FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Come into a version of Dandasana sitting with legs stretched in front of you, feet hip-width apart,
spine long, vertical and essentially straight. See previous sessions on Dandasana for guidance on how to achieve this position. Check your spine is vertical
and essentially straight using the backs of your hands - sit on blocks or folded towels if that helps you achieve the long back position. Make loose fists with
your hands and bring the knuckles together (palms facing upwards) just in front of your upper abdomen and have your elbows pointing sideways. Inhaling,
slowly lift and straighten the arms sideways so that wrists and elbows end up level with shoulders and hands (still in loose fists) curled inwards. As you inhale,
have a sense of your chest expanding sideways and, at the end of your inhalation, your wrists being drawn sideways away from your spine. Exhaling, curl your
hands inwards to their starting position, at the same time as squeezing the abdomen inwards you can allow some forwards curling of the spine as you do
this (provided this uncurls on the following inhalation). Continue for several breaths, enjoying the empowering quality of the slow inhale and the forceful
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From the position of the previous exercise, lift both arms sideways to shoulder level, palms facing
downwards. Keeping the hands at shoulder level bend the elbows (moving them downwards) encouraging your shoulders to sink and your chest to expand.
With straight fingers, draw the backs of your hands towards your forearms as much as you can. Keeping the backs of hands drawn towards the forearms,
push the heels of the hands away from the shoulders until your arms are straight and level with shoulders. Hold position for a couple of breaths, then rotate
the arms as a whole to point fingers backwards. Hold for couple of breaths, still with a sense of pushing heels of hands outwards / sideways and feeling the
openness of the chest and the beginning of backbend in the upper back. Then rotate your arms as a whole further round until fingers are pointing downwards
still keeping the sense of the heels of the hands pushing outwards / sideways. Hold for several breaths, feeling the chest expanded forwards and the work in
the upper back. If you wish, you can apply active abdominal breathing : wait for the exhalation to start and then consciously slowly squeeze the abdomen
inwards (to the spine) until you cant breath out any more, relax the abdominal squeeze and allow the breath to flow in however naturally happens (or,
inhaling, imagine elongation from the spine, through shoulders and arms to and through wrists). To release, rotate the arms to bring the fingers pointing
upwards, relax the wrists and lower the arms.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
From the position of the previous exercise, move arms into a loose curve so that hands are just in front of
abdomen, palms facing upwards, fingertips touching. Inhaling, rotate one arm about the axis of the upper arm so that the forearm swings to pointing sideways
and slightly backwards (shoulder remains facing forwards) with the palm remaining facing up so that, if there was liquid in it, not a drop would be spilt. And, at
the same time, turn the head to face the same side. Exhaling, rotate the arm about its upper axis to return the hand to being just in front of the upper abdomen
and return the head to facing forwards. Repeat to the other side. Repeat 2 to 4 more times to each side.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Either lie down for relaxation or practise breathing or contemplation in a sitting position. You could try
the following either as sitting contemplation practice or as a relaxation. Imagine that at the base of your trunk there is an energy ball and imagine that this energy
ball connects to all the energy in the Universe so that this energy ball is like an infinite well of energy energy available for you to draw on whenever you have
need or use for it. Remember not to rush sitting up and standing after practising relaxation as it causes the blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if
one moves too quickly.