Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2021

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96 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m a rc h /a p r i l 2 0 2 1 TECHNIQUE 1. Begin by sitting comfortably with your spine erect and your shoulders relaxed, and let your hands rest comfortably in your lap. With your mouth gently closed, take an inhalation through your nose that is slightly deeper than normal. Now gently constrict the muscles at the back of your throat and exhale through your nose. Keeping your throat muscles constricted, inhale and exhale through your nose. Repeat this pattern several times. Another way to master this type of breath is to exhale the sound "haaaaaa" with your mouth open. In the picture above, I have my hand in front of my mouth to feel the breath. Now, make this same sound with your mouth closed. This will give you the desired constriction of the throat muscles. To receive the full benefi ts of ujjayi pranayama, practice 5–10 full rounds each day. 2. Let's enjoy a seated twist. First cross your left leg over your right and use your right hand to hold onto your left knee. Extend your left arm in front of you and lift it up toward the sky. Exhale. Release it down to hold onto the base of your chair. Inhale, lengthen your body; exhale, turn to the left. Again, inhale and lengthen. Lift the crown of your head, and exhale and turn a little more. Turn your chin toward your left shoulder. Release and repeat on the other side. 3. Next, for the full-body extension, inhale and reach your arms over your head and extend your legs out in front of you. Lengthen, reach, and extend. Exhale, palms together, and come back to center. 4. For a wide-leg forward fold, exhale and forward fold between your legs. Slide your hands down and hold onto your ankles. Let your upper body relax completely. You can release your hands from your ankles and reach up to opposite elbows. Again, completely let go. Rocking back and forth can also feel good. MEDITATE & MOVE 5. After coming back to center, take a few moments to connect to your breath, feeling the natural rise of the breath and the beating of your heart. For the next couple of minutes, gently introduce the mantra "Om Hreem Namah." This mantra makes your mind and body more receptive to healing by opening consciousness to your own true nature. Gently and quietly repeat to yourself "Om Hreem Namah." When you're ready, slowly open your eyes. Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) pranayama is a gentle, rhythmic breath (in Sanskrit, oo means "to expand" and jai means "to be victorious" or "to gain mastery") that produces a pleasant, soothing sound—similar to that of ocean waves rolling in and out. It is a breathing technique that can both soothe and energize the mind, body, and spirit. It also releases pent-up feelings of irritation or frustration and creates a stabilizing infl uence on the cardio-respiratory system. This breathing exercise is practiced by breathing only through the nose and softly constricting the opening of the throat by tucking your chin in slightly to create a minor resistance of the passage of air. This provides a gentle rhythm for the mind to follow. Guided Chair Yoga with Ujjayi Breath BY ANGIE PARRIS¶RANEY, LMT ‚ ƒ „ Ž SCAN AND WATCH "Guided Chair Yoga with Ujjayi Breath"

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