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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND EGYPTIAN POSE    (4) 

Egyptian Pose Session 4
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit on a firm chair, with your spine vertical and elongated. Arrange things so that you 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. Your feet should be about hip-width apart and parallel to each other with ankles under your knees. Place your hands, palms facing downwards on the tops of your thighs thumbs resting against the bottom of your trunk and your fingers pointing towards the mid-point between the knee and hip of the opposite leg. Bring your awareness to your legs and imagine spirals travelling down your legs as follows: Imagine the top of an inwards spiral which starts at the top back of your legs (behind your hips); then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the sides, then front, of your legs from this point towards the pad of your big toe joints: feel this cause the pad of the big toe joints to be pressed down. Maintain the inward leg spiral (i.e. by maintaining the pressing down of the big toe joint pads) while applying outward spirals for your legs by imagining the top of the outward spiral at the top of your inside legs; then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the front of your legs from this point towards the pad of your little toe joints and feel this cause the pad of the little toes joints to be pressed down. Pause for a few breaths, feeling and observing the effect of holding these leg spirals and pressing the feet downwards. Then bring your attention to your arms and apply arm spirals as follows: Imagine the top of the inward spiral starting at the top back of your arms (behind your shoulders); then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the sides of your arms from this point towards the pad of your index finger joints and feel this cause the pad of the index finger joints to be pressed downwards a little. Maintain the inward arm spiral while applying outward spirals for your arms as follows. First, imagine the top of the outward spirals at the top inside of your arms (i.e. in your armpits); then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the front and then the sides of your arms from this point towards the pad of your little finger joints and feel this causing the pad of the little finger joints to be pressed downwards a little. Hold for several breaths observing the effects on your breathing and your postural alignment.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Remain sitting and move your hands to the front of your lower ribs with palms facing your trunk and fingers pointing inwards towards each other. Have a sense of your elbows and shoulders pointing sideways. Inhaling, lift and straighten one arms forwards so that it ends up pointing forwards at shoulder level. Continuing to inhale, swing the arm at shoulder level to point sideways eyes following the hand so the head turns and ends up looking along the arm. Exhaling, keeping head, shoulders and arms in their current alignment, rotate the trunk about the axis of the spine as far as feels comfortable so that the straight arm ends up pointing backwards. Inhaling, reverse the spinal rotation to bring the shoulders back to facing forwards. Exhaling, swing the straight arm at shoulder level to pointing forwards and as the arm moves watch the hand with the eyes so the head returns to facing forwards. While continuing to exhale, lower the arm and return the hand to the front of the lower ribs. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 4 more times to each side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Continue sitting and place your hands on your lap one hand on each thigh with the palms facing upwards. Inhaling, lift one arm sideways and up until the arm and hand is pointing vertically upwards with the palm facing inwards. Have a sense of length between the hip and the finger tips, and length between the point of the tailbone and the crown of your head. Exhaling, allow the trunk to soften and bend sideways (bending toward the side of the lowered arm) and at the same time soften the arm and hand so they bend to curve over your head. Inhaling, lift the trunk back up to vertical and at the same time straighten the arm and hand returning them to pointing up vertically. Exhaling, lower the arm sideways and return the hand to your lap (palm facing upwards). Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side, enjoying the slow graceful movements with the breath.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Either lie down for relaxation or stay sitting for a breathing or visualisation or meditation practice. If comfortable doing so, allow your eyes to close. You could try the following practice : Imagine a line between your crown and your tailbone. Inhaling, imagine energy flowing up this line from your tailbone to the crown of your head and, exhaling, imagine energy flowing down this line from your crown to your tailbone. Then let go of having particular thoughts and of your breath awareness. 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 to your surroundings. When you are ready, open your eyes.