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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND EGYPTIAN POSE    (9) 

Egyptian Pose Session 9
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit on a firm chair with your spine vertical and elongated, with feet and knees hip-width apart such that your hips, knees and ankles each form right angles. Keeping your spine long and vertical, lift one knee and rest your hands on that knee then press your knee up into the hands which resist and prevent the knee from moving. Hold for about 5 breaths pressing the knee up into your hands as firmly as you are able. Then lower the leg and repeat with the other leg.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Continuing to sit on the chair, lift one knee; swing it sideways and lower the leg with knee and foot pointing to the side. Inhaling, imagine an elongation travelling up the spine, and, exhaling, move the trunk sideways towards the sideways leg and rest the forearm of that side on the top of the thigh. Inhaling, lift the arm of the stretched side sideways and up as far as feels comfortable or until the arm is pointing away from the hip (i.e. upper arm beside ear). Hold for about 5 breaths while exhaling, imagine the hip and foot of the stretched side sinking downwards and, inhaling, imagine an elongation (& expansion) travelling from the hip up the stretched side of the trunk and on to the finger-tips. To release this, lower the arm while exhaling and, inhaling, imagine breath entering the squeezed side of the trunk to help lift the trunk up to vertical. Return the sideways leg to pointing forwards and repeat to the other side.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Continue to sit on a firm chair with your spine vertical and elongated and with feet and knees hip-width apart such that your hips, knees and ankles each form right angles. Loosely curve your arms so that one hand rests in the other in front of the abdomen with palms facing upwards. Lift arms until at shoulder level palms will now be facing inwards. In the movement that follows aim to maintain the current shape formed by the arms, hands and shoulder girdle. Exhaling, rotate the trunk around the axis of the spine so that the head and shoulders turn to one side (legs and hips remain unmoving) and while inhaling allow the rotation to unwind so head and shoulders return to facing forwards. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 6 more times to each side. Then lower arms and rest your hands on your lap.

FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
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 : Imagine a balloon in your abdomen and imagine you can hug this balloon lightly with your abdominal muscles. Exhaling, imagine gently, smoothly and slowly squeezing the balloon with your abdominal muscles forcing air out of it so it shrinks. Inhaling, imagine gently, smoothly and slowly releasing most of the squeeze of the balloon and, as you do so, air pushes itself into the balloon so that it expands to gently press against the gentle hug of the abdominal muscles. 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.