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Navasana Session 2
Kneel in the upright kneeling position, knees and feet about hip-width apart, upper legs and trunk in a vertical line. Move one leg forwards so the foot rests on the floor with the leg straight or nearly so. Check your pelvic girdle is still level. Press the back foot downwards as much as feels comfortable. Imagine the tailbone sinking downwards with a sense of the lower back lengthening. Then engage leg muscles as though trying to draw the front foot backwards (against the resistance supplied by the floor) – and allow the front knee to slowly bend as the hip gradually moves forwards until the front knee is over the front ankle. Place the hand of the front leg side on the trunk where it meets the forward thigh. Place the other hand on the bottom front of ribs of the side opposite the forward leg. Move this hand between this position on the ribs and the other hand a few times – tracing a line across the abdomen. Then return the hand to the ribs and imagine there is a muscle under the line you traced with your hand – exhaling, contact this imaginary muscle so the ribs move round a little towards the front leg, and, inhaling, relax the imagined muscle, allowing the trunk to unwind. Continue this breathing for 3 to 5 breaths. Then gently relax the legs and move the hips backwards until the front leg is straight; then return the forward leg to beside the other leg. Repeat to the other side.
Sit on your mat or padding (e.g. cushion or folded towel) with legs in front and bent so soles of your feet are on the floor, knees pointing upwards. Place the main part of your hands on the outside edges of your knees so fingers curl round the front of the knees and point towards each other. Have a sense of your elbows and shoulders pointing sideways. Gently pull your hands towards you, against your unmoving knees, to help draw your chest forwards, straightening your spine to vertical. Have a sense of your pelvic girdle settling downwards and an elongation up your spine to the crown of your head. Allow any pressure between hands and knees to soften until the hands are merely touching the knees (and not at all pulled or pressed against the knee). Maintaining the shape of the spine and the current angle between thighs and trunk, step your feet towards your trunk by about a half a foot length until you are balanced on your buttocks with your feet just off the floor. The trunk is now tilted backwards relative to the vertical. Re-establish the sense of the chest being open and lifted forwards – if necessary, gently draw the hands against the unmoving knees to aid this and then allow the pressure between hands and knees to soften whilst keeping chest open. Remind yourself of the length between the tailbone and the crown of your head and broadness between your shoulders. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and then move the feet forwards and return the trunk to vertical.
Having returned to the starting sitting position, re-establish the sense of length between your tailbone and the crown of your head and between your shoulders. Place your hands on the front of your knees so palms are facing upwards with little finger side of hands against the knee. Inhaling, lift one arm to curve over your head with palm facing downwards – the shape of the arm unchanging through this movement. Exhaling, imagine an elongation from the shoulder of the lifted arm, down the side of the trunk through the hip into the earth. Inhaling, imagine an elongation from this hip up the side of trunk and through the lifted arm – the arm and hand straightening to vertical. Exhaling, allow the arm to return to being a loose curve overhead. Inhale. Exhaling, return the arm forwards, returning the hand to the front of the knee. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Either lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice, or sit for some breathing or meditation. You could try the following: Inhale, thinking “power for me” and exhale, thinking “power for the world”. Remember not to rush sitting up and standing after practising relaxation as it causes the blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.