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Lions Roar : May 2019
the stress of two surgeries. It made me happy to be reminded that something so easy was also so good for me. It nourishes and revives me, both mentally and physically. Savasana will also calm the brain, reduce fatigue, lower blood pressure, and relax your body. Lie down on your back on your bed or on the floor. Place a small pillow or folded blanket under your head and neck, but not under your shoulders. Your legs are straight, feet as wide apart as your hips. Position your arms about twelve inches out from your sides, palms up. You can also place a pillow or blanket on top of your thighs. Close your eyes and rest for five to ten minutes. If your legs are especially tired, do savasana with your calves up on a stack of two or three large pil- lows. Or you can lie on the floor with your lower legs and feet on the couch or a chair. This variation also helps invigorate stagnant lymph fluid. Grounding Touch In this exercise, you are using your own hands to weight your body, which helps reduce anxiety and create a sense of calmness and stability. Standing up or sitting in a chair, begin to gently rock side to side. Eventually let your weight settle firmly and evenly on your two feet. Place your right hand on your belly and left hand on the center of your chest. Tune in to the feeling of your breath, the sensation of warmth from your hand, and the strength and softness of your body. Take a few breaths between each of the following movements: place your right hand on your forehead, your left hand on your belly, then both hands on the center of your chest. Finally, place your palms together and rub them, making some heat. Cup your warm hands over your face and let their warmth melt the tension in your face, eyes, and jaw. Slide your hands down your face and all the way to the tops of your legs. Press gently on your thighs to enhance the downward-moving energy in the body called apana. Apana supports the immune system by promoting elimination of all that is not needed: physical waste, confusion, doubt, fear, or feeling lost. Loving-kindness Sit comfortably. Place your palms on the center of your chest. Close your eyes. Take a few moments to feel your natural breathing and the feeling of your hands on your body. Then say each of these expressions of loving- kindness toward yourself: May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I live with ease. After you recite each of these, notice what comes up in your mind. Whatever you notice is fine and interesting. This is another way of getting familiar with yourself, but it doesn’t mean every thought is true. If you get way off-track, repeat the phrase. After noticing what comes up, take a big breath in, and as you exhale, let go of that phrase. Go on to the next one. Gathering and Grounding Breath This is a way to get out of your head and into your body. You can also do this during a challenging con- versation or meeting or even while you are walking down the street. Sitting or standing, find an upright posture. Close your eyes and tune into the feeling of your natural breath coming in and out. Slowly begin to lengthen your inhalation and extend your exhalation, just a little bit at a time. When you breathe in, imagine all the scattered parts of your mind collecting together in one spot at the edge of your nostrils. As you exhale, let that soft ball of energy drop down into your body, giving you a feeling of earthiness and stability. Repeat slowly as many times as you like. Bedtime Foot Massage Sit on your bed with some oil or lotion nearby. My favorite is arnica oil with lavender, as the arnica helps heal bruises and tender spots, and the lav- ender helps you relax. Put a little oil in your hand LION’S ROAR | MAY 2019 40