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10-MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND PLANK POSE    (3)

Plank Pose Session 3
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit in a comfortable crossed-legged position (e.g. easy pose) with sufficient support (yoga blocks, folded towels) under your buttocks for it to be easy to have your spine tall and vertical. Lift arms forwards until level with shoulders, palms facing downwards. Bend your wrists to move your palms to facing away from your trunk. Inhaling, swing your arms sideways to point sideways at shoulder level. Exhaling, bend your wrists the other way (palms end up facing inwards) and at the same time draw your shoulder blades towards each other. Inhaling, rotate your arms about the axis of your upper arms so that your fingers point forwards and then upwards – as you do this, allow your chest o expand forwards and your upper back to move into a back bend. Exhaling, rotate your arms about the axis of your upper arms to bring your fingers to pointing downwards and allow the backbend to release. Inhaling, bend your wrist to bring your palms to facing outwards. Exhaling, swing your arm at shoulder level to pointing forwards. Repeat 2 to 4 more times and then lower your arms.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Move into the all fours position with knees under hips, hands on the floor under your shoulders. Step your hands forwards one hand at a time. Spread fingers wide and check the middle fingers of your hands are parallel. Curl your toes under. As you lean your shoulders forwards, straighten your legs with a feeling of drawing your heels away from your crown. Ideally, your legs and trunk are in one straight line. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, with a feeling of length between the crown of your head and your heels. Release, bringing your knees back to the floor. If you feel like repeating, try doing so after bringing your hands just a very little closer towards your feet. Note: The amount one needs to step one’s hands forwards is very personal and depends on ratio between the trunk and limb length and flexibility in the wrists. Most people need to step their hands at least one hand length forwards – but some will find that they can do this practice without stepping their hands forwards at all.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit in a comfortable crossed-legged position (e.g. easy pose) with sufficient support (yoga blocks, folded towels) under your buttocks for it to be easy to have your spine tall and vertical. Place a pile of cushions or soft folded towels in front of you. Keeping your spine long and essentially straight, lean the trunk forwards (i.e. lean the pelvic girdle forwards) to place your palms on the padding just in front of your legs, fingers pointing forwards. Lift the heels of your hands (so just fingers against padding) and then move the trunk and arms forwards to take the backs of the hands to the padding. Gently move between these two positions several times, taking care to keep your trunk long and “straight”. Then lift trunk back to vertical.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Either lie down comfortably and practise a relaxation method of your choice, or sit for some breathing or meditation. You could try the following as a relaxation or breathing exercise. As you breathe in, imagine the oxygen in the air as a gift from the plants in the world around and as you breathe out, imagine the carbon-dioxide in your breath as a gift to the plants in the world around. Plants giving life (breath) to you; you giving life (breath) to plants. 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.