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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND DWI PADA PITHAM (Bridge pose)    (5) 

Dwi Pada Pitham Session 5
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs together straight along the floor. Put your arms in a comfortable place (probably with your hands resting on your front or your arms by your side). Inhaling, lift one leg into the crooked position (foot on floor and knee pointing to ceiling) and then bring that knee to your chest and lightly place your hands on the knee. Exhaling, lift your head towards your lifted knee and, inhaling, lower your head back down to the ground. Exhaling, return the leg that is lifted to your chest back to the crooked position and then straighten the leg along the floor beside your other leg. Repeat, starting with the other leg. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Place your feet close to your bottom, with your knees and feet about hip-width apart. Check the position of your feet and knees. It is important for your knee’s health in this pose that your feet are parallel and that your knees point upwards rather than inwards or outwards – if you are not sure, it is a good idea to ask a friend or relative to check for you. Bring your attention to your neck – use your hands to gently lift and lower your head to make sure the back of your neck is elongated. Return your arms to a comfortable place close to your sides and pull your shoulders down away from your ears; then relax. Inhaling, imagine an elongation occurring in your spine. As you exhale, squeeze your abdomen inwards towards your spine so that your lower back elongates along the floor and your pelvis tilts slightly off the floor. Hold your breath out and maintain your abdominal contraction as you push/sink your feet into the floor to lift your hips off the floor. As you inhale, maintain the abdominal tone and lift your arms through the air to the floor above your head – this will encourage your chest to lift and expand. Exhale at the same time as slowly lowering your back down, vertebra by vertebra (from the neck downwards), until your bottom is resting on the floor again. Inhale and then, as you exhale, lift your arms through the air back to your sides. Repeat 3 to 8 times.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs in a crooked position and your arms by your sides. Bring one knee to your chest leaving the other foot resting on the floor. Inhaling, simultaneously lift your arms through the air to the floor above your head and straighten the leg that is close to your chest upwards. Please note that it is much more important that the heel of this leg stays over your hip (or closer to your head than this) than that this leg straightens completely. Exhaling, simultaneously lift your arms through the air back to your sides and at the same time bend your lifted leg back to your chest. Repeat this movement of your leg and arms with your breath about 3 times. Then repeat with the other leg the same number of times. Try to make your limb movements begin and finish together with the beginning and finish of each in and out breath. Aim for long, slow, deep breaths.

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 friend sitting quietly beside you. Feel the stillness and peacefulness of your friend creating an atmosphere of calm that you can relax into and absorb. Feel or imagine your friend giving love and well-being from his or her heart. Feel and accept the love and well-being as a gift for you to enjoy and, if you wish, to share with others. 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.