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10-Min Yoga Session Based around Prasarita Padottanasana    ( 10 ) 

Padottanasana Session 10 Image
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Stand with feet parallel and as wide as possible. Place palms on upper abdomen, fingers pointing inwards so elbows point sideways. Exhaling, draw tailbone downwards. Inhaling, straighten one arm sideways to shoulder level (palm now facing forwards). At the same time, lift & swivel the leg of the same side on its heel so the knee and foot point sideways – lower sole back to floor. Exhaling, bend the sideways pointing leg until knee is over ankle. Inhaling, lift the straight arm sideways to pointing upwards and stretch arm up. Exhaling, bend trunk sideways over the straight leg at the same time as bending lifted arm into a loose curve over head. Inhaling, lift trunk up and straighten arm to pointing upwards. Exhaling, lower arm to shoulder level at the same time as straightening leg. Inhaling, swivel leg and foot (on heel) to pointing forwards at the same time as returning palm to upper abdomen. Exhaling, draw tailbone downwards. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 3 more times to each side.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Stand with feet parallel and as wide as possible. Bend knees and lengthen spine. Place hands on lower back, palms facing away from your back, little finger of one hand touching the thumb of the other hand. Have a conscious sense of pointing your elbows and shoulders sideways. Keeping your spine in this long shape, flex forwards at the hips – just to the point where if you were to flex further you would lose the shape of your spine. Place one hand under each foot – palms facing the soles, fingers pointing towards heels. Consciously press the pads of your big toe joints down and then also the outside edges of your feet. Lift your shoulders as much as this arm/hand position allows. Let your back move into a back bend as you use an upwards pull on your shoulders (resisted by your arms with hands grounded under feet) to help tilt your pelvic girdle as far forwards as you can (tailbone lifts up). Maintain this pull to keep the pelvic girdle tilted forwards as much as possible and straighten your legs by pressing your heels down. If necessary, adjust your head position to being in line with spine. Hold for several breaths. Bend knees, and remove hands from under feet and place on lower back. Lift trunk to horizontal and, if necessary, adjust to achieve long back position. Pause and then lift trunk to upright, taking care to keep spine long. Step feet together.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie in supine, legs straight and along the floor with a roll of towel under your shoulder blades such that it is perpendicular to your spine. Start with arms resting on the floor in the overhead position (palms facing up). Inhaling, lift one arm to vertical at the same time as lifting the leg of the opposite side to the crooked-legged position (heel staying on floor through this movement). Exhaling, lower arm to floor by side at same time as bringing the (bent) leg to your chest. Inhaling, lift arm to vertical at the same time as returning foot to floor (leg to crooked-legged position). Exhaling, lower arm backwards to the floor overhead at the same time as straightening leg along floor. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times on each side. Remove towel roll from under back and pause for a couple of breaths with hands on breast bone and then abdomen.

FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: Imagine you are lying in sunlight and that the sunlight has in it a quality you would like more of in your relationships. And imagine that in your heart area there is a beautiful flower that unfolds in response to the sunlight and opens itself to receive the quality in the sunlight. Imagine the flower becomes enriched in loveliness – perhaps in the form of its colours becoming richer and more vibrant as it absorbs the quality into itself. After a while, imagine the flower gently folds its petals around its precious centre to keep it safe and protected. Let go of the sunlight and flower imagery. Remember not to rush sitting up after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.