Body Sense

Summer 2013

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Breath + Yoga = Calm Hurried? Try these simple exercises before your session By Mary Beth Braun It's one of those mornings. Your alarm didn't go off and you have a massage appointment in an hour. You quickly shower, get dressed, grab a protein bar, and dash to your car, only to realize your gas tank is nearly empty. Even so, you think you can make it to your appointment. On the way, you hit every red light and someone cuts you off just as you're trying to change lanes. Finally, you pull into a parking spot, tense and frustrated— clearly not in the right mind-set for your bodywork session. So, how can you collect and calm yourself enough to be fully present with only three minutes before your session? Breath and yoga. STEP 1. BREATH 2 Body Sense STEP 2. YOGA Once you enter the massage therapy room, it's typical for practitioners to give you a few minutes to undress and prepare for the session. Take this time to center and calm yourself. Start by channeling your yoga instructor and begin with breath (pranayama): inhaling to the count of three and exhaling to the count of six. Do this three times and move on to do a few yoga poses (asanas). You remember a few basic yoga poses from class, right? Try these three: simple seated twist, downward dog, and standing half moon. Simple Seated Twist Continuing to use your breath, sit on the floor in an easy, cross-legged pose and begin simple seated twist. Raise the crown of your head to the ceiling, elongating your neck and spine. Inhale and exhale, then twist to the left. Exhaling, move through center and repeat on the right, continuing to inhale and exhale.

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