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pose of the week…child – pindasana…

child’s pose – pindasana

Pindasana is a very good posture to do after a forward bend such as Duttanasana or Dog. It can also feel very good for your back after doing a back bend.

Benefits: Lengthens the spine and promotes relaxation in the body. Increases flexibility in the hips. Gives more space to the top of the ankles.

Contraindications: If you have knee problems, go into this posture very slowly and discontinue if you experience any discomfort. You could try placing  a cushion between the pelvis and the feet to lessen pressure on the knee joint. This might also be useful to do if you have varicose veins.

If it’s sore at the front of the ankles, place a rolled up blanket or towel underneath them.

Practice: Come into a kneeling position and gently fold the upper body forwards over the knees. You can either rest the forehead – on your folded forearms – a cushion or two – or on the floor  – if it feels comfortable.

The arms can rest infront of you or be placed alongside the body…

Give into gravity… Relax…Feel the back widening each time you breathe in. When you breathe out – the spine lengthens.

Rest in this posture as long as it feels good to be in…

When you feel ready to come out – walk your hands towards your knees to bring the upper body up and then lengthen the back of each leg out – toes on the ground, with the heel lengthening away.

pose of the week… angry cat – bidalasana…

BENEFITS: Increases flexibility of the spine. Tones and strengthens the abdominal and back muscles.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: If you have weak wrists or carpal tunnel syndrome, you might like to rest your forearms on some cushions or a low chair.  As with all poses of the week – if something doesn’t feel comfortable – don’t do it.

PRACTICE: Be on all fours making sure that the knees are directly underneath the hips and the hands are underneath the shoulders…. Spread the fingers wide with the thumbs reaching in towards each other. Take a moment to bring awareness to your breathing… The next time you breathe out imagine you are bringing your navel towards your spine and arch up. Then when you breathe in allow the belly to drop creating a downward arch. Be aware of keeping space at the back of the neck and not lifting the head too high.

Carry on arching up on the out breath and arching down on the in breath as long as it feels good for you to do…Finish on an upward arch breathing out….

Come to kneeling and rotate the wrists both ways. Then relax in Child’s posture for a few breaths…

pose of the week… curling forward bend – uttanasana

curling forward bend - uttanasana

BENEFITS: Increases flexibility in the hips, hamstrings and back. This posture is detoxifying as it massages the internal organs.  Can increase brain power due to extra blood supply to the head.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: If you have any back conditions, or your hamstrings are very tight, but it still feels good to do uttanasana, keep your knees bent throughout the posture and rest your hands on a chair or sideboard. As with all poses of the week, only practice if it feels comfortable…

PRACTICE: Stand in Tadasana – with your heels a little narrower than your hips and directly underneath your sitting bones – the outside edges of your feet parallel to each other.

Breathe in to prepare and then as you breathe out, gently bend your knees and let the head roll forwards and follow the head vertebra by vertebra, rolling down the spine and finally bending at the hips, until you are as far as you can comfortably go.

Don’t try to reach for the ground, just let the upper body give in to gravity and breathe…

If it still feels good, straighten one leg and then bend it again. Do the same with the other leg. Keep doing this a few more times and then if still at ease, straighten both legs.

Breathe and enjoy the lengthening of the whole of the back of the body. Stay here as long as it feels good.

When you are ready to come out, take a breath in as preparation, bend the knees and send the tailbone down, coming up vertebra, by vertebra.

Gently shake out the arms and legs.

You might now feel as though you want to go into child as a counter pose and have a little rest….