Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2017

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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 59 Sphinx Begin by lying on your belly with your elbows on the floor stacked under your shoulders (Image 6). For less intensity, spread your legs beyond hip-width. Stack your bones, so that your skeletal frame is supporting your body weight, rather than over-relying on the soft tissue of your muscles and tendons. For more intensity, bring your legs closer together. Hug your elbows close to your rib cage and rest your forearms and palms on the floor. Feel your shoulders slide down and back as you lengthen your cervicals by tucking your chin slightly (retracting your mandible). Practice releasing any unnecessary tension in your face, jaw, back, gluteals, and feet. You may want to "wag your tail" (shake your bum side to side) to release any holding in the low-back or hip muscles. Hold for 90 seconds or up to 5 minutes. RECOMMIT We invite you to choose a daily self-care practice you can recommit to repeatedly (without criticism). This establishes a lifestyle that sustains, nourishes, and expands your capacity to give and receive more loving attention every day. In our experience, inventing a practice that incorporates a variety of movements will invite more possibilities, more ways to feel joy, more ways to connect, and more ways to experience your own wholeness. Practicing self-care creates a life where you feel more energized at the end of your day than at the beginning. Expand your loving attention and start choosing you now! Notes 1. Debra Bokur, "Move Your Body, Shape Your Mind: The Emotional Benefits of Exercise," Delicious Living, July 1, 2001. 2. Gay Hendricks, Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release, and Personal Mastery (Bantam, 1995); www.hendricks.com/breathingcoach. Heath and Nicole Reed are cofounders of Living Metta (living "loving kindness") and want everyone in the world to enjoy the experience of befriending their body. Nicole and Heath lead workshops and retreats throughout the United States and overseas, and have been team-teaching touch and movement therapy for 16 years. In addition to live trainings, Heath and Nicole offer massage therapy and self- care videos, DVDs, and online resources, which may be found at www.livingmetta.com. Check out the accompanying webinar to this article at the ABMP Education Center at www.abmp.com/ce. Note: If you are experiencing acute back pain, begin with the Yes Breath and Pelvic Clock (as demonstrated in our webinar "Healing Moves to Cultivate Loving Attention," available at www.abmp.com/ce), then progress mindfully to the Crocodile before proceeding to the Sphinx. Benefits: The Sphinx is a powerful remedy for chronic low-back pain. This back extension reverses the effects of ventral drag and can also open the structures of your anterior trunk. Practiced regularly, you will see your posture change and feel your low-back aches begin to dissipate. This pose is an antidote for excessive sitting, so share it with your clients when applicable. Practicing self- care creates a life where you feel more energized at the end of your day than at the beginning. 6

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