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Plank Pose Session 1
Place one or two folded towels or yoga blocks and then sit on them (or sit directly on the floor) with knees in the crooked position soles of feet on the floor (as far from your buttocks as is comfortable) and knees pointing upwards. Place your hands on the front of your knees so that your fingers point towards each other, palms facing knees with trunk and arms curved and elbows pointing sideways. Take a few breaths to encourage your spine to elongate upwards and your shoulders to broaden. When you have got the shape of your trunk and neck established, transfer your hands to one knee and partially straighten the other leg by pushing the heel away from your buttocks along the floor, allowing the sole of the foot to lift off the floor. Slowly curl the toes of this foot inwards as though making a fist with the foot hold for a couple of breaths squeezing your foot as tight as you can. Then slowly open your foot, draw your toes towards your trunk, and spread your toes as wide as you can and hold for a couple of breaths. Repeat. Then draw your heel back to beside your other heel and repeat to the other side.
Move into the all fours position with knees under hips and elbows placed on the floor under your shoulders. Make sure your arms are parallel and pointing away from your knees. Spread your fingers wide and check the middle fingers of your hands are parallel. Straighten one leg backwards, place the toes on the floor and press down through the toes to help you straighten the other leg back and place those toes on the floor. Ideally, your feet will be about hip-width apart and your legs and trunk in one straight line. Press down through your toes, imagine your head fixed in space, and draw your heels backwards away from your head. Hold for 1 to 5 breaths with practice, you will find it easier to hold for longer. Bring the leg you first moved backwards to the starting position and then the other leg. After a pause, repeat with the other leg moving backwards first.
Lie in semi-supine that is on your back with legs in the crooked position. Place your palms on your abdomen with your arms in a loose curve. Keeping your arms in their current loose curve, rotate your arms about the axis of the upper arms to bring the backs of your hands to the floor. Exhaling, straighten one leg along the floor, and, at the same time, rotate the arm of the opposite side, bringing the palm to your abdomen. Inhaling, draw the heel back to the buttock and rotate the arm, returning the back of the hand to the floor. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 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 lie down to try the following as a relaxation or breathing exercise. Bring your awareness to your abdomen, feel the gentle rise of your abdomen as you inhale and the relaxed sinking of the abdomen while you inhale. Allow the abdomen to rise as you inhale, and linger over the feelings of your abdomen sinking as you exhale. As you exhale, imagine and feel your whole body sinking down onto the earth, and feel yourself supported by the earth. Enjoy feeling yourself supported by the earth. 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.