An optimist who lives according to her own heart’s dictates, Diane Cesa enjoys pushing her edges, experiencing new things, and keeping an open mind about the adventure of life; she strives to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. As a yoga teacher and practitioner, Diane doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all yoga.
Yoga for Pain Management
When practiced as it was meant to be practiced classically, yoga works on the subtle and gross level. Yoga is based upon the Indian holistic model that sees the body, the breath, the intellect, personality and emotions as integrated – so when you change one the others are also affected. When someone is in pain, there’s usually more to it than physical symptoms – there’s an emotional component as well. Yoga deals with both – it can bring about physical relief but it also calms the mind and soothes the emotions.
At-Work Stress Busters
· If you need to release anger, there’s a simple Kundalini technique that you can do at your desk. While sitting in your chair, take a deep breath in and hold it. Start punching outward with alternate fists as you hold your breath. Stop punching when you run out of breath and exhale. Repeat 5-7 times.
· There’s also a wonderful mood booster that you can do without attracting much attention to yourself – the simple smile. Close your eyes and exhale while slowly dropping your chin to your chest. Bring the corners of your mouth into a smile and inhale while bringing head up and opening eyes (maintain the smile as you do this). Repeat 3 times.
At-Home Stress Busters
In addition to the stress-busters above, I also recommend:
· Viparita Karani –Legs Up the Wall pose is a wonderfully restorative and rejuvenating pose. It’s one that I recommend to all of my students – and one that I do all the time myself. While in the pose, use an eye pillow to cover your eyes so you can fully relax into the experience.
· Sitali – This is another calming breathing technique. Simply inhale through a curled tongue (if you can’t curl your tongue, simply inhale through puckered lips) and exhale through the nose.
· Humming Breath – This breath is exactly what the name implies – you simply make a humming sound on your exhale. Keep your mouth closed as you’re doing this breath. To enhance the peaceful feeling, close off your ears by plugging them (gently) with your index fingers.
Top 3 Inspirational Media
1. David Whyte’s Clear Mind Wild Heart CD set
2. Live What You Love: Notes From an Unusual Life by Bob and Melinda Blanchard
A wonderful example of the possibilities of life when you’re not tied to a certain way of thinking.
3. Yoga Sutras
Now that I’m studying the sutras more in-depth with a teacher, I’m continually inspired by the wisdom found in this ancient text.
Practice yoga “without any idea of attainment of a pose or holding a pose. There is not a model of ‘You have to get there.’ No one has to get anywhere. You are there already. It is the wonder of life.” Mark Whitwell
“Yoga is surgery without instruments.” Sri Krishnamacharya
Recommend a Yoga Insider
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