you're not in class, you can still do yoga. You can practice the
union of body and mind anywhere anytime. Here are a few "how-to"
suggestions. You are welcome to call or email me if you would like
to know more.
When you wake up, allow yourself a few slow, deep breaths
before arising. Be aware of your breathing, noticing each in-breath
and each out-breath. In the shower, stand with your back to the
water as you breathe in and out, inhaling and exhaling as deeply
as you can.
While in the car, before you turn on the ignition, sit tall
and twist your torso to the right and left. Exhale as you twist,
inhale as you untwist. While driving, when you come to a red light
or stop sign, look on it as a reminder to breathe. Relax your face
At your desk, bend forward to touch your hands to the floor
and slowly straighten up. Hold the seat of your chair and gently
bend back, lifting the chest and chin toward the ceiling. Twist
your torso to the right and to the left. Rub your palms together
to make them warm, and then cover your eyes, feeling the heat from
your palms helping your eyes relax. You can also do this when you
are a passenger on a plane, train or car.
Standing in line at the grocery store, hold the cart handle
as you balance on one foot for as long as possible. Then balance
on the other foot. Practice slow, deep breathing.
When the phone rings, try not to pick it up on the first
ring. Look on it as a 'bell of mindfulness', reminding you to breathe
Before bed, lie on the floor resting your legs on the wall.
Your buttocks should be as close to the wall as possible. Focus
on your breathing, saying to yourself... "As I breathe in,
I know I am breathing in, as I breathe out, I know I am breathing
out." Bend your knees and roll to your side to come out of
quietly, simply observing your body, to see how the body is feeling.
Notice your breathing.
- Gently pat your thighs with both hands, then your belly, your
chest, your arms, and finally your shoulders.
- Bring your hands to your shoulders and make elbow circles, first
in one direction and then in the other, feeling your shoulders,
back and chest becoming looser and less tight.
- With your right hand, reach up over your head to your left ear
as you slowly draw your right ear to your right shoulder. Breathe
in and out five times as you hold this position. Then repeat on
the other side.
- Massage the back of the neck. Press your fingers into any knots
or tight places to relieve the tightness. You can use rubber balls
the size of a tennis ball (a raquet ball is ideal) or use golf balls
- Massage the area under the clavicles, working from the center
of the chest toward the arm pit to relieve tightness in the pectoral
(chest wall) muscles. Use the balls here, too, if you have them.
- Bring your fingertips to the place where upper and lower jaw meet
and make circles with your fingers, first in one direction, then
in the other. Try this with the mouth closed, and then do it again
with mouth open. Walk your fingers along the lower jaw, from the
ear toward the chin and back to the ear. Do the same along the upper
jaw, going from the ear to the just under the nose and back.
- Bring the fingertips to the temples, making circles with your
fingers, first in one direction, then in the other.
- Tap the face with the fingertips. Tap the scalp.
- Pretend that you are looking at the face of a large clock right
in front of you. Moving only your eyes, look up at 12, down at 6,
over to 3 and across to 9. Then look back up to 12 and follow the
clock numbers going in a clockwise direction (12, 1, 2, etc) back
to 12. Go counter clockwise (12, 11, 10, etc) back to 12. Now rub
your palms together until they are warm. Place the palms over the
eyes to cover them. Feel the heat from the palms spreading into
your eyes to help them relax.
- Remove the palms. Place them on the thighs. Breathe in and out
through the nose, noticing how your body feels, your breathing and
your state of mind.