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Wall-supported Partial Shoulder-stands Session 3
Stand with your back leaning against a wall, feet about half a leg length away from the wall, about hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Bend your knees a little and encourage your tailbone towards the floor so your lower back lengthens as it flattens against the wall. Bend your knees as you let your trunk sink downwards against the wall until knees and hips are level and knees are over ankles (you may need to adjust the feet position a little so the knees are actually over the ankles). Without moving the trunk upwards, press down through heels, pad of big toe joint and outside edges of feet – feel your legs working strongly. Have straight arms, close to your sides with palms resting against the wall. Inhaling, rotate arms so backs of hands rest against the wall, and then (continuing to inhale) slide your arms against the wall to as far from your sides as feels comfortable. Exhaling, lower arms forwards, imagining them pressing through a viscous fluid (until palms rest against wall by your sides) and, at the same time, squeeze the abdomen inwards towards the spine. Repeat as many times as your leg stamina allows – probably between 2 and 10 breaths. Then press your feet down to straighten your legs and return to standing.
Lie on your back with buttocks as close to a wall as possible; rest heels on the wall with legs very slightly bent. Rest arms on floor by your side. Press heels against the wall so pelvic girdle and knees lift and soles of feet come in contact with the wall. Then gradually press your soles into the wall more and more, so that hips and knees lift and your spine gently un-peels off the floor. Take this movement as far as feels comfortable, or until weight rests on shoulders (if weight feels like it is taken onto neck then you have taken movement too far). Hold the position, feeling the pressing of the heels, pads of big toe joints and outside edges of feet into the wall and the way the spine hangs relaxed from the pelvic girdle. See if you can tune into the movement of the diaphragm and the inwards and sinking relaxation that occurs in the abdomen with each exhalation. After 5 to 10 breaths, gently lower your pelvic girdle down, and rest for at least a couple of breaths with legs straight and resting on the wall.
Roll up a towel and lie on it so the upper half of your spine and back of head rest on it – that is the bottom end of the towel is about level to the bottom corners of your shoulder blades. Have your legs straight and parallel along the floor and arms resting on the floor with palms facing upwards. Swing your arms along the floor to as far away from your sides as feels comfortable. Exhaling, lift your arms to vertical and then lower them to your sides at the same time as drawing one heel along the floor towards your buttocks (knee bending upwards). Exhaling, rotate arms so palms face upwards and then swing the arms along the floor as far away from your sides as feels comfortable, whilst, at the same time, straightening the leg along the floor to beside the other leg. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side and then return arms to your side. Remove the rolled-up towel from under you.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try : bring to mind someone who loves you and remember the different ways they make you feel loved. 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.