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Egyptian Pose Session 10
Sit near the front of a firm chair with spine vertical and elongated. Have your hands palms face up in front of your abdomen, finger-tips just touching, arms in a loose, comfortable curve. Inhaling, lift one knee a little, swing the leg round to the side and at the same time rotate the arms around the axis of the upper arm to bring arms and fingers to pointing sideways (or even a little backwards). Exhaling, swing the leg back to pointing forwards, return foot to floor and at the same time rotate the arms about the axis of the upper arm, returning the hands to in front of the upper abdomen with finger-tips touching. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Sitting near the back of the chair, lift one foot and place it on the chair so that the sole of the foot rests against the inner thigh of the other leg. Take your hands to the sides of the back of the chair – palms facing inwards (towards each other) and fingers curled round the back of the chair. Keeping the spine long, lean the trunk forwards and at the same time allow the hands to move up the sides of the chair back until your hands have reached the top and you are leaning forwards as much as the length of your arms will allow. Relax the weight of your trunk forwards so the arms take this weight and the chest moves forwards relative to your shoulders. Bring your awareness to the space between the shoulder-blades – imagine there is a small balloon there (just below the spine) that gently expands when you inhale pushing your shoulder blades apart and lifting the spine backwards and that gently shrinks when you exhale, allowing the spine to sink forwards and the shoulder-blades to move closer together. Observe and enjoy this gentle movement with the breath – with a relaxed feeling and passively allowing the breath and movements to occur. After 3 to 6 breaths, bring your awareness to your feet and consciously press down through your feet to help you lift the trunk back up to vertical. Return your arms to your sides. Return the foot to the floor and repeat to the other side.
Sitting at the front of the chair, lift one leg, straighten it forwards and place the heel on the floor – the leg is now straight, toes drawn towards the shin. Place the backs of your hands on your lower back so that a thumb and little finger touch (aiding awareness of the shape of your lower back). Consciously “point” your shoulders and elbows sideways (encouraging the chest to be open and the upper back long). Keeping the trunk long and essentially straight (and pressing the feet down to help stabilise the movement), lean the trunk forwards as far as is comfortable without collapsing the trunk. Exhaling, move one hand to the knee of the bent leg and, still exhaling, rotate the trunk about the axis of the spine to face the opposite side to the hand on the knee. Inhaling, rotate about the axis of the spine returning to facing forwards and down and return the hand to the lower back. Repeat to the other side. Repeat once more to each side. Now inhale. Then, exhaling, consciously press down through the feet to help you lift the trunk up to vertical. Return the forwards foot to being beside the other foot and then repeat to the other side. Repeat with the other leg straight.
Either lie down for relaxation or stay sitting for a breathing or visualisation or meditation practice. If staying sitting, check you are in a comfortable position with your spine vertical and elongated. Let your hands rest in your lap or on your legs. If comfortable doing so, allow your eyes to close. You could try the following visualization practice : Imagine a downward pointing triangle at the back of your lower back – with bottom corner at the bottom tip of your tail-bone and the top two corners at the outside edge of the bottom of your ribcage (at the back). Inhaling, imagine that an outward and upward expansion travels up the sides of the triangle to the top corners. Exhaling, imagine an inward and downward contraction travels down the sides of the triangle to the bottom at the tip of the tail-bone. Continue for several breaths. Observe how you feel for a few moments. Then, keeping your eyes closed, direct your awareness to what you are going to do next and your surroundings. When you are ready, open your eyes.