June 12, 2013

Cool off this summer with Sitali – the Cooling Breath

Posted in Breathwork at 3:42 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

What’s better in the heat of summer than always having a quick, easy way to cool off? The yoga breath of Sitali – or the cooling breath – can help you cool down your body and feel more comfortable in just a few minutes.

To practice Sitali – the Yoga Cooling Breath:

1.  Begin in a comfortable sitting position with the spine long.

2.  Inhale through the mouth – forming an ‘o’ shape with the mouth and curling the tongue, if possible. Use the curled tongue like a straw, sipping the air inward for a count of 4.

3.  Close the mouth, exhale through the nostrils for a count of 6.

4.  Repeat 5-20 times, as long as it takes to notice a cooling sensation through the body.

5.  End this breath practice by reclining in corpse pose (savasana) for 3-5 minutes.  For added cooling, place a cool, moist cloth across the eyes.

If you’re a visual learner, here’s a video demonstrating Sitali:

The next time you get overheated, try the Cooling Breath – Sitali; not only will you feel cooler physically, but also calmer emotionally.  Sitali is a handy tool to have to beat the summer heat.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

Advertisements

December 12, 2012

Neck & Shoulders sore? Upper body achy?

Posted in Anatomy, Back, Breathwork, Living Vibrantly, Neck/Shoulders, Yoga at 3:55 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Try this quick remedy for chronic neck & shoulder postural strain:

Chest_Op

The yoga pose commonly called “Chest Opener” is a great way to relieve the strain and stress of poor upper body posture. If you spend all day in front of a computer, driving, sitting at a desk; the chances are high that at times you end up with tension, soreness, maybe even pain, in your neck, shoulders and upper back. The Chest Opener is a quick and easy way to undo much of that stress in the upper body.

  • Start by standing with feet a hips-width apart.
  • Clasp your hands behind your back, interlacing the fingers.
  • Straighten the elbows and begin to lift the hands away from your hips.
  • Take care to keep your spine straight and your head reaching up.
  • Once you’ve found a stretch in your shoulders, hold in that position for 5 full, deep breaths.
  • Release.

This Chest Opener pose stretches out the pecs and the deltoids, opens up the upper intercostals and tones the rhomboids; all of which are essential muscular positions for maintaining good posture.

For best results, do this stretch 3-4 times per day; it works especially well at the end of the day and at the end of any long stretches of work in front of the computer or steering wheel.

Simply adding a bit more stretching and a few more deep breaths into your daily life can make all the difference between feeling hunched over, stressed and achy; or feeling spacious, vibrant and healthy!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

October 25, 2012

The 5 Minute Retreat!

Posted in Breathwork, Choices, Living Vibrantly at 7:25 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

When we hear the word  retreat, images of an army reversing from an oncoming challenge, or perhaps a week-long luxurious trip to a tropical island to unplug from the world come to mind.  But retreat is something that should be practiced daily to help manage the stress of life.

Retreat is defined: (v) Withdrawing from that which is difficult, dangerous or disagreeable. (n) A place of refuge or safety.

Daily life serves us up many events, people, activities, images and sounds that could be defined as difficult, dangerous or disagreeable.  Most days we have multiple incidents of interacting with these stressful things.  So it makes perfect sense that from time to time we all need a mini retreat; just a few minutes away to feel safe, feel a sense of refuge, to withdraw from the difficult, dangerous and disagreeable parts of life.

Here’s a quick 5 step process for a 5 Minute Retreat  you can do nearly anywhere, nearly anytime.

1.   Sit.  Find a quiet spot where you can sit upright.  Sit down. Balance yourself on your sitting bones. Close your eyes.

2.  Breathe.  Start to deepen your breath; breathe into your belly.  Feel your diaphragm expand and contract your ribs.  Feel your body relax just a little bit more with each exhalation.

3.  Visualize.  Acknowledge the event, person, activity or image that was disagreeable, difficult or dangerous.  Don’t shy away from the image, just see it.  Then slowly watch it recede from you, growing smaller, fuzzier, less powerful. Visualize the offender completely vanishing.

4.  Compose.  Regain your confidence and composure; lengthen your spine, widen across the collar bones, reach up with the crown of your head. Let your body’s posture lead you into regaining your inner strength and composure.

5.   Welcome.  In the space vacated by the receding stressor; in your mind’s eye imagine an event, person, action or image you’d like to fill that space. Fully image this new thing; how does it look, sound, feel?  How does this new event, person, action or image seem to you, make you feel, interact with you?  Spend several minutes fully imaging the replacement while continuing to breathe deeply and finding spaciousness & composure in your body.

Slowly open your eyes, stretch your body a bit; then get up and rejoin your daily life having found the benefits of ‘retreat’ in a simple 5 minute exercise that will allow you to be happier, more peaceful and more effective for the rest of your day.

