Body Sense

Summer 2013

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Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) Benefits: stretches muscles of the back, belly, calves, thighs, and shoulders; calms the nervous system. Cautions: be mindful if you have glaucoma or retinal problems, hiatal hernia, wrist or shoulder pain, or are menstruating. Downward Dog Next, get on all fours—hands and knees on the ground hip distance apart. Inhale and push up into downward dog. With hands and feet hip distance apart, push into your hands and, as you hide your heels behind your ankles, put your feet as close to the earth as possible. Continue breathing as you lift your hips to the ceiling, as if hanging over a clothesline. Once in the position, breathe deeply for several breaths. Standing Half Moon, Bikram style From there, step your right foot forward, followed by your left foot, and slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time until you are standing upright with your feet firmly grounded into the earth. Feeling your feet firmly grounded, raise your hands overhead, taking the wrinkles out of your neck and elongating your spine. Inhale, exhale, and side bend to the right. Once there, exhale and feel your side body open up as you press your foot into the earth to enhance the stretch. Inhaling through center, exhale and bend to the left. Return to your center and take one more deep breath in and out. You feel better, right? Now, let go of that harried morning, get on the table, and begin your S massage session fully present and centered. B Mary Beth Braun owns and is the chief massage therapist at One Body Therapeutic Massage in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is also a Certified Duke University Integrative Health Coach, RYT200 Yoga Instructor, and coauthor of Introduction to Massage Therapy (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007) with Stephanie Simonson. Contact her at Standing Half Moon, Bikram style (Ardha Chandrasana) Benefits: stretches and compresses the deep spinal and intercostal muscles, intervertebral ligaments, and discs; strengthens the muscles of the pelvis, rib cage, spine, and shoulders; allows for fuller breathing. Cautions: be mindful if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, low-back pain, spinal injuries, or have suffered from a stroke. Simple Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) Benefits: increases flexibility in the low back and spine, stimulates lymph flow and abdominal organs, opens the rib cage and lungs, calms the nervous system. Cautions: be mindful if you have disc disease, are pregnant, or have low-back pain. You may need to make some gentle modifications. Body Sense 3

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