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)
From upright kneeling, move one leg forwards so the foot rests on the floor, leg straight or nearly straight. Bend the front knee and ease the hips forwards until the front knee is over the front ankle. Keeping your spine long, lean your trunk forwards to place your hands on either side of your front foot. Let your hips sink down a little more if they will. Lift the back foot to curl the toes forwards and place them on the floor – the knee remains on the floor. Keeping your hips low (where they are), move your back heel backwards – the back leg will straighten and the knee will lift off the floor, but keep your focus on keeping hips low and heel moving backwards. Lift the arm of the forward leg to along side your trunk (straight with palm facing inwards). Exhaling, rotate the trunk/shoulders to face the side of the forward leg. Inhaling, unwind the trunk returning to facing downwards. Repeat 2 to 5 more times. Release by lowering the back knee, and then lifting trunk to upright. Move the hips backwards until the front leg is straight; then return the forward leg to beside the other leg. Repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From kneeling, bring one leg forwards to place the foot beside the knee of the other leg – you will need to lift your hips up and lower them to do this. Check your forward foot & the knee of the other leg are about hip-width apart sideways. Lean your trunk forwards to place your trunk against the inside of the thigh of your forward leg. Place your hands: one on the floor outside of the knee, the other outside the foot. Let your head be fully relaxed. Press down through the foot of the front leg so your hips lift as your front leg straightens – the back leg remains completely relaxed. When your front leg is nearly straight, curl the toes of the back leg under so they point forwards. Encourage your trunk, arms and neck to relax downwards. Imagine an elongation starts at the back of both legs, travels down the back of both legs and out through heels – feel this encourage your heels to move way from your hips. Press as firmly through your legs as is needed either to reach the point where, if the standing leg straightens further, the trunk will lose its contact with the thigh or the standing leg is completely straight. Maintaining this elongation along the length of the legs, lift the back leg up as high as feels comfortable. Hold for about 4 breaths. Lower the back leg until the toes are just touching the floor. Bring the knee of the backward leg to the floor and your buttock down to your heel. Slowly release the pressing down of the backward, leg and let your knees bend. Return to kneeling and repeat to the other side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From semi-supine, place a folded towel or a soft yoga block under your pelvic girdle. Straighten your legs along the floor with arms resting by your sides, palms facing downwards. Bend one knee, sliding the heel along the floor to your buttocks. Bring this knee to your chest and lift your arms to vertical. Exhaling, press the foot upwards (so the leg becomes vertical or angles closer to your chest than this) and, at the same time, press your hands/arms as though through a viscous fluid, bringing them to the floor by your sides. Inhaling, bend the knee back to your chest and, at the same time, lift your arms back to vertical. Repeat 2 to 5 more times on this side. Then lower the arms, return the foot to the floor and slide the foot away from the buttocks. Repeat to the other 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 meditation or relaxation practice. Imagine a large beautifully cut diamond, resting on soft velvet of rich deep colour and lit so it reflects a beautiful mix of colours. In turn, list your associations with this diamond and diamonds generally. For example, wealth, hardness, beauty, jewellery. … Then go through this list of associations, consider if the suggested qualities are things that you would like to be part of your life or indeed it they are things you would like to weed out of your life. 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.