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10-Min Yoga Session Based around Prasarita Padottanasana    ( 7 ) 
Padottanasana Session 7 Image
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From Tadasana take a large step forwards and move into legs of warrior 1. You are aiming for a large enough step forwards that the back heel is off the floor and your feet should still point forwards and parallel. Keeping your face, shoulders and chest facing forwards (as opposed to down), tilt your pelvic girdle forwards with a feeling of moving your tail-bone backwards. Then take your abdomen to rest on the front thigh and relax the rest of the spine downwards, placing your hands either side of your front foot. Keeping your trunk against your thigh, try to lift your tail-bone so the front leg straightens and a stretch starts to occur in the hamstrings of your front leg. Then slowly explore the possibility of sinking the back heel – this may or may not reach the floor – either is fine. Hold the position for about 5 breaths, continuing the feeling of the tail bone pointing up and the trunk relaxing down and along the front leg. To come out, first bend the front leg, then place hands on lower back and lift trunk to upright. Pause in this position for a couple of breaths, drawing the tail-bone and back heel down. Step the front leg backwards. Pause and repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Move into asymmetric flank stretch as in the previous exercise. Step hands round to the inner side of your leading leg. Lift heel of the back leg and sole of the leading leg (heel staying on the floor) and swivel on the pads of toe joints (back leg) and heel (leading leg) to bring feet and pelvic girdle to point sideways (relative to the starting standing position). Walk hands round on the floor to be in front of the current position of your pelvic girdle. Walk fingers forwards until hands are as far forwards as you can take them while still on the floor. Place palms on floor with fingers spread wide and hands a little wide of shoulders (or shoulder width apart) – middle fingers point forwards and parallel to each other. Press pads of forefingers down and keeping down rotate the whole of the arm to press the outside edges of hands down; feel the effect of this in the upper back. Press the pads of the big toe joints down and, keeping them pressed down, press the outside edges of the feet down. Ideally arms, head and trunk will all be in the same plane – i.e. have the head between the arms rather than lowered or lifted. Press hands as a whole down and explore engaging the muscles in the back of the legs and buttocks as if trying to pull the tail bone downwards and the hips slightly backwards away from the hands. Hold for between 3 and 5 breaths. Then walk hands round to the leading leg. Lift the heel of the back leg and the sole of the leading leg and swivel on your feet to bring your feet, legs and trunk back to facing forwards as per your starting position. From asymmetric flank stretch return to Tadasana as per the previous exercise. Repeat to the other side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie in supine, legs straight and along the floor. Lift your arms through the air to the floor over head – then adjust the arm position so arms are fully comfortable and fully resting on the floor. Swing one leg sideways on the floor as far as feels comfortable. Swing the arm of the opposite side round on the floor until it points in the opposite directions to the legs. Inhaling, imagine an elongation starts in your abdomen and moves in two directions. One goes to the hip of the sideways leg down the leg and out of the heel. The other goes to the shoulder of the sideways arm though the arm and out of the fingertips. Exhaling, slowly squeeze the abdomen in towards the spine. Repeat 2 to 4 more times. Swap your arms and legs over and practice the same number of times on this side.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following: Imagine breath current starts in the abdomen and, exhaling, travels in two directions. One part moves diagonally up the trunk to, and out of, a shoulder; the other to the hip of the opposite side, down the leg and out of the foot. In the pause after exhaling, imagine the breath current flows to the space above the abdomen and recombines. Inhaling, imagine the breath current flows through the skin of the abdomen into the abdomen. Next breath, the breath current flows to the other shoulder and leg. Continue for an even number of breaths – say 10 - then rest passively, observing the abdomen rise and fall with the breath. 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.