N.B. This Session Is Not For Those With High Blood Pressure or Other Reasons for Avoiding Inverted Poses - see Issues and Solutions Page.FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Stand with your back against a wall, feet together. Transfer your weight from one leg ono the other. Lift the knee as high and as close to your chest as you can, allowing a relaxed bend at your knee. Bend your elbows to bring the backs of your hands to the front of your shoulders. Exhaling, press your hands and foot forwards so your arms and leg straighten and aiming to keep your leg as high as you can. Inhaling, bend your knee and elbows, bringing the back of your hands to your shoulders and your knee as high & as close to your chest as you can. Repeat 2 to 5 more times. Lower your leg and arms and repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Stand in Tadasana, arms by your sides and one arm/shoulder against the wall. Make sure your feet are about hip-width apart, parallel and pointing forwards. Bend your knees. Let your neck relax so your head tilts forwards – try to let your neck completely relax and go floppy. Start to take this relaxation down the back of your trunk so your upper back rounds and your shoulders begin to roll forwards and down and your head lowers even further. Place your hands on the front of your thighs and maybe bend your knees a little more. Continue relaxing your back from the neck down so your trunk and head curl inward and downward and your hands slide down the front of your legs. Continue relaxing your back until all of your trunk and neck is relaxed and hanging from your hips. Place your hands as wide of your feet as the position of the wall allows. Transfer your weight into outer leg and then move your unweighted leg (the one beside the wall) 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 be fully relaxed. 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. Then lift the backwards leg as far as feels comfortable – hold for about 5 breaths before lowering the leg and bring back to beside the other leg. Uncurl slowly from the base of your spine upwards. Start by imagining that you have a big tail that you can pull between your legs to encourage the tailbone to point downwards, then lift the lower back to vertical, keeping the spine above the lower back relaxed. Then lift the upper back to vertical, keeping neck relaxed. Finally lift the head back to facing forwards. Turn so that the wall is on the other side of you and repeat to the other side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie in semi supine, toes touching a wall, buttocks a little over a foot length away from the wall. Place a rolled-up towel so your head and the spine between your shoulder blades rest on it – i.e. lower back not resting on towel roll. Lift your legs to rest your heels on the wall with legs straight and parallel. Rest your arms on the floor beside you with palms facing upwards. Inhaling, allow one foot to slide down the wall until the foot mostly rests on the floor with just the toes still on the floor. At the same time, swing your arms along the floor to as far away from your trunk as feels comfortable. Exhaling, reverse the movements, sliding the foot back up the wall and swinging arms back to your side. 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, stand or sit for some breathing or meditation. You could try the following as a breathing/meditation or relaxation practice. Imagine, as you inhale, a nurturing energy flows from the earth into one hip. In the pause after inhaling, the nurturing energy flows to the other hip. As you exhale, imagine the nurturing energy flows into the earth. In the pause after exhaling, the nurturing energy is replenished in the earth. In the next inhalation, the nurturing energy flows into the hip it has just come from – and so on. After an even number of breaths, pause with awareness resting on the sense of the earth under you. 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.