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Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. Breathe in for six counts and out for six counts. Repeat this 10 times.

Do three medium-paced Sun Salutations. Do two more Sun Salutations that incorporate Virabhadrasana I and II (Warrior Pose I and II).

BALASANA (Child's Pose)

Begin this sequence with a quiet pose to create a calm ground of spacious awareness. Forward bends invite you to drop down into your bones, to let go and rest in appreciation for the support of Mother Earth. When you are able to relax in forward bends, the brain and the sensory organs get a rest. The abdominals get a massage, the hips and shoulders unwind, and the strong, often overused muscles of the back body begin to softly spread and relax.

Roll up a towel or a thin blanket and place it on the floor next to you. Sit on your shins with your knees together in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose). Press the heels of your hands down on the very top ofyour quadriceps, way up high on the leg, where the leg and hip create a crease. Now do an action similar to what cats do when they "knead dough." This pressing movement will soften your quadriceps, releasing these large, hard-working muscles down onto your femurs, or thighbones. Do this kneading action a few times, moving from the top of the thighs down to the knees and back up. This simple exercise also releases apana, the downward-moving energy of the body, which has an earthy, grounding effect. Notice if you experience any feelings of letting go, a sense of ahhhh.

Now place your rolled-up blanket at the very top ofyour thighs. Separate your knees about shoulder-distance. Use one hand to lift your abdominal muscles and flesh up, making space for the blanket to tuck right into the tops of your hips. Then hold on to the ends of the blanket, pulling them back as you exhale and fold over into Child's Pose.

If your head does not comfortably touch the ground, place a cushion or block underneath your forehead. Let your shoulders fall forward so your chest hollows and your back rounds. Stay here for several breaths, allowing yourself to settle. Observe your breath. Observe your mind. Let your thoughts come and go, like clouds passing across a big blue sky.

When you feel that the energies ofyour body, breath, and mind have gathered hjndj ,mj fee: included

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