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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 64 Supine Bent Leg Stretch Lying on your back, bend your right leg and hold your right foot with both hands. Keep your feet flexed and spread your toes as you activate all of the muscles in your leg. With your left leg straight and the muscles in both legs fully engaged, bend your right leg to a ninety-degree angle. Hold your shin steady as you move your right thigh and knee a little more to the right. This action will make it easier for you to move your right knee down toward the floor. Repeat with your left leg. Practice this pose twice on each side and notice how it feels easier each time. Eye of the Needle Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left leg, just below your left knee. Flex your feet and ankles and spread your toes as wide as you can. For safer and more effective hip open- ing without strain to the knees, hug your muscles strongly to your bones. Hold the back of your left thigh with both hands and draw your left leg toward your chest. Breathe slowly and steadily, releasing tension from your outer right hip with each exhalation. To deepen the intensity of this stretch, lengthen your spine and take your sitting bones downward toward the earth, creating a curve in your back. Repeat this stretch with your left ankle crossed over your right leg. Lunge Step forward with your right foot and keep your left knee on the ground, with your left toes tucked under. Firm the muscles of both legs and take deep, steady breaths as you lower your elbows one at a time to- ward the floor. Allow your front knee to bend as deeply as possible. If you feel stiff or restricted, you can create more ease by increasing the width between your feet. The stronger the muscular “hug” you can give to the bones in your legs and arms, the more hip-opening power you will experience. Stay in this position for several breaths, then switch sides. Repeat. JULY 58-65.indd 64 JULY 58-65.indd 64 4/25/08 11:42:20 AM 4/25/08 11:42:20 AM