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Legs of Gomukhasana Session 2
Lie on your side with hips and knees forming right angles – one leg on top of the other. Either place your bottom arm or a cushion/folded towel under your head (if the latter, place your bottom arm out in front of your trunk). Place the hand of your top arm in front of you (with your forearm vertical) to steady your trunk. While inhaling, rotate your top leg slowly at the hip so your knee points upwards (the leg as a whole keeping its shape) and then, while exhaling, slowly return your leg to lie on top of the other leg. Repeat 3 to 6 times. Roll over on to your other side and repeat the same number of times to this side.
Sit in a kneeling position, bottom on heels. (If this position is uncomfortable, it would be a good idea to work on kneeling poses before trying to work on the legs of cow-face pose.) Place a block (or a folded towel) on one side of your feet. Place 2 folds of a towel on the half of the block that is furthest from your feet. Lift your hips up a little and move them sideways to place your bottom on the block (and folded towel). Lift the knee of the top leg and move the foot of the top leg to place it just in front of the lower leg – allow your hips to settle downwards. (If necessary, move the foot of your lower leg sideways a little). Then move the foot of your top leg round to be beside the top of the upper thigh of your lower leg – place your foot as close to your hip as is comfortable. Ideally, your hips will be level (otherwise your spine will be in a side bend). There is a tendency for one to sit a bit more heavily on one buttock than on the other – placing a couple of folds of a towel on one side of the block is intended to counter this so your hips end up level. If this position feels uncomfortable, then you are not ready to work on the legs of cow-face pose. You may feel slight stretch sensations on the outside thighs, outside hips and back of your pelvis – if stretching sensations here are more than slight, you need to work on poses such as:- legs of eagle pose, semi-supine twists with crossed legs, semi-supine twists with one foot on the knee of the other leg. You may feel slight stretch sensations on the inside of your thighs – if these stretch sensations are more than slight, then you need to work on poses like Tree pose, Easy pose and supine cobbler pose. If this position feels comfortable, then hold for 2 to 5 breaths. To release the pose :- carefully and slowly move your top leg so that it is folded beside your bottom leg and then move your hips sideways to place your bottom on your heels. Repeat to the other side.
Lie on your back and bring knees towards chest. Place one hand on each knee and have knees a comfortable distance from your chest (not necessarily as close to your chest as possible). Slowly straighten one leg, making sure that hands and knees do not become separated (but you can, if you wish, slightly straighten your arm) – note the leg need not be completely straight, just as straight as feels comfortable and possible. Slowly bend your knee back down to your chest. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat 3 to 6 times to each side if you have time. Aim for slow, even breaths.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. Perhaps try imagining a smile just behind your physical face – you can let the smile show in your face, but let your awareness rest on the invisible smile and feel the sense of ease/contentment and goodwill in the smile. Now direct that smile at each part of your body in turn, sending love and goodwill to yourself and each part of yourself. You can, if you wish, spend extra time on areas which you feel are in particular need of care and nurturing. Remember not to rush sitting up (and then standing) after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.