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10-Min Yoga Session Based around Prasarita Padottanasana    ( 5 ) 
Padottanasana Session 5 Image
Stand in Tadasana. Step your feet wide apart. Make sure your feet point forwards and stand upright, letting arms relax by your sides. 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, and then sink your heels (and pads of big toe joints, and outside edges of feet) until your legs are straight. Then, without actually moving your feet, draw your feet in towards each other against the resistance supplied by the floor/mat. Pause in this position and feel your legs as strong and active, and allow your chest to lift and expand. Start with your arms by your side with palms facing inwards. Inhaling, rotate your arms as a whole to bring your palms facing backwards. Exhaling, press your palms, arms and shoulders backwards with a sense of drawing your shoulder-blades together. Inhaling, rotate your palms as a whole to bring your palms facing inwards, then forwards and finally outwards. Exhaling, imagine your tailbone and feet being drawn downwards. Inhaling & keeping your arms drawn backwards, lift your arms sideways until your arms are pointing upwards, or as far as feels comfortable – allow your spine to move into a backbend as you do so. Rotate your arms as a whole so palms face outwards and then slowly exhale and draw your arms sideways to your sides as though pressing through treacle. At the same time reinforce the feeling of drawing your feet towards each other. It you need to, pause for a couple of breaths, holding the position. Repeat 2 to 6 more times.
From Tadasana, step your feet wide apart, as before. Bend your knees and lengthen your spine. Interlock your fingers behind your back. Imagine your heels are sinking down into your mat (this will encourage your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to tone and stabilise your lower back) – but still keep your knees bent as you do this. Roll your shoulders backwards to squeeze your shoulder blades together and, inhaling, encourage your chest to expand forwards and up. Encourage your shoulders and hands to sink downwards. Lift your arms backwards (arms staying straight) as far as feels comfortable. Lean your trunk forwards from the hip until the trunk rests along your thighs. Then relax the neck and upper back and encourage arms (and hands) to move further away from your trunk – your upper back and neck will flex a little. Inhaling, direct your breath into your chest so it expands and your shoulders lift – continuing the inhalation, draw chin into the front of your neck and lift shoulders as though something is pulling the hands upwards and away from your shoulders. Allow the lower back to go into a back bend and try to keep the arms as lifted away from the trunk as much as possible. Continue the lifting of the shoulders until they reach hip level and then draw the back of the neck upwards to encourage the upper back to move into a back bend. Exhaling, lower your trunk along thighs (keep chest expanded and arms lifted away from your back) and then allow your trunk and neck to completely relax and then see if you can encourage your arms to move a little further away from your back. Repeat this movement with the breath for several breaths. Exit from the lowered trunk position by lowering your arms to your trunk; lift your trunk to a long back position. Lift trunk to upright, taking care to keep spine long and then step feet together.
Lie on your back with legs in the crooked position, feet and knees together, arms resting along the floor at shoulder level. Inhaling, lift one arm to vertical at the same time as straightening the leg of the same side along the floor. Exhaling, lower the lifted arm across the body to rest on the other arm, your head turning as you do so – shoulder can lift somewhat, but back of pelvic girdle remains settled against the floor. Inhaling, lift the arm back to vertical, returning head back to centre. Exhaling, lower the arms sideways to the floor at the same time as drawing the heel of the straight leg to your buttocks (leg bending) Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 6 more times to each side.
Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: On each exhalation, think the word restfulness. 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.