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10-MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND PLANK POSE    (9)

Plank Pose Session 9
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit in easy pose (comfortable cross-legged position) with folded towels under your hips if that aids having your spine long and tall. Take the hand of the same side as your top leg under the bottom edge of that foot so fingers point up at the ceiling against the sole of the foot. Adjust this leg position so the knee is near the shoulder and points upwards, shin facing forwards, ankle near the hip. Reestablish a sense of having a long vertical spine. Inhaling, lift the ankle away from the hip - aiming for an upwards movement more than a forwards movement. It is fine for the leg not to straighten fully. Exhaling, return the ankle to close to the hip. Repeat 2 to 5 more times. Return the leg to the easy pose position. Swap your legs over and repeat the same number of times to this side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
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 that your middle fingers are parallel. Straighten one leg backwards and 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. Exhaling, lift one leg as a whole from the hip and, inhaling, return the foot to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. As you do this, aim to keep your hips level with the floor. Repeat 2 to 5 more times to each side. Bring the leg you first moved backwards (when moving into plank pose) to the starting position and then the other leg.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie in semi-supine and bring knees to your chest. Place one hand lightly on top of one knee. Place the back of the other hand on the shoulder (of the same side), with the elbow of this arm tucked in close to the trunk on the floor. For the leg of this side, keeping the knee close to the chest, move the shin to vertical, so the sole of the foot faces the ceiling. Exhaling, press upwards with the foot and hand so the arm and leg straighten upwards. (It is fine if the leg does not fully straighten but make sure the weight of the leg remains over the trunk). Inhaling, reurn the arm and leg to starting position. Repeat 2 to 4 more times. Repeat the same number of times to the other side.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
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. Imagine a magic blanket for facilitating relaxation. Imagine, as you wrap the blanket around yourself, that the blanket ensures your safety. Imagine a pattern motif or colour in the blanket to represent safety. Imagine that this blanket around you also ensures you will stay warm enough, and yet not too warm, as you relax. Imagine a pattern motif or colour in the blanket to represent warmth. Imagine the blanket gives you a feel of ease and comfort. Imagine a pattern motif or colour on the blanket to represent ease and comfort. Enjoy feeling wrapped in the safety, warmth and comfort of the blanket. When you are ready to leave relaxation, unwrap the blanket from around yourself and mentally put it somewhere for later use. 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.