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. Place your hands in the prayer position with your palms together and fingers pointing upwards. Move your hands so that
your fingertips touch the bottom of your chin. Exhaling, tilt your head so that one ear moves towards your shoulder – as you do this, keep
your chin resting on your fingertips. Inhaling, lift your head back up to centre,
keeping your chin resting on your fingertips. Repeat to the other side. Repeat to each side 4 to 8 times.
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 make the legs very firm and stable so that they don’t move 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. Then, 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.
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 one’s
lower abdomen and imagine 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.
Hold the pose while inhaling naturally. Exhaling, lift your trunk back to centre by imagining a contraction between the hip and armpit of the
stretched side of your trunk. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 6 times to each side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Either leave your legs where they are or move your feet so that they are about
hip-width apart. Imagine that you have diagonal abdominal muscles that attach between the bottom of your ribs on one side and the hips
on the other side. Your arms stay at your sides, and your shoulders and arms remain relaxed. Inhaling, imagine an elongation travelling up
your spine. Exhaling, imagine that one set of diagonal abdominal muscles contract to bring opposite hip and rib closer together so that the
lower half of your trunk twists round to one side. Note that your hips should remain facing forwards – your legs and hips should not move.
The amount the trunk twists round is usually small. Inhaling, imagine an elongation travelling up your spine. Exhaling, allow
your trunk to unwind back to centre. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 6 times to each side.
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. Imagine that you are a very small, light, fluffy feather that is floating in the air current of the breath of a very
large divine being who is sitting quietly. Imagine that as the divine being inhales, the air currents around you flow upwards (towards the
divine being’s nostrils) and gently wafts you upwards. Imagine, as the divine being exhales, the air currents around you flow downwards
as you slowly and gently sink downwards. Allow the movements/rhythm to gently slow and lull you. Maybe you can marry the gentle up
and down movements with your own breath.
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.