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10-Min Yoga Session Based around Prasarita Padottanasana    ( 3 ) 

Padottanasana Session 3 Image
Stand in Tadasana. Bend one leg, taking your weight into that leg. Lift the unweighted leg sideways and rest the heel on the floor, toes pointing forwards. Place your hands on your upper abdomen so your elbows point out sideways. Inhaling slowly, rotate the forward leg as a whole outwards as far as feels comfortable. At the same time, rotate your arms around the axis of your upper arms so your shoulder blades squeeze together and your forearms and hands point sideways. Exhaling slowly, rotate the forward leg (as a whole) inwards as far as feels comfortable. At the same time, return your hands to your upper abdomen with a feeling of your hands pressing through treacle, feeling your abdomen contracting inwards. Repeat 3 to 6 more times and then return to standing in Tadasana. Repeat to the other side.
Step your feet wide apart – long term, you are aiming for about 3.5 feet or a leg-length apart, but until you are comfortable with such a wide stance simply take your feet as wide as feels comfortable. Make sure your feet point forwards and stand upright, allowing your arms to be relaxed by your sides. Bring your awareness to your feet. Consciously press the pads of your big toe joints down into the ground as firmly as you can. Keeping these pads pressing down, add in pressing down through the outside edges of your feet. Bend your knees. Then, sink your heels, allowing your legs to straighten. Then, without actually moving your feet, draw your feet in towards each other against the resistance supplied by the floor/mat. Starting with your arms relaxed by your sides, make fists with your hands. Keeping your shoulders low, lift your arms sideways to shoulder level while inhaling. Exhaling, draw your shoulder-blades and arms inwards along the same line of your arms. Inhaling, push your fists away from each other, allowing your shoulders to move apart. Exhaling, draw your shoulder-blades and arms inwards. Inhaling, open your hands and then draw the backs of your hands towards your shoulders (keeping your shoulder-blades drawn towards each other). Exhaling draw your arms to your side (keeping the shoulder blades squeezed together) and, at the same time, reinforce the feeling of drawing your feet towards each other. Keeping your spine in this long shape, flex forwards at the hips – just to the point where, if you where to flex further, you would lose the shape of your spine. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths – reminding yourself to keep your legs active (see earlier). Lift trunk to upright, taking care to keep spine long and then step feet together. Relax your arms and give your arms a little wiggle.
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position, feet significantly wide of hips. Lift your arms to vertical above your shoulders and then bring your palms together. Exhaling, lower one knee inwards towards the floor – if your leg touches the other one then restart with your feet starting slightly further apart. At the same time, lower your arms (one hand sliding down the opposite arm) sideways in the opposite direction to which the leg moves, and turn your head to look along your arms. Inhaling, lift the leg back to pointing upwards, lift your arms back to vertical and return your head back to centre. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: Imagine sitting with a small river flowing past in front of you, and know that the river will take anything you give to it to someone who would find it useful. So, choose to take things out of your self or your life that are no longer useful to you and give them to the river. 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.