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Navasana Session 5
Kneel in the upright kneeling position - knees and feet about hip-width apart, upper legs and trunk in a vertical line. Move one leg forward so that 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. 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. Allow your arms to be relaxed by your side, palms facing hips, and see if you can draw your shoulders downwards. Keeping your shoulders low, lift your arms sideways to shoulder level and make comfortable fists with your hands. Slowly roll your arms inwards about the axis of the upper arms, resisting allowing the shape of the upper back to change as you do this. Slowly roll your arms outwards, letting the arm movement help you lift your chest and move the upper back into a back bend. Repeat the roll in and out of the arms two or three times allowing you to move in a comfortable backbend. To release, lift your trunk to upright and then lower your arms. Then gently relax legs and move hips backwards until the front leg is straight, and then return the forward leg to beside the other leg. 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 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 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 both legs forwards aiming to keep the thighs close to the chest. Hold for about 5 to 10 breaths. Bend knees, and then move feet forwards returning the trunk to vertical.
Return to the starting sitting position, then move your feet to a little wide of hip-width and re-establish the sense of length between your tail bone and the crown of your head and between your shoulders. Place your hands on the front of your knees so the palms are facing upwards with little finger side of hands against the knee. Inhaling, lift both arms to curve over your head with palms facing downwards the shape of the arms unchanging through this movement. Exhaling, rotate the shoulders about the axis of the spine at the same time as lowering the arms until upper arms are close to shoulder level the arms staying in a loose curve. Inhaling, lift the arms back to being curved over head at the same time allowing shoulders to return to facing forwards. Exhaling, lower the arms to the starting position. Repeat twist to the other side. Repeat 2 to 3 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 imagining drawing or creating from something like clay an image of a heart, and then gently painting this with a colour that for you represents love. 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.