M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Place...of wellness Videos-on-Demand 2008
Return to Place...of wellness
Hello! I am Marissa Farnos, and I'm a yoga instructor here at M. D. Anderson and we are going to be doing a soft yoga class today and that we are going to be working with the seating postures, so you can do these exercises on the bed or you can do them on a chair. It can be a chair like this or any other kind of chair. If you are on the bed, please make the bed flat. Okay! So to start, we always start with some breathing exercises. Something that's also very important is not to do anything that you don't feel comfortable with. If at anytime there is an exercise that is not comfortable for you, then just close your eyes and take a few breaths and just follow your breathing, but do not do the exercise. Okay! So let's start. We are going to do some breathing, so just close your eyes and we are going to do this fierce breathing, so the idea is imagine you have a candle in front of you and you are going to be blowing the candle, going, phooh, phooh, so we are going to do a few of those. Your belly, it's going to swell when you take some air and you are going to contract it when you blow out. So you are going to go inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, so you inhale and on the exhale you go phooh, phooh, phooh that's the idea. So you are going to relax the chin down a little bit, imagine you have a birthday candle right there in front of you. Okay. And just close your eyes, take a deep inhale and we are going to do some until I tell you to stop, so let's start.
Keep on going and you are also working your belly. As you're doing this, you are exercising your belly. Breathing and you are going to start maybe even warming up a little bit. This is going to bring more energy, more energy into the body and this will slowly help you focus.
Okay, now we stop and just take a deep inhale and then slowly relax and exhale. Now throughout the practice keep breathing deeply, but the instruction is going to be when you inhale, you are going to imagine you are inhaling healing nurturing energy into your system, into your body and as you exhale imagine you are exhaling tension, negativity, anything, anything you don't need anymore. So any exercise you do, even if you don't move around, even if you are tired and don't want to go further, keep that breathing pattern and that's yoga. Just focusing on the breath will bring you to a much quieter place. So now you open your eyes and let's inhale and bring the arms up and imagine you are inhaling that energy into your body, relax your shoulders, there you go and on the exhale let's turn to the right, so you are going to be facing the right side and bring the left hand by the right knee, right hand behind you. This is if you are on a chair. If you are on the bed, okay you can bring the right hand down to the bed. You can do it on the chair too, whatever is more comfortable for you, really. And just make your spine very long. If you want to work a little harder, remember you feel the bed, your legs are not going to be like mine. Your legs are going to be oops all the way up here. I can't hold it. Anyway, your legs are going to be up there. If you are on the chair, you can try seating back a little bit and bring your legs up and that way you are going to exercise your legs, so more, this is harder. If you want to take it easy on the chair bring your legs down and move to the front. Okay. So now we are facing the right and just feel your spine going up. Imagine you are creating distance in your spine. Imagine your spinal cord is just stretching up. Yeah, there you go. Relax your shoulders, beautiful, yeah, there you go. Now imagine your head is flying up a little bit, the chin is still there, yes. What you are trying is to create space between each one of your vertebrae, that's it. Right, okay so now we inhale. As you are inhaling, you are inhaling healing energy, nurturing light and as you exhale, you are letting go off those things you don't need anymore, that's it. Inhale up and you can keep your eyes closed or you can have your eyes open. This is your practice, so you do whatever feels good for you, okay. So, inhale up, exhale down, and now see if with your next inhale, you stretch up and now on the exhale, see if you can rotate a little bit more, twist a little bit more, that's it. And one more, inhale up and then on the exhale, we go back to center, bring your hands to your legs and let your shoulders relax. We tend to accumulate tension here, so we are going to be relaxing the shoulders constantly. So on the next inhale, we are going to do the other sides, so now we are going to inhale up and on the exhale we are going to twist towards the left. Right hand by the left knee, left hand behind you on the back or on the chair and now we are going to inhale up, make the spine long, there you go, check your shoulders, relax, then yes, that's it. And again inhale up, inhale the energy, slowly exhale and again inhale up. See if with the next exhale, may be you can twist a little more. Keep inhaling and exhaling. Now you might want to focus on your spine and we are going to do it a little different from the other side. Now imagine energy is going from your tailbone all the way up the spine to the top of the head on your inhale. When you exhale, it's coming down from the top of the head all the way down through the front of the body back to