My morning routine includes about 20 minutes of yoga stretches; if I don’t it takes me all morning to work out the stiffness in my arthritic joints. I’ve done this as a routine for so long that I had forgotten an important practice – breath. For some reason this week I pulled out some old DVRs of yoga programs. And found the important missing practice.
So this week I’ve focused on my breath – yoga style: stomach pushed out as I fill with air, pulling it all the way to the top of my lungs, then slowly blowing out from the top all the way down to my stomach. Whew! My stomach is so sore just from a few days of deep breathing.
Today I had my monthly massage from my highly skilled masseuse. The tension in my neck and shoulders had built up gradually, but I knew it was bad because my right arm had been tingling. She worked the whole hour just on my neck. Every time she found a knot, I took a deep breath and slowly released it, and usually the knot released also.
But I had serious tightness in my neck. It was work — I know her hands were tired, but it took work on my part to relax. She asked me if I had been bothered with headaches, but I had not. I used to have a lot of headaches, but then I retired! She said, “Oh, those headaches had names!”
Sometime ago, when I began writing my book (on grief), I made myself a sign for my desk, some reminders for when I sit down to the computer.
Light a candle, pray, set a timer and take breaks, and BREATHE.
To get the most benefit from deep breaths, you have to focus on the breath. Obviously, no matter how old I get, I must consciously remember to take deep breaths and focus. Otherwise, my body will remind me in not-so-gentle ways.
Today I am so thankful for
- a place nearby for great massages
- learning that I need a massage for the maintenance for good health
- our bodies, God’s creation that continues to amaze us