Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2012

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best practices BUSINESS SIDE | Q & ART | TABLE LESSONS | SAVVY SELF-CARE Daily Sun Salutation Build Endurance and Strength By Karina Braun Yoga is an excellent addition to a bodyworker's self-care regimen and is a wonderful cross-training resistance workout, offering endurance, flexibility, and strength. Postures in a yoga session use your body's weight and resistance to create balance, coordination, and core strength. As a bodyworker, you have to be mindful of your body in the present moment. When you practice yoga slowly and attentively, you gain body awareness. This not only makes your job easier, but also helps to prevent injuries. SUN SALUTATION The Sun Salutation, also known as surya namaskar in Sanskrit, is a series of yoga poses performed in succession that can warm and cool your body, improve muscle flexibility and spinal integrity, move energy in the body, oxygenate tissues, and strengthen the core. Sun Salutation sequences may vary among yoga traditions; however, the same fundamental poses are included. Postures included in a Sun Salutation are known as a vinyasa flow—a sequence of movements that flow in and out of each posture, with every movement coordinated with your breath. Following is an example of a Sun Salutation sequence (most poses can be modified for your level of comfort): 1. Standing Mountain Pose Stand with your feet hip-width apart and firmly grounded. Press your palms together in prayer position and take several deep, calming breaths. 2. Upward Salute Inhale and bring your arms out to the side, then up and over your head. 3. Standing Forward Bend Exhale, bend forward from the hips, and let your arms hang down. Bend your knees if you feel excess tension in your lower back or your hamstrings. 4. Lunge Position Exhale, then step back with your left foot. Place your fingertips and right heel on the ground to steady yourself. Make sure your right knee does not come forward past your right ankle. (You can modify this position by placing your left knee on the ground.) Once you're stable, raise your arms upward and strengthen your back leg. 5. Plank Pose Exhale and place both hands on the ground shoulder-width apart. Inhale and step your right foot back. Make sure your wrists are just slightly in front of the shoulder joints and the scapulae are depressed down the back for stability. Keep your legs long and your feet hip- distance apart. Lengthen back through your heels and create space in your spine. (Modify by placing your knees on the ground or coming onto your forearms.) Celebrate ABMP's 25th anniversary and you may win a refund on your membership. 39

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