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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND DWI PADA PITHAM (Bridge pose)    (14) 

Dwi Pada Pitham Session 14
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs in a crooked position. Bring one knee to your chest and then move the knee a little to one side so it is “wide” of your trunk. Straighten the knee just enough that the foreleg becomes vertical. Take the corresponding hand to the outside edge of the foot (or loop a towel round the foot and hold that) – it is ok to lift your head and shoulders to enable you to take hold of your foot like this. Slowly straighten the other leg along the floor and press the heel downwards. Settle your shoulders, head and back of neck downwards – and encourage the knee of the bent leg to sink down towards the floor beside your trunk. Exhaling, squeeze the abdomen in towards the spine at the same time as imagining an elongation moving along the back to the straight leg and out through the heel. Relax the abdomen and allow a passive inhalation. Continue for a few breaths. Then slowly bend the straight leg back to the crooked leg position. Lift your head and shoulders to help you slowly and gently release the bent leg which you then return to beside the other leg (and lower your head and shoulders). Repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From semi supine, bring your knees and feet together. Bring your attention to your neck – check back of neck is long and head and neck are in alignment with trunk. Bring your arms beside your trunk, palms facing down and pull your shoulders down away from your ears; then relax. Bend your elbows to bring your forearms to vertical and then extend the wrists so that the elbows face upwards. Press your feet into the floor so that the hips lift. Then aid the lifting of the hips and opening lift of the chest by also pressing down through the shoulders, elbows and feet. Hold for a couple of breaths to become established in this position. Then transfer your weight from one leg to the other. Bring the knee of the unweighted leg as close to your chest as feels comfortable. Keeping this knee as close to your chest as you can, straighten the leg. Keep pressing down through the foot that is on the floor and aim to keep both hips as high as each other and the chest open (by pressing the elbows and shoulders down) – hold for 3 breaths (or so). Bend the knee of the straight leg and return the foot to beside the other foot – then repeat on the other side. Release gently on an exhalation by slowly lowering your back down, vertebra by vertebra (from the neck downwards) until your bottom is resting on the floor again.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Bring your knees towards your chest and wrap your arms around your chest in a hug. Straighten both legs in the air, taking care to keep the weight of your legs over your trunk. Exhaling, bend your knees to your chest and, at the same time, straighten your arms in the air. Continue the exhalation as you lower knees to one side and arms to the other side (head turning to look along length of arms). Inhaling, lift arms, legs and head back to centre. Continuing to inhale, straighten legs upwards and wrap arms around shoulders in a hug. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side. Return your feet to the floor.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. Perhaps, imagine a flower that opens and closes with the light. Imagine the flower as the sun rises, gently and slowly unfolding its petals. Imagine the flower receiving the light. Then imagine the flower as the sun goes down gently enfolding its petals and the energy from sunlight into itself. 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.