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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND EGYPTIAN POSE    (2) 

Egyptian Pose Session 2
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit on a firm chair, with your spine vertical and elongated. Ideally, sit with your knees and hips forming right angles – you may need to place something (e.g. block, books or cushion) under either your hips or your feet to achieve this. Do NOT use the back of the chair. If you have a tendency to jut your chin forward, think about extending upwards the back of your neck so that your chin tucks in a little. Unless stated otherwise, you should breathe through your nose. Let your hands rest in your lap or on your legs. If you have your feet resting on something then arrange for your toes to be pointing over the edge of this – otherwise move your feet a little forwards, leaving your heels on the floor, and lift your feet a little. Slowly, bend your toes under and squeeze as far in towards the centre of your feet as you can and then slowly release. Then slowly lift your toes (without moving the rest of your feet) and spread them as much as you can; then slowly release. Repeat these two movements 3 more times. Slowly bend your toes under and squeeze them as far as you can in towards the centre of your feet, hold for 3 breaths and then release slowly. Slowly lift your toes (without moving the rest of your feet) and spread them as much as you can and hold for 3 breaths; then slowly release. Repeat a couple more times the slow movement between having toes curled under and lifted. If needed, return your feet to under your knees.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (1.5 minutes)
Consciously press down through one foot (making it easier to lift the other foot) and lift the other foot a little. Place the foot back on the floor with the “top” of the toes (and just the toes) resting on the floor and the foot pointing backwards. Gently press the foot and the back of the toes downwards to stretch the top of your foot – if you can easily arrange it, this will feel more comfortable if you have some padding (like a couple folds of a towel) between your foot and the floor. Hold for 3 or 4 breaths. Gently release and then lift the foot so that just the “bottom” of the toes rest on the floor. Gently press the foot downward to stretch the sole of your foot. Hold for 3 or 4 breaths. Gently release and lift the foot to place down beside the other one in its original position. Repeat with the other foot. If you wish, repeat once more to each side.


THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (1.5 minutes)
Sit with your heels under your knees and your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Start to press down through the balls of your feet into the floor – increase this pressure slowly until you are pressing down as firmly as you can – hold for 3 breaths and then slowly release. Leaving the heels on the floor, slowly draw the top of your feet as far towards your shins as you can – hold for 3 breaths and then slowly release. Repeat both the pressing down and the lifting one to two more times.

FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (1.5 minutes)
Bring your knees and feet together and then cross one leg over the other. Point the foot of the top leg downwards as far as you can, while curling the toes under; then relax the foot. Lift the foot upwards as far towards the knee as you can, encouraging the toes to curl up towards the shins; then relax the foot. Repeat this movement 3 times. Then turn the foot in circles (ankle staying still) 3 times; then repeat, taking the circle in the other direction. Uncross your legs and then repeat with the other leg. Return your knees and feet to being hip-width apart.

FIFTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (3.5 minutes)
Either lie down for relaxation or stay sitting for a breathing, visualisation or meditation practice. If staying sitting, check you are in a comfortable sitting 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 : Bring your awareness to your feet and imagine they are resting on the Earth. Imagine the Earth as a huge ball filled with energy – warm nurturing energy. Feel or imagine the warm nurturing energy of the Earth. Invite the warm nurturing energy to flow into your feet. Feel or imagine it flowing into your feet – warming the flesh around the bones, nurturing and gently expanding the joint spaces. Imagine this for each of your toes, for the main part of your feet and your ankles. Invite the warm nurturing energy into the whole of your being - imagine or feel the whole of your being warmed and nurtured by the energy from the Earth. Allow the warm nurturing energy to reverse its flow and return to the Earth – leaving you warmed, nurtured and refreshed. Thank the Earth for sharing its warn nurturing energy with you. 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.