Give yourself the gift of a 5 Minute Retreat regularly, and perhaps over time, many of those difficult, dangerous and disagreeable episodes will lose their power to interrupt your life.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

June 20, 2012

BodyWisdom Spain 2012

Posted in Anatomy, Breathwork, Energy Work, Ergonomics, Living Vibrantly, Uncategorized at 6:55 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

This June I had the good fortune of attending a truly transformative professional conference: Body Wisdom Spain 2012. Focused on integrative medicine, specifically the integration of bodywork, movement and medicine; the Body Wisdom conference featured leading experts and teachers from around the globe. Over the next several months, I’ll flesh out information on some of the most interesting topics and innovative ideas presented at the conference. But for now, here are my big take-aways:

  • Fascia is a completely under-understood part of the physical body, probably responsible for many of our ailments.  In the last 5 years, fascial research has gotten the attention of the mainstream medical community and is finally receiving the research dollars.  Look for new treatments for fascia and fascial ailments  in the near future.
  • Took a Fascial Fitness class – great helpful ideas for myself, my clients and students
  • Genotype testing is being used before prescribing medications to determine if the patient’s genome type will even respond to the medication.  Use is much more frequent in countries other than the United States.
  • Great success for healing body pains with ozone/oxygen injections and radio frequency treatments
  • Practiced the yoga of Vanda Scaravelli – in 2 classes and a workshop, studied this gentle, transformative style of yoga emphasizing movement of and from the spine
  • Watched, and listened to the creator of, the most influential video about movement in the human body I’ve ever seen.  This video has legions of fans the world over; is used frequently in yoga and massage training schools.  I want everyone to watch it:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l_4OW_Ir7M
  • “Without rhythm, there is no life.” – Jon Roar Bjorkvald-

So in the weeks and months ahead, look for more detailed writings on many of the topics above.  It was a completely inspirational experience to be surrounded by so many leading thinkers, healers and teachers in the area of integrating movement, bodywork and medicine; it is hopeful to watch the healing community move towards an ever increasingly holistic model for practice.  Yet, I can’t help but think that as western healing strives to return to the holistic, integrated health care, healing, movement, massage roots; eastern medicine has never left that holistic view.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master who’s  healing background is from the eastern modalities.  Schedule your session now: 727-641-6941 or Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com

April 23, 2012

Just Breathe!

Posted in Breathwork, Living Vibrantly at 3:15 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Nearly everyone alive could benefit from breathing more deeply more often. You don’t have to engage in a complex practice of yoga pranayama or buy any special equipment; all you need is a willingness to slow down and feel better. Here’s a great article from the folks over at Live Strong, it outlines a simple way to breathe deeply for maximum benefit:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/92264-benefits-deep-breathing/

So release some endorphins, give yourself a natural boost, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your core muscles and release toxins; just sit down and breathe deeply for a moment!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

March 27, 2012

Easy Cleanse for Your Lymph System

Posted in Anatomy, Breathwork, Choices, Living Vibrantly at 8:10 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

The often-forgotten, vastly under-publicized lymph system is basically the main cleaner of our internal systems.  Comprised of a series of vessels and valves;  but unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymph system lacks a heart or pump to move the lymph fluid through the body.  So it is essential for each us to engage in the activities necessary to move the lymph through the body.  A healthy and free-flowing lymph system fights illness and diseases, removes waste from the body and helps ensure proper fluid balance.

Luckily, keeping the lymph system cleansed and healthy is simple – not always easy, but simple.  Walking vigorously for  20-30 minute will do the trick.  Read this great article:  http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/what%E2%80%99s-best-way-cleanse-lymphatic-system

To optimize your lymph system function, here are the 5 steps:

1.   Drink plenty of water (1/2 oz. per pound of body weight daily)

2.  Dry brush your body before showering.  Use even, light strokes starting at the extremities and moving toward the heart.

3.  Avoid eating within 3-4 hours of bedtime

4.  Breathe – spend at least 5 minutes daily focusing on deep breathing

5.   Walk – vigorously 20-30 minutes per day

Help optimize all your body systems by keeping your lymph system clean; hopefully you’ll experience fewer illnesses, greater vitality and better overall health.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

February 27, 2012

You Need Neti

Posted in Breathwork, Choices, Living Vibrantly at 4:50 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Have a nose?  You need Neti!

Spring allergy season is here! Sniffling, sneezing, congestion, coughing – all brought to you by the fabulous spring pollen. Right now in Florida with the azaleas in bloom, the oak pollen starting to fall; it seems that everyone you meet has red eyes and a drippy nose.

If you’re looking for some easy, low-tech ways to feel better when besieged by allergies, colds or congestion; try a neti pot.  You can buy one at your local health food store or drug store; and you’ll find it becomes an essential part of your medicine chest.

Here’s an article from the New York Times outlining the benefits to sufferers of colds, sinusitis and allergies:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/03/fashion/03skin.html

I’ve been using a neti pot for years.  I used to suffer with chronic sinusitis; but with the help of the neti pot (among other lifestyle changes) haven’t had a flare up in at least 6 years.  Every time I feel some congestion building or a cold starting; I use the neti pot for a few days consecutively; usually the symptoms subside and I don’t get sick.

