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Wall-supported Partial Shoulder-stands Session 2
Stand in Tadasana, back against a wall – back of buttocks, shoulders and head resting against the wall. Ideally, your heels will be fairly close to the wall, if not actually slightly touching – this is dependent on your body shape. Transfer your weight into one leg, and bring the knee of the other leg towards your chest (this knee bent). Lift the knee as close to your chest as you can – and use your hands to help you draw the knee a little closer towards your chest. Then transfer your hands to the top of the thigh (close to the knee) of the lifted leg and press the leg upwards into the resistance supplied by your hands – hold for 5 breaths and lower the leg. Repeat to the other side. Repeat once more to each side. As your stamina increases, you can hold the position for longer and then omit the repetitions.
Lie on your back with your buttocks as close to a wall as possible, rest your heels on the wall and have your legs very slightly bent. Allow your arms to rest on floor by your side. Press your heels against the wall so your pelvic girdle and knees lift and the soles of your feet come in contact with the wall while exhaling. And gently lower back down while inhaling – gradually, with each breath, press feet into wall a little more so your spine peels off the floor a little more each time. Take this movement as far as feels comfortable or until weight rests on shoulders (if weight feels like it is taken on the neck then you have taken the movement too far). After practising this movement for several breaths, rest with your buttocks on the floor and legs up the wall for a few more breaths.
Lie on your back, with a rolled-up towel placed so that it is perpendicular to your spine, going across your spine roughly where the bottom corners of your shoulder blades are. Have your legs straight, resting along the floor. Have your arms by your sides with palms face up, and then slide your arms along the floor to as far away from your sides as feels comfortable. Relax resting your awareness on the movements that occur with your breath and, in particular, dwell on the long slow exhalation, allowing this to lengthen. To release, bend your knees drawing your feet to your buttocks. Reverse the arm movements for getting into the pose and then bring your knees to your chest and roll over onto your side. Remove the towel and roll onto your back again.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try: bringing to mind each happy relationship from your life in turn and giving thanks (to the Universe) for each of them. Then pause, thinking in a general way, how lucky you are to be in relationship with all these people. Remember not to rush sitting up (and then standing) after practising relaxation as it causes one’s blood pressure to lower, which can cause dizziness if one moves too quickly.