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Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana Session 1 Image
N.B. This Session Is Not For Those With High Blood Pressure or Other Reasons for Avoiding Inverted Poses   -  see Issues and Solutions Page.
From kneeling, bring one leg forwards to place the foot beside the knee of the other leg – you'll need to lift your hips up and lower them to do this. Check that the forward foot & the other knee are about hip-width apart sideways. Lean your trunk forwards to place it against the inside of the thigh of your forwards leg. Place hands on floor: one outside the knee, the other outside the foot. Let your head & neck relax fully. Lift your hips up and forwards enough to enable you to curl the toes of your back foot under (so toes now point forwards) and then lower your hips. During this movement, you may find the heel of the front foot lifts a little, but, ideally, it will return to the floor as you lower your hips. Inhaling, encourage your trunk, arms and neck to relax downwards. Exhaling, press down through the foot of the front leg so your hips lift, the heel of the back leg moves to the floor and your legs straighten. Your front leg only straightens to the point that the trunk will move away from your thigh if it straightens further (but not further than being straight). Inhaling, encourage your trunk, arms and neck to relax downwards. Exhaling, bring the knee of the backwards leg to the floor and your buttock down to your heel. Repeat 3 to 5 more times. Return to kneeling and repeat to the other side.
From kneeling, lean forwards to place hands on the floor in front of, and wide of, your knees. Push through your hands until your weight is in your feet instead of your hands – the heels will move closer to the floor but it isn't necessary for them to fully reach it. Move hands to place them either side of your feet – wrist roughly level with toes, fingers pointing forwards (it is OK if the heels of your hands don’t settle fully to the floor). Encourage your neck and trunk to relax as much as you can. Press down through your feet, taking your heels to the floor (wrists will also naturally move to the floor). As your legs straighten, encourage neck and trunk to stay fully relaxed so the trunk remains resting against your thighs. Straighten your legs by pressing feet downwards to the point that trunk will move away from your thighs if they straighten further (or, if this point never arises, until they are close to, but not quite, straight). Transfer your weight into one leg; then move your unweighted leg backwards and place the toes on the floor curled under so toes point forwards and the knee is a little bent. Press down through the standing leg, just to the point where the leg would straighten if you pressed down more. Encourage your neck and trunk to relax fully. Imagine an elongation travels down the back of the backwards leg and out through the heel, so the heel moves towards the floor and the leg straightens. There is no weight in this backwards leg. Hold for a few breaths. Then bring the leg forwards to beside the other one and transfer weight into it to practise to the other side. Then bend your knees, allowing heels to lift off the floor until your buttocks rest on your heels. Step your hands forwards to help you bring your knees to the floor in a controlled way. From here move into semi supine.
From semi-supine, place a folded towel (or a soft yoga block) under your pelvic girdle. Straighten your legs along the floor and have your arms resting by your sides, palms facing downwards. Inhale as you lift an arm up to vertical and, at the same time, bend the knee of the leg of the same side, sliding the heel along the floor to your buttock. Exhaling, return the arm to the floor by your side at the same time as bringing the knee to your chest. Inhaling, return the foot to the floor (knee still bent) at the same time as lifting the arm through the air to the floor beside your head. Exhaling, move the arm through the air to the floor by your side, at the same time as straightening the leg along the floor. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Either lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice or stand or sit for some breathing or meditation. You could try imagining you're a leaf open in sunlight – receiving sunlight energy, turning it into a form you can store for later use. 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.