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Salabhasana Session 3
Lie on the floor on your back with the soles of your feet on the floor so your knees point upwards. Move your feet to wide of your hips, then straighten one leg along the floor, keeping the leg pointing somewhat out to the side. Have a sense of pressing through the outside edge of both feet. Start with both arms resting by your sides with palms facing downwards. Inhaling, rotate the arm of the opposite side to the straight leg, and then swing it along the floor until pointing away from the bent knee (or as far as feels comfortable). Exhaling, lift the arm through the air and lower back to your side – as you lower the arm, imagine it is pressing through a viscous fluid (like treacle) and, at the same time, squeeze your abdomen in towards your spine. Repeat 2 or 3 more times. Then draw the heel of your straight leg towards your hips and repeat to the other side.
Roll over onto your front. Attempt to move your feet away from you (one at a time) to help ensure your body is long. Move your feet to wide of your hips and rest your arms in an overhead position wide of your shoulders – so your body is somewhat star-shaped. You should tuck your chin in towards your neck so that the back of your neck is long and your forehead is resting on the floor. (You can place a folded towel under your forehead if it makes the position more comfortable). Spend a little time sinking your hips firmly into the ground – it is very important that your hips stay firmly pressed into the ground throughout this exercise. While inhaling, imagine an elongation starting at your mid-back and travelling in two directions – one downwards through one leg and out through the foot, the other upwards through the arm of the opposite side and out through the hand. While exhaling, lift the leg and arm (as high as you can and as feels comfortable) that you have just imagined an elongation travelling through. Inhaling, again imagine the elongation travelling from mid-back to and through the arm and leg. Exhaling, lower your limbs. Repeat to the other side. Repeat several times to each side, then pause and check how your lower back feels.
Roll over on to your back. Bring your knees as close to your chest as you can without lifting your lower back off the floor. Place one hand on each knee. Inhaling, lift one hand from a knee, straighten upwards and lower to the floor over head; at the same time straighten the leg on the same side upwards (taking care to keep the heel above the hip). Exhaling, return the knee to your chest and, at the same time, lift the arm up and then return the hand to the knee. Repeat to the other side. Repeat several times to each side. Aim for slow even breaths.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try: Bring your awareness to your right foot, and, inhaling, move your awareness up your right leg to your pelvic girdle, then, exhaling, move your awareness down your left leg to your left foot. Next, inhale, moving your awareness up your left leg and then, exhaling, move your awareness down your right leg. Repeat this several times – then, starting with your awareness in both feet, move your awareness up through your legs, then trunk to crown of head while inhaling, and then down through your body back to your feet while exhaling for about 3 breaths. Then pause for a while, with awareness resting in the feet. Remember not to rush sitting up (and then standing) after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.