FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Stand in TADASANA. That is with your feet parallel and hip-width apart, and your spine
long and vertical. Interlock your arms and raise your elbows to shoulder level. Inhaling, imagine your heels/feet sinking downwards and the crown of your head lifting. Exhaling, keep your hips facing forwards as you rotate arms and shoulders round to one side – your head rotating with your shoulders. (You may find that to keep your hips facing forwards it helps to imagine slightly moving your hips in the opposite direction to the arms/shoulders.) Inhaling, imagine your heels/feet sinking downwards and the crown of your head lifting.
Exhaling, rotate your arms and head back to facing forwards. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 6 times to each side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Move your feet sideways to about 2 - 3 feet apart. Again, aim to make your spine
long and vertical. For this exercise we want to make the legs very firm and stable so that they remain static while the upper body moves. Your feet should be parallel or slightly turned in – the more your feet are turned in, the more the sideways movement of the hips is restricted. Now imagine that the outside edge of
your feet can sink down into the ground – if you can maintain this sinking of the outside edge of your feet at the same time as pulling up
(contracting) along the outside of your legs then even better. Your legs should now feel firm and stable. Bring your attention to your lower
abdomen and create a “base support” by toning your lower abdomen – this will give support (and therefore protection to your lower back).
One way to do this is to think about the two creases in your lower abdomen and imagine that these are lines of a smile – then activate the smile
by drawing the smile inwards and the corners sideways – you can think of this as smiling at the world with your abdomen. Relax your arms and
shoulders. Inhaling, imagine your spine elongates upwards a bit more. Exhaling, slide one hand down the outside of one leg – your trunk should
stay in one plane, and your legs and hips should not move. Inhaling, imagine that the breath enters into the squeezed side of your trunk and, in
expanding this area, helps you lift your trunk back up to centre. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 4 to 8 times to each side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie down on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Relax. Exhaling, slowly turn your head to one side and, inhaling, slowly bring your head back to centre. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 5 to 10 times to each side. Aim for slow, languorous
movement in which the movement starts and finishes as the inhalation/exhalation starts and finishes.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice.
You could try the following approach. Bring your awareness to your left foot. Become aware of sensations in your left foot. Feel the touch
sensations of your left foot. Feel the skin temperature of your left foot. Feel the air temperature around the skin of your left foot. Feel the heat of your
left foot radiate into the space/air around your foot. Feel the shape of your left foot. Feel the size of your left foot. Repeat this sequence for your
right foot. Let this sense of feeling or energy spread from your feet into and up your legs and then to spread throughout the rest of your body.
(Note that if you are short on time you can focus on both feet at the same time – although that does make it a harder exercise.)
Remember not to rush sitting up (and then standing) after practising relaxation as this causes blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness
if one moves too quickly.