Throughout this stage and the following stages, the right leg should not be bent: that is, the right knee should not be raised. Breathe in deeply.

Then breathe out while slowly leaning forwards and simultaneously sliding the hands along the top of the right leg stretching towards the right foot.

The aim is to bend forwards as far as comfortable; this will depend on the flexibility of your back.

You should adopt any one of the following positions depending on your capacity:

• If your back is very stiff, then you will only be able to touch the top of your calf. Grasp your leg at this point.

• If your back is more flexible, then you will be able to grasp your right ankle.

• If your back muscles are very supple, then you should be able to grasp the back of your right heel or toes. For tbe purposes of the asana, we prefer that you hold your toes as follows: grasp the big toe of the right foot with the index (second) and middle fingers, and the thumb of the left hand; the right hand should grasp the right foot just below the toes. If this is uncomfortable then you can grasp the back of the right heel with both hands. Don't strain under any circumstances; only bend forwards as far as the flexibility of your back will comfortably allow. At the end of the forward bend, try to touch the forehead on the right knee (only people who can do position 3 above will be able to do this). Then relax the whole body, especially the back.

Breathe normally a few times and then proceed to stage 3.

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The Chakra Checklist

The Chakra Checklist

The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the back to the top of the head. New Age practices frequently associate each chakra with a particular color.

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