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SPLITS Session 5 Image
Stand sideways to a wall and place a hand on the wall to aid balance – allow the other arm to be relaxed by your side. Bend the knee of the leg closest to the wall, bringing the heel close to your buttock. Keeping this heel roughly at this height, slowly push the foot backwards so the leg straightens, aiming at the same time to keep the tailbone drawn downwards. Then slowly bend the knee, returning the heel to the buttock. Slowly lift the knee to as close to your chest as you can, and then, aiming to keep the foot as high as possible, slowly push the foot forwards so the leg straightens. Slowly allow the knee to bend and then lower until the heel is close to your buttock. Repeat moving the leg backwards and forwards like this 3 to 4 more times. Lower the foot to the floor. Repeat to the other side.

Kneel in the upright kneeling position on a thick square of folded blanket. In front of your knees, place a pile of folded towels, blankets and cushions (as convenient) – place the softer versions of your support on top. Move into all fours so thighs are against the pile of support. Bring one hand to beside the other hand and swing the leg around so that it is over the pile support – return the hand to under your shoulder, so the leg is now between your hands. Slowly inch your front foot forwards as far as you can, using the toes of your feet to help you with this. Slowly inch your back foot backwards, again using your toes to help you with this, until your front thigh rests on and is supported by the pile of support. Have your back foot so the toes are curled under and pointing forwards, and initially allow the knee to rest on the floor. Allow your weight to sink down into this support and then relax your trunk along your front leg, enjoying the feeling of relaxing and sinking downwards. From this position, draw the heel backwards, so the leg straightens without the hip lifting. Now, slowly press your two feet down into the floor, gradually increasing the pressing down until you can’t press down any more firmly without causing the hips to lift – hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Very gradually release the pressing down of your feet, and feel yourself sink more deeply onto the support of the floor and the pile under your thighs. Relax in this position for 3 to 5 breaths. To lift out of the position, bend the back knee taking it to the floor, slowly take the weight of your body into your arms, gradually lifting you hips slightly, and then move out by reversing the movements of entering the position. Repeat to the other side.

Lie on your back with legs straight, arms resting on the floor at shoulder level, palms facing upwards. Inhaling, draw one heel along the floor towards your buttock so your knee points up into the air and, at the same time, lift both arms to vertical. Exhaling, bring the knee to the chest and, at the same time, bring both hands to rest on the knee. Inhaling at the same time as lifting arms to vertical, return the foot to the floor. Exhaling, push the heel along the floor to straighten the leg and, at the same time, lower arms sideways to the floor at shoulder level. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 4 more times to each side. Then rotate your arms to bring both palms to facing upwards.

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 and try the following. Imagine a sheet of paper and some pens of different beautiful colours. Think about the word fluidity, and choose a colour that you feel best represents the word and then imagine writing the word fluidity in a beautiful script several times on the piece of paper, thinking about the meaning of the word as you do so. 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.