the spine’s axis and turning your head to look back along the length of the arm. Inhaling – lift the arm back to vertical and at the same time allow shoulders and head to return to facing forwards. Exhaling – lower the arm forwards to beside the other arm. Repeat this arm movement 1 to 3 times. Gently release the muscle contraction of the legs and then step the forward leg backwards. Repeat to the other side.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From standing with feet parallel, bend your knees and place hands on your lower back. Keeping your back long, flex at the hips to bring your trunk to horizontal. Pause and then relax the trunk downwards to place your hands on the floor (bend your knees sufficiently to allow your hands to reach the floor). Move each hand one step forwards and lean your weight into your hands. Keeping your hands pressed down, engage your leg muscles so as to draw your hips backwards. Then again move each hand one step forwards, press down through the hands, and keeping the hands pressed downwards, draw the hips backwards. Continue this process until either your arms have become inline with your trunk or you have reached the limit of what feels comfortable. Hold the position for a few breaths with a sense of a current flowing up through the arms and trunk to the hips and then on down the back of the legs and through the heels into the earth. To release, bend your knees and lower into all fours pose and then, if you wish, pause in child pose.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs in a crooked position and rest your palms on your abdomen. Maintaining the current shape of your arms, lift them through the air to rest your hands on the floor to either side of your head (palms facing up). Exhaling, slide the heel of one leg along the floor (the sole will have to tilt off the ground at some point) so the leg becomes straight along the floor and, at the same time, lift the arm of the opposite side (maintaining the loose curve of the arm) through the air to place the palm on the abdomen. Inhaling, slide the heel of the straight leg back to the buttocks (to beside the other foot) and, at the same time, lift the arm (maintaining the loose curve) returning the hand to floor to one side of the head. Repeat to the other side. Continue for 4 to 8 more breaths, enjoying slow movements and the gentle smooth flow of breath.

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 current of calmness flows up the front of your body as you inhale, and a current of calmness flows down the back of your body as you exhale. So that, with each breath you are bathed in calmness. 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