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10-min YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND UTTIHITA TRIKONASANA-Iyengar style triangle pose (2)

Uttihita Trikonasana Session 2
Move into the all fours position with your knees under your hips and your elbows placed under your shoulders on the floor so forearms rest on floor. Make sure your arms are parallel and pointing away from your knees. Aim for a long and essentially straight spine. Press your lower legs and ‘top’ of feet into the floor sufficiently to being a sense of stability to the pelvic girdle position. Move the heel of one foot backwards (knee also moves backwards) so the leg straightens and then lift the leg until it is in a line with the trunk – back of leg is long with toes pointing downwards. Exhaling, swing the leg in the same plane as the trunk to one side and, inhaling, bring the leg back to centre. Exhaling, swing the leg in the same plane as the trunk to the other side and, inhaling, bring the leg back to centre. Take care to keep the pelvic girdle stable and level as you do these movements. Repeat this leg movement 2 to 3 more times and then return the knee to being beside the other knee. Repeat to the other side.
Stand in TADASANA. Step your feet wide apart – about leg-length apart or as far apart as feels comfortable. Start with your feet pointing forwards (feet parallel). Lift the toes of your right foot off the floor and pivot the right foot on its heel turning it to point sideways to the right and then lower the toes back to the floor. Lift the toes of the left foot and rotate the left leg around its axis (pivoting on the heel) to turn it inwards (by about 30º or as much as feels comfortable if that is less) and lower the foot to the floor. Engage your quadriceps femoris muscles by drawing your kneecaps upwards and tone your thighs generally – it is helpful to imagine that the thigh bone (femur) can suck the thigh muscles onto itself. Anchor the right leg: - imagine an inwards spiral elongating down the right leg from top back of right leg (behind your hips) moving down and round the sides, then front, of your leg to press the pad of your big toe down and, maintaining the inward leg spiral (i.e. by maintaining the pressing down of the big toe joint pad), imagine the outward spiral elongating down the right leg from the top of your inside leg moving down and round the front of your legs to press the pad of your little toe joint down. Now, keeping the right leg anchored in this way, first apply an inward spiral to left leg and then the outward spiral as described for the right leg. You will probably notice your pelvic girdle is not as close to facing forwards as when you turned the right leg out by lifting the heel and bringing inwards – but don’t worry as, with practice, it will come closer to facing forwards. Imagine your heels and the outside edges of your feet sinking (or pressing) down into the floor and engage your leg muscles as though trying to draw your feet towards each other against the resistance supplied by the floor. Inhaling, lift your arms forwards to shoulder level; exhaling, allow your shoulders to relax downwards; inhaling, swing your arms at shoulder-level to pointing sideways and, exhaling, lower sideways to sides as if pressing through viscous fluid and, at the same time, squeezing your abdomen inwards. Check your legs are still appropriately active – kneecaps drawn upwards, pads of big toe joints and outside edges of feet firmly pressing down and feet being drawn towards each other against the resistance supplied by the floor. If necessary, reactivate the legs. Repeat the arm movements with the breath – and recheck the legs are active. With practice, you will be able to do 3 or more sets of arm movements in a row without losing the needed awareness of the legs and feet to keep the legs active. Release by first releasing the sense of drawing the feet towards each other, then the leg spirals and then turn the feet to face forwards and step feet together. Repeat to the other side.
Lie on your back with your legs in the crooked position with your feet significantly wide of your hips. Rest backs of hands on the floor close to your side. Exhaling, lower one knee inwards towards the floor – if your leg touches the other one then restart with your feet starting slightly further apart. Inhaling, lift the leg back to pointing upwards. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try imagining prana / nurturing flowing up from the earth into the right hip and on into the lower abdomen when inhaling, and, exhaling, flowing to the left hip and back to the earth. Next breath, prana / nurturing up into left hip and into lower abdomen and then, exhaling, out through right hip – continue alternating direction of flow with each breath and, after a flowing out back to earth at the right hip, let your awareness rest in lower abdomen for a couple of breaths. Remember not to rush sitting up (and standing) after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.