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Egyptian Pose Session 8
Sit near the front of a firm chair with your spine vertical and elongated. Lift one foot and place the top of the foot on the floor under the chair – the thigh will now be sloping downwards. Exhaling & leaving the knee where it is, draw the heel up as close to the buttock/chair as you can. Inhaling, slowly return the top of the foot to the floor. Repeat about 5 times: then lift the foot and return it to beside the other foot. 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 now straight, toes drawn towards the shin. Place the backs of your hands on your lower back so that a 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. Hold for about 5 breaths – pressing the heel (but not the knee) of the straightened leg downwards and enjoying the stretch in the hamstrings : then lift the trunk back to vertical. Return the forward foot to beside the other foot: then repeat to the other side.
Still sitting, place your hands in front of your abdomen – palms facing upwards, one hand resting in the other and your arms in a relaxed curve. Inhaling & keeping the current shape of the arm, lift the arm of the top hand forwards and then up until the hand is overhead (or even a little behind the head). Exhaling & maintaining the curved shape of the arm, lower the arm taking the hand to beneath the other hand. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
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 visualization practice : Bring your awareness to your feet and imagine they are resting on the Earth. Imagine the Earth as a huge all 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 this flowing into your feet – warming the flesh around the bones and nurturing and gently expanding the joint spaces. Imagine this for each of your toes, for the main part of your feet and your ankles. Imagine the warm, nurturing energy flowing into your legs from your feet – up through the bones, pausing and nurturing at the knee joints and then hips. Imagine the warm, nurturing energy travel up through the pelvic girdle and on to your spine and then up through your spine – pausing at each joint, feel the energy gently filling, expanding and nurturing the joint spaces. Reaching the ribcage, some travels through the ribs to the breastbone and on up to the shoulder bones. Imagine the warm, nurturing energy flow from the shoulders down the arm bones into the hands and each of the bones and joints of the hands and flowing back into the wrists, arms and up to the shoulders again. Warm, nurturing energy flowing up into the spine of your neck, gently filling and nurturing each joint on the way up into your head - where it flows around and through all the bones and joints of the head. All of your bones and joints filled with the warm, nurturing energy of the Earth. All of your being filled with the warm, nurturing energy of 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 warm, 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.