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10-min YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND UTTIHITA TRIKONASANA-Iyengar style triangle pose (5)

Uttihita Trikonasana Session 5
Stand in TADASANA. Lift right foot and place on the floor on the outside of the left foot so the outer edges are touching, right leg in front of left. Start with your hands resting against your lower back, palms face backwards and the back of right hand resting against palm of left hand. Exhaling, rotate the trunk about its axis towards the right and at the same time lift the right arm backwards towards shoulder level and turn head to look along right arm. Inhaling , return head and trunk back to centre and the right hand to left hand. Repeat 1 to 2 more times. Uncross legs and 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 both feet pointing forwards. Turn the right foot to point sideways to the right. Turn the left foot inwards by about 30Ί or as much as feels comfortable (if that is less). Engage your quadriceps femoris muscles by drawing your kneecaps upwards and tone your thighs generally. Anchor the right leg by activating the hip rotators either by applying inward then outward spirals (see sessions 1 & 2) 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 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. Lift your arms sideways to shoulder level &, leaving the arms there, allow shoulders to relax. Rotate arms to bring the palms to facing forwards (fingers together) & imagine an elongation going from the spine (between your shoulders) through your shoulders, arms and out through your fingers. Apply inward arm spirals: 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 an imaginary surface (almost no actual forward movement of the pad of the finger joint). Maintaining the inward arm spirals, apply the outward arm spirals: imagine an elongation travels down a spiral which starts at the 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 (almost no actual downwards movement of the pad of the little finger joint). Exhaling, bend your trunk to the right, taking care to keep your legs and arms active – then hold your position for a few breaths (without resting your hands on any sort of support). At first you will need to use most of your conscious awareness on keeping your legs active, but with practice you will be able to also consciously keep your arms active (and thus your upper trunk open) – when this is established, you will be able to let your awareness rest on sensations and effects of the inhaling and exhaling. Lift out of the side bend by imagining the breath entering the squished side of the trunk. Relax & lower the arms and then release 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 bent legs, knees pointing upwards, soles of feet resting on floor. Gently press feet down to encourage lower back to relax down against floor. Bring one knee to chest. If your hamstrings are long enough to allow it, hold on to the big toe with the hand of the opposite side and straighten the leg upwards – otherwise loop a towel around the heel, hold this and then straighten leg in air. When the leg is straight, rest the free arm on the floor at shoulder level. Exhaling, draw the leg across to the opposite side and, inhaling, bring back to centre. Repeat 2 to 3 more times and then bend the knee back to centre and return the foot to the floor. Repeat to the other side.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try thanking the Universe (or God) for all the good things in your life – bring to mind the good, enjoyable aspects of your life – one thing or aspect after the other, taking time for each one to appreciate how good and beneficial that thing is for you, and then giving thanks for it before moving on to the next one . Then pause for a couple of breaths with your awareness resting at your centre. 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.