the tailbone. It goes up through the back on the inhale and slowly on the exhale it comes down through the front. And keep inhaling the energy there and exhaling the tension, worries, toxins, anything you want to get rid of. And one more inhale up, see if you can twist a little bit more and slowly when you exhale, let's come back to center. And now we are going to be doing some neck exercises. So, slowly we are going to look to the right and as you look to the right, notice where the tension is. You're very much in tune with your body, there, just if you feel any tension, let it go. That's it. And now back to center, relaxing the shoulders, take a deep inhale and exhale, let go as you move the head to the left. Bring the right shoulder down, there you go and just focus where your tension is, where you feel uncomfortable, and as you exhale, imagine that area is just letting go. That's it. Let's go back to the center. And one more, let's inhale to the right, notice your body, become very aware of your body, specially that left side of the neck and upper shoulder. Breathing to it, nurturing, healing energy, slowly exhale the tension, the toxins, the stress. Keep inhaling and exhaling. There you go then back to center and just notice how the body reacts as you move, then inhale to the left. Notice if there is any tightness in the neck, as you exhale, let go of that tightness. Keep inhaling and exhaling and then we go back to center. And now we are going to bring the right arm up and bend it behind you. Left arm touches the right elbow and gently, do this very gently, remember you do it your own way if you cannot, if you are not too flexible that's normal, that's okay, okay. So, just touch your elbow lightly and see if you can bring the elbow closer to the head. Now try to relax your shoulders there, that's it. Good. Only, only if you are very, very flexible, only if you are very flexible do you bring your left arm behind you, look and try to touch your right hand. You might ooshy scooshy like I am doing now a little bit. If you touch it then you can give yourself a good handshake in the back. Okay. And take a deep inhale and slowly exhale. Now your focus is going to be in the back of the heart. Right between your shoulder blades, keep your focus there and imagine that area expanding and relaxing with your breath. So, you inhale up and slowly you exhale and one more, inhale up and on the next exhale slowly unwind okay and hands to legs and take a deep inhale and relax on the exhale. Okay. Now we try the other side. So, we bring the left arm up, bend the left elbow and now bring the right arm and touch the elbow and slowly bring it closer. Okay. Take a deep breath, feel comfortable. If this feels awful, I mean just ooshy scooshy yourself so you feel good. If it doesn't feel well just relax and maybe do it wider, but the main thing is that you feel okay doing this, okay. Breathe deeply, exhale and let's go again. If and only if you are very flexible and you might notice something, one side is going to be different probably than the other. So you might find one side easier or more challenging, so let's see what this side is doing for you. So, let's just turn only if you are very flexible then you bring right arm behind you and you can either touch your fingertips or you can give yourself a handshake. Long deep breaths into the back of the heart, here that's the area you are expanding, the area between your shoulder blades behind your heart. Keep breathing deeply. The spine is straight, yeah, don't slouch, okay. There you go. And take a deep inhale and on the exhale we let go. And now let's roll slowly the shoulders back.
That's it and let's roll them forward. That's it and now we are going to do one of those cool pretzels postures from yoga so you can say you did some yoga, anyway. Let's bring the arms out on the inhale and now we are going to bring the right elbow under the left one, okay. So, you bring them forward in here, right under left. There you go. Come up. This might be all you can do. This is all you can do, stay there, okay. You might be able to do this and you might be able to do this. If when you are here, you feel crooked and you don't feel comfortable, there is another variation and that one is you bring your right hand to the left, palm facing the right, left hand to the right, palm facing the left, okay, I hope we get this right. Alright! Here we go. And now you interlock the fingers and you go like this. So this is the easy version. So you have options. Okay. So right under left. The main thing is that, there you go, relax your shoulders exactly. Now if you want to go a little further, you bring the elbows up. That might be easy, that might not. If this doesn't feel comfortable, please bring them down again. If it does, just stay here and breathe deeply again into that space between the shoulder blades. Make your spine long and feel the head floating up very softly, very, very softly and exhale slowly on right and let's roll the shoulders back and let's roll them forward. Good. Now we are going to do the other side, so inhale, hands to the side and this time it's the left under the right, okay. So, left under right, you keep on going, you know what to do. Remember if you cannot do that, when we are going to bring the left arm to the right side, right arm to the left, interlock fingers and poof, easy version, harder version. So, you can choose and you might notice as with the other posture