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10-MIN YOGA SESSION BASED AROUND A SUPINE SIDE BEND    (3) 

Supine Side Bends Session 3
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position – that is with soles of your feet against the mat (feet parallel and about hip-width apart) and your knees pointing up into the air. Have your arms either lying by your side or place your hands on your abdomen – whichever feels most comfortable. Straighten one leg along the floor – keeping the heel in contact with the floor as you do this. Activate the foot and leg (of the straight leg) as though you are standing – i.e. your toes should be pointing to the ceiling. Have a conscious feeling of pressing through your feet – the foot of the bent leg pressing down on your mat and the other foot pressing into an imaginary surface – pressing with your heels, pad of your big-toe joint and pad of your little-toe joint. Allowing the floor to take the weight of the straight leg, swing it out to the side as far as feels comfortable. Leave the leg there with toes pointing up to the ceiling and with a feeling of pressing through the foot to an imaginary surface. Wait for the exhalation to start and then slowly squeeze / contract your abdomen in towards your spine, continuing to increase the abdominal contraction until the exhalation finishes; then release the abdominal squeeze before allowing the inhalation to flow however naturally happens. Repeat this breath 2 to 3 more times. Slowly slide the straight leg back to bring it alongside the other leg and then draw the heel (along the floor) of the straight leg back to your buttocks until the leg is in the crooked position beside the other leg. Repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Leave your legs in the crooked position and bring your arms to your sides. Straighten one leg along the floor – keeping the heel in contact with the floor as you do this. Activate the foot and leg (of the straight leg) as though you are standing – i.e. your toes should be pointing to the ceiling. Have a conscious feeling of pressing through your feet – the foot of the bent leg pressing down on your mat and the other foot pressing into an imaginary surface – pressing with your heels and the pads of your big-toe joint and little-toe joint. Your hips and legs should not move in this exercise. Lift your head and move it sideways, and then lower it. Then lift your shoulders, move them sideways (same direction as the head), and lower. Continue moving your head and then your shoulders sideways until your trunk has as much of a sideways bend as is comfortable. Breathe slowly and deeply:- exhaling, slowly squeeze your abdomen in to your spine, release this squeeze and then, while inhaling, mentally direct the breath into the stretched side of the trunk. Hold for 5 breaths and then slowly move your trunk and head back to the central position in the same manner that you moved it sideways and then draw the heel (along the floor) of the straight leg back to your buttocks until the leg is in the crooked position alongside the other leg. Repeat to the other side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Straighten both legs along the floor and have your arms resting on the floor beside you with your palms facing upwards. Then cross one leg over the other. Inhaling, slide both arms on the floor towards the overhead position – take your arm as far as feels comfortable (if it reaches the overhead position, pointing way from your feet, that is great but is not necessary), allowing the weight of the arms to be supported by the floor throughout. Exhaling, slide /swing your arms on the floor back to the side of your trunk–allowing the weight of the arms to be supported by the floor throughout. Continue for 2 to 4 more breaths, enjoying slow movements and the gentle smooth flow of breath. Uncross your legs and then repeat with your legs crossed over the other way.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following relaxation practice: When inhaling, think the words “I breathe in wisdom” and, exhaling, think the words “I breathe out confusion”. 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.