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3 Exercises for Better Sleep Tonight!10/28/2014
For a relaxed body and mind and more restful sleep, make these three relaxing exercises a part of your bedtime routine, just before retiring and in the order suggested. Begin “winding down” from the busy day with a few relaxing breaths. Follow this with a gentle seated spinal twist and then two Jung-Choong Breathing exercises:
From a seated position, with legs crossed, take a couple of long slow breaths in and out through your nose. Feel grounded as you notice the support of the floor beneath you. Breathe and imagine energy entering into your feet, traveling up your legs and into your spine. Release the breath and the energy back down through your body.
(Please note: If you are in second or third trimester of pregnancy, or have back injuries, or any spinal or neck problems or injuries, please check with your healthcare practitioner before doing the spinal stretch.)
Gentle Spinal Twist:
1. Extend your legs out in front of you. Keep your right leg extended, knee soft, and bend your left knee crossing your left foot over the right knee, until your foot rests on the floor next to your right knee.
2. Relax your shoulders and keep your chin parallel to the floor. Reach your right arm along the outside of your left knee and grasp your left ankle.
3. Inhale and gently twist your spine, looking over your left shoulder. Try to keep your shoulders level and your chin in alignment with your sternum during the twist. Follow the twisting movement with your eyes as you focus on elongating your spine with each inhalation.
4. Exhale and return to the original posture. Switch your legs and repeat twice on each side.
Now, relax with this brief focus on your breath before continuing:
Lie down. Begin to focus on your breath and notice where you feel it in your body. Scan your body, noticing places you feel tension and release any resistance you encounter. Breathe deeply into your lower belly, allowing your abdomen to expand with the air. Feel your belly rise and fall with your breathing. Practice this for a few relaxing minutes. Next, try the following two postures from the Jung-Choong Breathing series to help create conditions for your most restful sleep. The Jung-Choong breathing series of exercises is for accumulating energy in the lower Dahn Jon, or abdomen. The Korean term Jung-Choong is formed from the two words, “Jung” meaning “physical energy,” and “Choon” meaning “to accumulate” or “gather.”
The 5 postures traditionally used in Jung-Choong Breathing alternate between postures for accumulating energy and postures that help circulate energy. Posture #2 and #5 will help to accumulate energy and restore the desired condition of “Water Up, Fire Down” in your body.
Modified Jung-Choong Breathing Position #2
1. Move close to a wall and position yourself so that your buttocks are close enough for you to comfortably elevate your legs and rest them against the wall. Place your hands on your lower abdomen, your Dahn- jon.
2. Straighten your legs, stretching them and pushing your heels as you as you flex both feet. Keep your lower back as flat to the floor as possible with your head resting comfortably on the floor.
3. Close your eyes and focus on the energy flowing into your body for two minutes.
Jung Choon Breathing Position #5
1. Slowly move away from the wall until you are able to bend your knees and lower your feet to the floor. Allow the sides of your knees to rest against each other.
2. Place your middle fingers lightly on the Dahn-jon as you curl your tailbone and push your lower back comfortably to the ground.
3. Release any tension from the shoulders and chest and breathe deeply and naturally. Notice your breath moving down into your lower abdomen. Feel energy accumulating in your second chakra. Do this for two minutes. Alternate Posture: Fold legs in half or full lotus posture and lower your legs to the floor. Or, put the soles of the feet together and relax your legs.
Return to simple seated position and finish with a few deep breaths before you climb into bed for a great night’s sleep!
— Lynn A. Trombetta
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Sat8:30 AM ~ 1:00 PM
170 North Main St
New City, NY 10956
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