Exercises and Tips to help you
Awareness & relaxation exercise
In a world where we are constantly on the go, most of us forget about the one thing that has to serve for around 80 years, our body.
Giving yourself 10 minutes of constructive rest can be a real boost to the system. It can feel like 8 hours sleep, allow the mind to clear, bring attention to areas that might be under to much stress or tension.
Find somewhere quiet and a chair, once seated just breathe: In through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
Shut your eyes
- Where does your in breath go?Are there areas where you feel tension?
- As you exhale, make it last a little longer.
- Give yourself a few breaths, this should have a calming affect and give you the time to focus on all areas.
- How tall or short do you feel, compression or length?
Once you feel ready make sure both feet are flat on the floor
- What do you notice about each leg,
- Do they feel the same?
- How do they rest – do they feel light or heavy?
- Lightly press into your feet
- How do your muscles and joints feel?
- Focus on your breath again – as you breathe in let your legs and muscles rest and as you breathe out gently push into your feet and feel that you are connecting through your ankle, knee and hip. In your mind, visualise standing with ease.
- Your legs are strong and the front of the hips open and free.
Bring some attention to your pelvis
- Can you find your sits bones, can you find your pubic bone?
- With long easy breaths can you rock between sitting bones and pubic bone.
- Notice how the spine reacts and feels. If it feels ok then as you rock slowly and gently back and forth move a little more, allow the reaction and wave of movement in the spine to go a little further.
- Notice how when you are on the sits bones, the spine tends to be longer, you are more upright, less slumped.
- Notice how if you allow it the breast bone, rib cage and head also come up, with very little effort.
- Now find both sits bones, can you sit evenly on them both as if you are pouring your upper body weight into the the tips of the bones, meet this with the connection of lightly pressing into your feet.
- Take a few long easy breaths, you want as little effort as possible, it should be more a focus, a visualisation.
Bring your focus to your shoulders and arms, you can let them drape, rest on arm of chair or on your knees
- How do they feel, tense, relaxed, tight, even?
- Think about breathing wide and deep into the rib cage, feel the ribs expand out to the sides.
- Do you notice anything happening in the neck or shoulders?
- If you feel tension in the neck, take a little more time to feel the expansion low in the rib cage, the shoulders should respond to the breath, widening and lifting just a touch.
- Can you breathe into rib cage to feel each rib expand out, right up into the armpit.
- If it is easy one side either take a little time to do a few more breaths or stretch the tight side by leaning away, reaching the arm up and take a breath or two.
- When you release try the expansion of each rib again.
- Take a moment to notice how your back and shoulders feel if you slump forward, notice what your normal is.
- There is nothing wrong with slouching as long as you can come out of it again with ease.
Find your sitting bones again
- Use the motion of rocking to find the length in the spine and the lift of the sternum,
- Allow the weight of the upper body to pour down into the sitting bones and meet this with the gentle push from the feet.
- Balance the head, if you allow the head to move forward slowly, can you feel it gets heavier?
- Take a moment or two to find the place that the head feels the lightest.
- You might feel other things happening, you are needing to work some muscles a little harder,
- Can you reduce this work to minimum whilst keeping the head as light as possible.
Take 10 long deep breaths. Add a count onto each in breath and two onto each out breath. Try to keep a connection from feet to pelvis to head at all times, but with each breath reduce the effort.
What things do you notice about your body and mind now?
“A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living” – Joseph H Pilates
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