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10-MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND PLANK POSE    (5)

Plank Pose Session 5
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit in a kneeling position with buttocks resting on your heels, or on some folded towels or blocks or on the floor between your heels. Use your hands to check your spine is long and vertical and adjust as appropriate. Bring the palms of your hands to the front of your shoulders, leaving elbows pointing downwards and against the side of your trunk. Inhaling, lift your arms sideways to shoulder level (fingers end up pointing inwards). Exhaling, push the backs of your wrists forwards until your arms are straight, pointing forwards at shoulder level and your fingers are pointing towards your chest. Inhaling, straighten your wrists and fingers to pointing forwards and then bend wrists so the palms end up facing forwards and fingers pointing outwards (sideways). Exhaling, return hands so with palms face the chest. Inhaling, bring the palms to the front of the shoulders (fingers pointing inwards), with elbows pointing sideways at shoulder-level (encourage chest to expand forwards as you do this). Exhaling, lower your elbows (sideways) to your trunk, with a sense of drawing your shoulder blades towards each other. Repeat 3 to 5 more times.

SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your front with forehead resting on the floor. Place hands on either side of your chest (about shoulder-width or less apart) with fingers pointing forwards (away from feet) and spread wide, middle fingers parallel with each other. The elbows should be off the floor and as close together as your hands are. Have your legs about hip-width apart and curl toes under. Draw your heels away from your head, so your legs become straight. Inhale. Exhaling, tone your abdomen so hips lift of the floor and your trunk and legs form one straight line, then, continuing to exhale, press through your hands so your arms become straight. Ideally, legs and trunk remain in one straight line throughout the straightening of the arms. Hold the position while inhaling. Exhaling & maintaining the tone in the abdomen, slowly lower the trunk back to the floor. Inhale, resting on the floor or, if you need to, take a few resting breaths. Repeat 3 to 8 times.

THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Roll over on to your back with legs in semi-supine. Straighten your arms along the floor at shoulder level, palms facing upwards. Bend elbows until the forearms point upwards. Exhaling, fold wrists and fingers downwards, then bend elbows to bring the backs of fingers against the front of shoulders, then lift elbows to point to the ceiling. Inhaling, lower elbows, return the forearm, hands and fingers to pointing upwards. Exhaling, press elbows downwards; inhaling, slowly release the pressing downwards of the elbows. Repeat 2 to 4 more times.

FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Either lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation, or sit for some breathing or meditation. You could try the following: Thank your bones, (of feet & legs, hands & arms, trunk, neck and head, all) for the internal support and strength they supply you with. 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.