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Vrkasana Session 3
Stand in TADASANA. That is, with your feet parallel and hip-width apart and your spine long and vertical. Start with arms and shoulders relaxed. Inhaling, lift your heels off the floor as high as feels comfortable and stable. Exhaling, lower your heels back to the ground. Repeat 5 to 12 times moving slowly and aiming to just finish lifting your heels as the inhalation finishes and finish lowering the heels as the exhalation finishes.

Stand in tadasana – this time with your feet together. Lift one foot up and move it back so that just the toes are on the floor beside the ankle of the other leg and the knee is bent and pointing forwards. Rotate the bent leg (leaving the toes resting on the floor) so that the knee ends up pointing sideways and the sole of your foot rests against the ankle of the other leg. (Hint: if your balance is a little poor, then having your toes a little further away from the other foot increases the base of your posture and makes it a little more stable.) Bring your hands into the prayer position in front of your chest and let your gaze rest on a convenient spot in your line of sight. Bring your attention to your breath and passively watch the breath flow in and out for 5 or so breaths. Exit the pose by rotating your bent leg so the knee again points forwards and then lift the foot and place it back on the ground beside the other – then lower your arms to your sides. Repeat to the other side.

Stand in TADASANA. That is with your feet parallel and hip-width apart, your spine long and vertical, and with arms and shoulders relaxed. Swing one leg forwards and upwards slightly. Then lower the heel back to the floor just in front of the other foot with the top rotated upwards. Exhaling, rotate the leg along its axis inwards (i.e. so the toes point across in front of you – the actual movement is likely to be quite small) and, inhaling, rotate the leg along its axis to bring the toes back to pointing upwards. Repeat 3 to 6 more times. Lift the foot up and replace on the floor besides the other foot. Repeat to the other side.

Either sit to practise breathing or meditation or move into a comfortable position for practising a relaxation of your choice. You could try the following as a relaxation practice or as a meditation visualization: Imagine yourself as a tree with strong healthy roots spreading down into the earth. Imagine your roots branching into smaller and smaller roots to form fine rootlets connecting you deep and wide into the earth. Imagine or feel your roots drawing nutrients, nurturing from the earth – feel this nurturing flow up into the whole of your being. Feel and enjoy the whole of your self being nurtured by the earth. 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.