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Manipulating the stiff or upraised leg with your hands or placing undue pressure upon it to accelerate the regaining of its natural elasticity will slow the process and expose you to the possibility of unnecessarily straining a part of that leg. These are all natural positions for the body to be in, and it wants very much to be in them, for only then can it feel truly comfortable and relaxed. You have but to place your body in these postures as far as it can comfortably go and it will do all the rest by itself, in its own time stretching out and attaining the ultimate stage of relaxed elasticity.

Definitely employ these sitting postures when practicing any of the meditation—Raja Yoga—techniques and any of the physical techniques that require sitting. You should practice the HALF LOTUS as soon as you are limber enough to get into it. BENEFITS The practice of the HALF LOTUS posture will loosen your knee joints and ankles. The loosening of the knee joint comes about, to a great degree, through breaking down the excessive mineral deposits which have accumulated in that area. 50 | A Handbook of Yoga for Modern Living Once this process begins to take place, your blood begins to circulate more correctly through that joint.

This should take but an instant. Pull the abdominal region in and up as far as you can and then push it somewhat vigorously out again. Once you get the feel of the correct stance and of holding the breath out, you should notice in your own 63 64 | A Handbook of Yoga for Modern Living body the same great hollow indentation of the abdomen as in Figs. 67, 67A and 67B. When the air is blown out of the lungs in the manner instructed, a vacuum is formed in the visceral region by the bottom of the lungs.

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