that one side it's going to be easier probably. So you might need to do this on one side and may be on the other side, you will need to do this and that's okay. Whatever your body needs, that's what you will do. Relaxing the shoulders, that's it and breathing into the back of the heart... Making the spine long and beautiful, that's it. Great. And just breathe very slowly with the intention of bringing energy and bringing healing with the intention of letting go of those things you don't need anymore, there. Exhale slowly, come down and one last time we are going to roll the shoulders back and we are going to roll the shoulders forward. And now we are going to do another twist and let's see how we do this one. If you are on the bed, you are going to be hopefully like this, so you can bring the right leg up like this, okay. If you are on the chair, you have options. If you want to do it easy, you just stay as you are, let's see, yeah and bring either the leg up or you can jus stay like this and twist without moving any legs. So, if you are on the chair you can stay with both feet on the floor and we are going to twist and I'll talk you through or you can get to the back of the chair so you can bring the leg up. If you are on the bed, then it will be easier. If you want to do the harder way, then you go all the way to the back, you bring the leg up and then you bring the other leg up too, so you work a little more. So there's different levels, choose the one that works for you, okay. So, let's see. I'm going to be going through one of the middle ones. So, basically we are sitting down and we take a deep inhale up, that's it and on the exhale bringing the right leg in and just hug that right leg. Okay, what happened to those shoulders, check your shoulders, there you go, relax. Breathe deeply. If you are sitting on the bed, you don't have the back of the chair that I have here that holds me, okay. So, if you are on the bed, let me just do a variation of this. You bring the right arm behind you to hold you, okay. This is going to be where you are going to rest and this will be what you will be doing probably. Relaxing the shoulder and just hugging the knee, making the spine long, head is floating up towards the ceiling and you are slowly inhaling and exhaling and even though you are holding that knee, see if you can relax, see if you can relax those muscles. Yeah. You are not tense, you are relaxed. Okay. Breathe deeply and as you are breathing, imagine you are breathing into your belly. You are inhaling into your belly and you are exhaling from the belly. So, the belly fills up on the inhale and your belly let's go on the exhale and then slowly on the next exhale we come back to center. Okay. And just move a little bit, do something a little different like this. And now we are ready for the other side, okay. So, let me just get into this other posture first and now I'm going to keep the leg on the floor, it's a lot of work for the other leg, okay. So, we are going to inhale we come up and on the ex, oh I'm getting the wrong leg, this is the leg, inhale up and left leg comes up and now we are going to twist to the left, there you go. Long deep breath, relaxing shoulders and see if you can relax your face. That's it. Relax the muscles in your face. May be you can even smile, yeah, that's going to feel good, alright. Just enjoy energy coming into your body, enjoy and feel yourself getting rid of all those things you don't need anymore, beautiful, yeah, keeping the spine long, imagine space growing between your vertebrae, there's more space, there's more length, and there's more energy in your body at the moment. You are creating more space for energy to move and for energy to grow. Keep breathing deeply and on the next exhale, we slowly come back to center. And now if you are lying on the bed keeping both legs straight ahead of you, don't do this one if you are on the chair, you can fall over, so this is just if you are on the bed, okay. If you are on the chair, both feet on the chair and you ooshy scooshy to the front of the chair. And we are going to inhale up and on the exhale we are going to go down into four and just take a few breaths here and be very aware what's happening to your body. Anywhere you feel any tightness, any tension? Bring your focus into that area and just remember to breathe very deeply and slowly and then we are going to roll up very slowly like one vertebra at a time, keeping the chin close to the chest and the last thing to come up is going to be your chin, okay. So, you are going to roll up starting on the exhale, it might take more than one breath, just take your time and slowly come up, let your arms dangle as you are rolling up and just notice, notice your body as it comes up. You are very aware of any physical sensations you might have.
Hands by your legs and now we are going to take a few breaths and just become aware of any physical sensations in your body, just notice how your body feels. Notice what is going on through your mind, but notice your thoughts as clouds, they are just passing by. Do not judge them, do not attach to them, okay. And just notice your emotions now. What do you feel now? And from this place of presence, create an intention for the rest of your day. Breathe into that intention, feel it, think about it, put your heart into it. Namaste. This is the end of this session. Thank you for being here.
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