Bodywork that's more than skin deep

Massage therapy is just one part of a healing regimen. Yoga or daily stretching and breathing exercises are key elements in preventing injury, reducing stress and maintaining overall health. They extend the benefits of massage treatments! A balanced diet, exercise, plenty of water and laughter are also important aspects in a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Breathe Deeply to Meditate

I've been practicing Iyengar Yoga lately and have found that meditating deeply was more easily attainable. It may be due to the breathing that is used to help you focus on the asanas(postures). This series of breathing exercises is called Pranayama. Pranayama is sankrit word that means control (yama) of the lifeforce (prana). Breathing is a great tool to use for meditation practice.

A great meditative breathing exercise is to sit in cross-legged position (or lay comfortably in relaxation pose with a pillow under your head or under your knees) and close your eyes. Take a slow, relaxing, deep breath in through your nose and a slow, comfortable exhale out through your mouth. Do this for several breaths concentrating on your breathing. Try to make sure that you are inhaling your lungs and not breathing through your stomach. Your rib-cage should be expanding with your inhale. This breathing through your nose and mouth is called diaphramatic breathing. Pranayama breathing requires that you breath in through your nose and out through your nose and is also very relaxing. Either way is acceptable for meditative exercise.

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