Ardha halasana/half plough pose

Ardha halasana promotes a firm foundation in receptivity.

  1. Lay on your back with two or three even-sized blankets neatly folded (perhaps into quarters depending on size) to provide a level support big enough for shoulders and elbows to be supported with the arms stretched towards the pelvis. The shoulder are placed to the edge of one end of the lift with a gap of about three centimetres (about the width of the top of the shoulders) and the head rests on the floor (carpet is nice!).
  2. Place a suitable chair/bench/stool over your head (turned to the side, where there is an insufficient gap through the back for your legs).
  3. From lying on your back, swing your legs over onto the chair, pressing into your arms to assist.
  4. As your upper back softens, bring your legs as far onto the chair as possible, eventually supporting the main bulk of your thighs. Where there is a difficulty in getting up, start near a wall and push your feet into the wall walk up until sufficiently high to bring one leg at a time over.
  5. Let the mind quieten and increase awareness of any resistance in the pose, keeping an emotional positive attitude. Your hands lightly support your back or stretch behind your back, with fingers interlinked, away from the chair, towards the floor.
  6. Feel how your point of origin (how you feel) has in it your point of action or movement (natural, supported or intuitive movement), as the pose naturally undoes any resistance and you effortlessly draw into the spaces naturally arising within it.

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Beautiful Old Age

It ought to be lovely to be old to be full of the peace that comes of experience and wrinkled ripe fulfilment.

The wrinkled smile of completeness that follows a life lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies they would ripen like apples, and be scented like pippins in their old age.

Soothing, old people should be, like apples when one is tired of love. Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft stillness and satisfaction of autumn.

— DH Lawrence