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Wall-supported Partial Shoulder-stands Session 5
Stand facing a wall , toes slightly over a foot length away from the wall (too close and you will feel unstable in what follows, too far and you will have difficulty bringing your knees and hips to the wall). Have feet parallel to each other about hip-width apart. Lean forwards, bending knees to bring them and then the base of the front of your trunk against the wall – your heels will lift off the floor. Swing your arms round and up to place your palms on the wall with arms pointing upwards. Establish the feeling of the base of your trunk pressing firmly into the wall (tailbone points down and is drawn towards the wall as much as possible) – it is protective of the lower back to maintain this throughout the movement that follows. Inhaling, lift one arm upwards, and then backwards, allowing this movement to take your upper back into a back bend (head and neck stay in line with the upper back). As you do this, allow your other hand to slide down the wall, keeping shoulders square with the wall. Exhaling and sliding the hand on the wall up the wall, lift the trunk and arm back to vertical and then return hand to the wall. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side. Then slide your hands down the wall as you draw your heels back to the floor and allow your knees and hips to return to being over your ankles.
Lie on your back with buttocks as close to a wall as possible; rest heels on the wall and have legs very slightly bent. Let your arms rest on floor by your side, palms facing down. Press heels against the wall so your pelvic girdle and knees lift and the soles of your feet contact the wall. Press your soles into the wall so hips and knees lift and 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). Bend your elbows to bring forearms to point upwards and then bend your wrists so your palms face upwards. Press downwards through the shoulders and elbows as much as feels comfortable. Exhaling, straighten one leg to vertical and then lower it toward your head. Inhaling, lift the leg back to vertical and then, bending the knee, return the foot to the wall. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 to 6 more times with each leg. Gradually release the pressing down of the shoulders and elbows, and allow arms to relax; then gently lower your pelvic girdle down.
Lie on your back with legs in the crooked position – that is, feet on floor, knees pointing to the ceiling. Rest your arms on the floor at shoulder level. Inhaling, push one heel along the floor so the leg becomes straight and, at the same time, swing the arm on the side of the straight leg along the floor to point away from the straight leg. Exhaling, continue the direction of swing of the arm so it lifts across the head to on top of the other arm with head turning in the same direction. (Allow the shoulder of the moving arm to lift off the floor in this movement). Inhaling, swing the arm back to pointing away from feet and return head to facing upwards. Exhaling, draw heel to buttocks, returning leg to beside the other one and, at the same time, swing the arm to pointing sideways. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try imagining the smell of your favourite herb. 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.