Here are some YogaFit postures massage therapists can utilize in their self-care practice.
Chest expansion standing. Interlace hands behind back; lift rib cage upward and breath in, filling the lungs. Pull hands away from the body. The powerful pose opens the chest, pectorals and shoulders before and after a massage.
Knot poses. Lying face down, pull the right arm across the left side of body, and the left arm across the right side; arms should be right under the chest. Switch sides after 10 deep breaths. The opening pose creates space in the deltoids and scapula.
Camel pose. On the knees, reach hands back to the sitting muscles (gluteus). Squeeze tight and press forward; lift the chest and experience an incredible anti-aging backbend. Release after five deep breaths into a forward-fold child’s pose.
Abdominal exercises. All of our movements originate from the midsection. Making our center strong only enhances our massage technique. Lying on the back, with feet on the floor, interlace hands behind the head and slowly lift on the exhale. Release on the inhale, and like a wave let the strong, centered breath lift you up and down. Keep the abs contracted at all times.
Super person pose. Lying face down, lift the arms and legs off floor. Hold for five breaths and repeat five times. This back-strengthening pose creates good posture muscles.
Focused breathing and visualization. With the hands on the belly and the knees bent, place the feet on the floor. Inhale and exhale into the midsection. This simple exercise gives us time to visualize moving and breathing, staying calm and focused, uniting breath and movement.
Beth Shaw is a licensed massage therapist and the founder and president of YogaFit Training Systems Worldwide Inc. For more information, visit www.yogafit.com.