Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

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96 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 1 Let's begin our chair yoga session with dirga pranayama—a yoga breathing exercise. This exercise takes our breath through the belly and rib cage to the upper chest. Dirga pranayama brings about a state of profound relaxation and serenity, preparing the mind to meditate. This can also be used at any time to calm the mind during times of stress and anxiety. DIRGA PRANAYAMA 1. Begin by sitting comfortably with your spine erect and your shoulders relaxed. 2. Place your left hand on your lower abdomen, a few inches below your belly button, and your right hand on the outer right edge of your rib cage. 3. Take a deep breath in through your nose and out again through your nose. Do this a few times. 4. With the next in-breath, focus on the natural rise of your belly, followed by the expansion of your rib cage. Breathe in and feel the belly expand, then the ribs. As you exhale, feel the contraction in your ribs and then your belly, feeling the navel pull inward. Do this a few more times. 5. Now bring your left hand up to rest on the center of your chest, just below your collarbone. As you inhale, fi ll your belly, then your rib cage, and now breathe all the way into your upper chest, feeling it rise slightly. 6. Reverse the fl ow as you exhale completely, beginning with the chest softening, ribs contracting, navel pulling inward. Continue breathing with your entire lung capacity, letting your breath fl ow smoothly without pausing. FORWARD FOLD, NECK ROLL, AND SHOULDER ROLL 1. Begin by reaching your hands to the sky. Now bring your hands down to the ground. Breathe deeply. If it's comfortable for you, wrap your arms around your shins. Completely relax your upper body, with your head and neck completely relaxed over your legs. Breathe. Let go and slowly roll up one vertebra at a time. 2. When you're at the top, roll your shoulders gently back, then forward. Now roll your neck gently out. Breathe deeply, slowly moving your head. Gently roll in the opposite direction. Let everything go. Breathe deeply. Come back to center. Sit up tall. PALM RUB OVER EYES/EARS AND BACK EXTENSION 1. Finish with an exercise to relax and rejuvenate the eyes and ears. Bring your palms together and quickly rub them to generate warmth. Release the hands and place the palms over your eyes, cupping them very gently. While your eyes remain closed, gently shift your gaze to the left and right. 2. Now rub your hands together and gently cup your palms over your ears. Breathe. Relax. 3. Take another deep breath and bring your palms to center. Taking a deep breath in, extend your arms into the air, extend your torso and your legs, elongate the body, and take in deep breaths. Slowly come back to center. Sit up tall. AHAM BRAHMASMI MEDITATION 1. For the next few minutes, gently introduce the mantra aham brahmasmi. This mantra means "my individuality is the totality of life." It reveals the truth that our real nature is always in relationship to everything in the universe. Love is the ultimate healer. Gently and quietly repeat to yourself "aham brahmasmi." 2. As you notice any disturbances in your environment or as your mind wanders, gently come back to the mantra aham brahmasmi. When you're ready, gently open your eyes. MEDITATE & MOVE Dirga Pranayama By Angie Parris-Raney, LMT SCAN AND WATCH "Guided Chair Yoga: A Return to the Memory of Wholeness" 1. Open your camera 2. Scan the code 3. Tap on notification 4. Watch!

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