During allergy season, I use the neti pot nearly every day; and it, along with nettles, local raw honey and a clean diet have helped me have very few allergy symptoms this year.

If you haven’t looked into a neti pot and struggle with allergies, sometimes get colds or just have general nasal congestion; buy one, try it out and enjoy breathing free!

Suzanne Andrew is  a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and general zealot about living vibrantly.  Contact her directly at 727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

January 7, 2012

Easy Ways Anyone Can Detox

Posted in Breathwork, Choices, Clean Start 2012, Living Vibrantly, Uncategorized at 1:56 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

It’s no secret we’re living in a toxic world; further exacerbated by our eating, lifestyle, thought and emotional choices. Regular detoxification is a necessary part of good health. Here’s a list of 4 simple ways to detox easily and healthfully:

http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp_513323/4_Simple_Detox_Tips_For_The_New_Year

From my personal observations; most of us need to focus most on tip number 4…..exhale….ahhhhhhhh!!

Suzanne Andrew is  a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and general zealot about living vibrantly.  Contact her directly at 727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

May 13, 2011

3 Minute Stress Break! (without leaving your desk)

Posted in Anatomy, Breathwork, Choices, Ergonomics, Living Vibrantly, Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga at 4:18 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Having one of those days where you feel like you can’t even get away from your desk for a 5 minute walk in the fresh air?  

Give your body a break; recharge and refresh a bit by doing this simple 3 minute stretching routine.

1.   Deep Relaxing Breath – drop your arms along your sides, sit squarely in your chair away from the seat back, reach up with the top of your head and take 5 deep belly breaths.

2.  Side Bends – remaining in place, when you inhale reach the left hand up over your head and bend gently to the right. Exhale and return your hand by these side.  Repeat with the right hand.   Bend to each side 5 times – taking care to use a lengthening bend to each side.

3.  Twists – starting by facing forward. Inhale reach the spine up with the top of your head. Exhale twist to the left by moving the right hand to the outside of the left leg, the left hand to the top or back of  your chair.  Inhale to release to center position, then exhale repeating twisting to the right.  Twist with the breath 5 times in each direction.

4.  Back bend – standing straight up, balanced weight over both feet.  Clasp your hands behind the back, gently pull your fist down and away from your hips moving yourself into a back bend.  Stay in this back bend for 5 breaths.

5.  Forward bend – hands still clasped behind your back, return to an upright position, then slowly bring the torso forward over the legs into a forward bend.  Arms will continue to move away from the hips.

6.  Neck stretches – in an upright standing position, drop the left ear to the left shoulder, hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on right side. End with a very slow, supported head circle.

That’s it!  Simple easy 6 postures, 3 minutes and just the break your body needs on those days filled with too much desk, meeting or computer work.  Repeat this sequence every hour, and you may experience fewer aches, pains and stuck spots in your body.

 Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Wellness Coach and Consultant.  Contact her directly to design the perfect session or program to help you live more vibrantly in your body. SuzanneMAndrew@gmail.com or 727-641-6941.

August 18, 2010

Quick Tension Headache Fix

Posted in Anatomy, Breathwork, Choices, Ergonomics, Living Vibrantly, Neck/Shoulders at 11:43 am by SuzanneMAndrew

You know those moments; the boss drops a last-minute project off on your desk that needs to be done at the same time you’re supposed to be meeting with your rambunctious son’s school teacher to discuss his behavior problems, your in-laws are coming to stay for a week, you get a flat tire and your largest customer calls to complain. As soon as you stop to notice it, you recognize that feeling of tension creeping from your shoulders, up your neck, ready to turn into a full-blown tension headache at any moment.

Stop! You can do a 2 minute, quick-fix anytime, anywhere to relieve tension and hopefully prevent that headache from taking hold.

1.  Sit down, straighten out your spine and take a few deep breaths.
2.  Interlace your hands on the back of your skull, pads of the thumbs resting on the ridge where your skull meets the neck.
3.  Squeeze your hands together 3 times, gently pulling on the back of the head.
4.  Rub the base of the palms in big circles (keeping fingers interlaced) 3 times clockwise, then 3 counterclockwise.
5.  Press the thumbs into the canyon between the edge of your skull and the neck muscles. Move from the center of the skull on the spine out towards the ears, making circles the whole way. Then circle back to the center of the skull.
7.  Move your hands down your neck and rub the neck muscles on either side of the spine.
8.  Release arms, close eyes and take a few more deep breaths.

Triage complete, you’ve probably headed off a tension headache, at least temporarily.

When you get time, come see me. Regular massage and bodywork can be a powerful prevention tool for stress related aches and pains.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, among other things. Call or email to schedule your next customized massage and bodywork session today! 727-641-6941 or Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com

Next page