Practice I: Padotthanasana (raised legs pose)
Stage I : Lie in the starting position with the palms flat on the floor.
Inhale and raise the right leg as high as is comfortable, keeping it straight and the foot relaxed.
The left leg should remain straight and in contact with the floor.
Hold the posture for 3 to 5 seconds while retaining the breath.
Exhale and slowly lower the leg to the floor.
This is one round.
Practise 10 rounds with the right leg and then 10 rounds with the left leg.
If the back is weak, the left leg can be bent so that the foot is flat on the floor and the knee is up.
Breathing: Inhale while raising the leg(s). Hold the posture and the breath. Exhale while lowering the leg(s).
Awareness: On the stretch in the legs and synchronizing the movement with the breath.
Contra-indications: Not to be performed by persons suffering from high blood pressure or serious back conditions such as sciatica and slipped disc.
Stage 2: This may be repeated raising both legs together, but do not strain. Be aware that this is a more strenuous practice. Do not lift the buttocks off the floor.
Breathing: Inhale in the starting position. Hold the breath in while raising the legs. Exhale while lowering the legs.
Awareness: On the stretch in the legs, the muscular effort in the back and abdomen, and synchronizing the movement with the breath.
Benefits: This asana strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the organs. It strengthens the digestive system, lower back, pelvic and perineal muscles and helps correct prolapse.
Practice note: Padotthanasana may be repeated raising the legs to progressive heights in each round.