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Navasana Session 3
Sit with your legs in front of you start with your knees bent and pointing upwards (soles of feet on floor). Adjust as necessary to be sure that your spine is vertical and essentially straight. (You can sit directly on the floor or, if your hamstrings are a bit tight, sit on one or two folded towels or yoga blocks but, if you do this, also place yoga blocks behind you). Straighten one leg by pushing the heel away from your buttocks along the floor until the thigh is parallel to the floor (i.e. knee still a little bent). Draw the foot up to vertical so its in a parallel plane to your trunk and press the heel downwards into the floor. Lean backwards to place your palms on the floor (or the previously placed yoga blocks) with fingers pointing forwards. Press down through your hands a little and roll your shoulders backwards so the chest expands forwards. Press down through the heel of the straight leg until it feels that, if you pressed down any more, the buttocks would lift (i.e. they dont actually lift) or as much as you are able. Exhaling, squeeze your abdomen inwards (or reinforce the inward contraction of the abdomen). Inhaling & aiming to maintain tone in the abdomen, consciously direct breath towards the front of the chest, encouraging it to lift and expand more. Hold for a few breaths, then release the breathing and lift trunk to upright. Draw the straight leg back to beside the other leg and repeat to the other side.
Sit with your legs in front. Have legs bent in such a way that the soles of your feet are on the floor and your knees point upwards. Place the main part of your hands on the outside edges of your knees so that your fingers curl round the front of the knees and point towards each other use your hands & arms as appropriate to encourage your spine to be long and vertical. Maintaining the shape of the spine and the current angle between thighs and trunk, step your feet towards your trunk by about 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 needed, gently draw hands against unmoving knees to aid this and then allow 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. Maintaining balance and straightness and length of the spine, straighten one leg forwards aiming to keep the thigh close to the chest. Hold for about 5 breaths. Bend the knee, and then move feet forwards returning the trunk to vertical. Repeat to the other side.
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. Wrap your arms around your shoulders in a hug. Inhaling, straighten and swing one arm out to the side at shoulder level, and at the same time turn your head to look along the straight arm. Exhaling, return your head back to centre and at the same time return the arm to being wrapped around the shoulder. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 4 to 6 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 remembering a time when you felt really happy, and the feelings of happiness in as much vividness as you can and then imagine taking some of that happiness into this moment now to help you share love and happiness with others. 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.