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Salabhasana Session 4
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position, feet on the floor, knees pointing to the ceiling. Rest your arms on the floor alongside the head position. Straighten one leg along the floor. Imagine an elongation along the back of this leg and out through the heel, and press the heel downwards. While exhaling, first squeeze the abdomen in towards the spine and then curl your head towards your feet (arms stay resting on the floor). Inhaling, first lower the head back down to the floor and then relax the abdomen. Repeat 2 to 3 more times. Then draw the heel of your straight leg back to your buttocks 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. Your legs and feet should be together with toes pointing away from you. (You can place a rolled-up towel under your ankles if that feels more comfortable). 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). Rest your arms on the floor alongside the head with hands about shoulder-width apart. 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 one side of your waist travelling in two directions – one downwards through one leg and out through the foot, the other upwards through the arm of the same 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 the side of the waist to and through the arm and leg. Exhaling, lower the arm and leg. Repeat to the other side. Repeat several times to each side and 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. Straighten arms upwards – each arm over the relevant shoulder joint. Straighten legs upwards – taking care to keep the heels above the hip joints. Exhaling, bend your knees to your chest and then take your knees over to one side and, at the same time, lower your arms sideways to the opposite side to your knees (head turning to the same side as your arms). Inhaling, bring your knees, arms and head back to centre and then straighten legs upwards. 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 focus to the base of your spine. Inhaling, move your awareness up your spine and, exhaling, return your awareness back to the base of your spine. Continue for several breaths. Then pause for a while with awareness resting at the base of the spine. 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.