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10-min YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND UTTIHITA TRIKONASANA-Iyengar style triangle pose (3)

Uttihita Trikonasana Session 3
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (1.5 minutes)
Stand in TADASANA. Lift one foot and place the toes on the floor in front and then swing the leg round (toes still touching the floor) until the leg crosses the other one, toes resting on the floor about a foot and a half away from the outside edge of the other foot. Start with your arms by your side, palms facing inwards. Inhaling, lift the arms sideways; at about shoulder-level rotate the arms along their axis to bring the palms to face upwards and continue lifting until they are pointing upwards or as far as feels comfortable. Exhaling, lower the arms sideways; at about shoulder level rotate the arms along their axis to bring the palms to face downwards and continue lowering until they are by your side. Repeat 3 to 6 times moving slowly and starting the arm movements when the breath starts, finishing when the breath finishes. Then return the foot to beside the inside of the other foot. Repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (3 minutes)
Stand in TADASANA. Step your feet wide apart – about leg length apart or as far as feels comfortable. Start with both feet pointing forwards. Lift the toes of your right foot off the floor and pivot the right foot on its heel it to point to the right, 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 the left foot inwards – by about 30Ί 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 may be helpful to imagine that the thigh bone (the femur) can suck the thigh muscles onto itself. Anchor the right leg by activating the hip rotators, either by applying inward then outward spirals (see previous sessions) or by pressing the pad of the big toe joint firmly downwards and maintaining this as you roll weight across the foot to press the outside edge of the foot also firmly downwards. Now, in a similar way, activate the left leg to draw the pelvic girdle closer to facing forwards. Imagine your heels and the outside edges of your feet 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 sideways to shoulder-level and, exhaling, imagine you are resting your hands on a solid surface (palms face down) and allow your shoulders to relax. Imagine an elongation going from the spine (between your shoulders) through your shoulders, arms and out through your fingers. Now you are going to activate arm muscles in a way that encourages the upper trunk to open and expand, and creates a feeling of space and freedom (of movement) between the rib-cage and the hips. First apply inward spirals for the arms: imagine an elongation travels down a spiral that starts at top of the top back of your arms (behind your shoulders) moves down and round the sides of your arms to the pad of your index finger joints, causing the pad of the index finger joints to be pressed into your imaginary surface (with almost no actual downward movement of the pad of the finger joint). Maintaining the inward arm spirals, apply outward spirals for your arms: imagine an elongation travels down a spiral which starts top inside of your arms (i.e. in your armpits), moves down and round the front and then the sides of your arms to pads of your little finger joints, causing the pads of the little finger joints to be pressed down against your imaginary surface (with almost no actual downwards movement of the pad of the little finger joint). Hold, for a few breaths with awareness, checking the legs and arms are staying active, and reactivating them as necessary – with practice this will need less of your conscious awareness, enabling you to allow your awareness to rest on the free movement of the upper abdomen with the breath. Release by first relaxing and lowering the arms and then 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.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (1.5 minutes)
Lie on your back with your legs together in the crooked position & then cross one leg over the other at the thighs. Bring your knees to your chest and rest your hands on your knees. Inhaling, lift your arms through the air to the floor overhead, and, exhaling, lift the arms through the air back to your knees, at the same time attempting to draw your knees closer to your chest – repeat 1 or 2 more times. Then return feet to floor and uncross legs. Repeat to the other side.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try: imagining a coloured triangle and letting your awareness travel round the sides, & corners of the triangle. 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.