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Egyptian Pose Session 7
Sit on a firm chair with your spine vertical and elongated. Lift your arms sideways to about 45 degrees away from your side. Exhaling and keeping your arms about 45 degrees away from your trunk, swing your arms forwards and round to cross at about wrist level, and at the same time allow your upper back and neck to round. Inhaling, swing your arms back to the side (at about 45 degrees lifted from side) and at the same time straightening and lengthening the upper back and neck. Exhaling, swing arms backwards (still keeping them about 45 degrees away from trunk) and at the same time roll your shoulders backwards as if trying to squeeze your shoulder-blades together and encourage your chest to lift forwards. Inhaling, swing your arms back to the side (and about 45 degrees lifted from side) at the same time straightening and lengthening the upper back and neck. Repeat 2 to 4 more times.

Sitting near the back of the chair, take your hands to the sides of the back to the chair – palms facing inwards (towards each other) and fingers curled round the back of the chair. Roll your shoulders backwards and then encourage them to move downwards – and then see if you can move your hands a little lower down the chair. Lift your chest forwards as much as you can (whilst still holding the back of the chair), and encourage your shoulder blades to move closer together. Hold for about 5 breaths. Then relax your forward lifting of the chest, relax the shoulders, let go of the back of the chair and return to sitting upright. Pause and then repeat if you wish.

Still sitting, place the back of your hands on the back of your trunk. Run your hands up and down the back of your trunk to check that your spine is essentially straight. If your lower back tends to curve inwards then imagine a slight sinking of your tail-bone downwards - observe how that encourages your lower back to straighten and elongate. If your upper back is curving outwards a lot see if you can imagine an unfolding and opening of your upper trunk with inhalations encouraging each spinal bone to become aligned on top of each other. If you tend to jut your chin forward, think about extending the back of your neck upwards so your chin tucks in a little. Place the backs of your hands on your lower back so that one thumb and little finger are touching (aiding awareness of the shape of your lower back) and 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. Inhaling, move one hand to the outside of the opposite knee and, exhaling, rotate the trunk about the axis of the spine to face the same side as the knee with the hand on it. Inhaling, rotate about the axis of the spine returning to facing forwards and down and, exhaling, return the hand to the lower back. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 1 or 2 more times to each side. Now inhale and then, exhaling, consciously press down through the feet to help you lift the trunk back up to vertical.

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 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 practice : Imagine a wavy line – a smooth infinitely long wavy line. In your mind’s eye, travel up and down the waves of the wavy line – and notice the wavy line very gradually become smoother and smoother as the waves in the line gradually become smaller and smaller. Continue with this for as long as you wish. 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.