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Plank Pose Session 10
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 - that is with soles of feet on the floor (as far from your buttocks as is comfortable) and knees pointing upwards. Place hands on the front of your knees so fingers point towards each other, palms face the knees and your trunk and arms are curved with 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, interlock your fingers with palms facing your chest. Lift your arms forwards and up until your palms are overhead and facing downwards. Exhaling, press the back of the hands upwards until your arms are as straight as feels comfortable. Inhaling, lower hands towards your head, bending elbows so they point out sideways. Rotate palms to face upwards. Exhaling, press palms upwards so your arms straighten and, inhaling, bring hands close to your head. Rotate your hands so palms face downwards. Repeat once or twice more. Lower arms and interlink your fingers the other way - then repeat the exercise with the fingers interlinked this way.
Lie on your front with forehead resting on the floor. Have legs about hip-width apart and curl toes under. Place hands on either side of chest (about shoulder-width or less apart), fingers pointing forwards (away from feet) and spread wide, with middle fingers parallel to each other. Elbows should be off the floor and as close together as your hands. Leaving knees on the floor as you exhale, tone the abdomen and press through the hands to lift your chest just an inch or two off the floor. Ideally, your upper legs and trunk are now in a straight line. Inhaling, imagine strings attached to your heels and that someone pulls on these string in the direction away from your head so your legs straighten. Exhaling, press hands downwards so your arms straighten. Inhaling, bend elbows, returning the chest to just an inch or two off the floor. Exhaling, slowly lower knees back to the floor, maintaining the tone in the abdomen. Inhaling & maintaining the tone in the abdomen, lower trunk back to the floor. Repeat 2 to 8 times.
Lie in semi-supine - that is on your back with legs in the crooked position. Place hands on tops of your shoulders, palms facing down and elbows on the floor out to the side at shoulder level. Exhaling, press the backs of your wrists upwards so your arms straighten upwards, becoming vertical. At the same time, straighten one leg along the floor. Inhaling, first lift your hands so they point upwards and then lower your arms sideways to the floor at shoulder level. At the same time, straighten the other leg along the floor. Exhaling, first lift arms to vertical and then bend the wrists to bring palms to facing downwards. At the same time, draw the first leg to be straightened back into the crooked-legged position. Inhaling, bring palms to the front of shoulders, bending the elbows sideways to the floor. At the same time, bring the other leg back to the crooked-legged position. Repeat, swapping which leg you move first. Repeat 2 to 4 more times.
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 thinking the word ‘friendliness’ as you exhale and imagine qualities of friendliness entering you as you inhale. 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.