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10- MIN YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND SUKHASANA (Sitting Cross-legged)    (4)

Sukhasana Session 4
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position (or another seated position that suits you) with sufficient padding under your buttocks to enable your spine to be vertical and long. Have a chair in front of you and facing you with the seat a distance away such that you can place your palms comfortably on the seat. Check the shape of your spine and adjust as appropriate. Place your palms on the chair seat about shoulder-width apart. Then bring your attention to your arms and apply arm spirals as follows: Imagine the top of the inward spiral starting at the top back of your arms (behind your shoulders); then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the sides of your arms from this point towards the pad of your index finger joints and feel this cause the pad of the index finger joints to be pressed downwards a little. Maintain the inward arm spirals while applying outward spirals for your arms as follows. First, imagine the top of the outward spirals at the top inside of your arms (i.e. in your armpits); then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the front and then the sides of your arms from this point towards the pad of your little finger joints and feel this causing the pad of the little finger joints to be pressed downwards a little. Have a sense of pressing the outside of your shoulders, arms and palms downwards (against the resistance provided by the seat of the chair) and also of your tail-bone sinking downwards. Hold for several breaths observing expansion and contraction occurring in your trunk especially that occurring in the side of the trunk. Release the downward pressing of the hands and arms slowly.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Check the shape of your spine and adjust as appropriate. Allow your arms to hang loosely by your sides. Exhaling, allow your trunk to bend sideways and place your hand on the ground (or a block or pile of books if it does not comfortably reach the ground), if it feels right, bend the arm to allow your trunk to bend a little further. Inhaling, lift the arm of the stretched side sideways allowing the arm to rotate about its axis as it lifts past shoulder level lift as far as feels comfortable. Then, while exhaling, lower the arm back down to the side again, allowing a rotation along the axis of the arm as it moves through shoulder level. Repeat this arm movement with the breath 2 to 4 more times aiming for slow gentle movements that synchronise with the breath. Inhaling, imagine the breath entering the squeezed side of your trunk and lift your trunk back to vertical. Repeat to the other side. Uncross your legs and straighten one leg at a time and then re-cross your legs the other way. Recheck the shape of your spine and if necessary adjust so that your spine is long and vertical.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Sit cross-legged (or in another comfortable sitting position). Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing upwards. Inhaling, swing one arm across your trunk and then up until the arm points upwards. Exhaling, lower the arm backwards to about shoulder level at the same time as rotating your trunk around the axis of the spine and turning your head to look along the length of the backwards pointing arm. Inhaling, lift the backwards pointing arm to point upwards and then, while exhaling, lower the arm, bringing it down across the front of your trunk and resting the back of the hand on the thigh. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each 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 try the following as a breathing exercise, either sitting or lying down. Rest your hands (on thighs or ground) with the palms facing upwards. Bring the tip of your thumb and the tip of your forefinger together. Allow and observe one inhalation and exhalation and then, in the pause before inhaling, transfer the tip of the thumb to the tip of your middle finger. After each exhalation transfer your thumb to the next finger, and then when you reach the little finger return the thumb back along the tips. Continue, moving the thumb tips along the finger tips, allowing, observing and enjoying your breath to flow however naturally happens, with your thumb movements being your only deliberate movement.