Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stress Relief for Writers and Readers

This is the time of year there's a lot of talk about stress and stress relief.
Maggie Toussaint offered some suggestions to keep your life in balance.

I'll like to offer a few simple exercises to help you relax during the

  1. Reverse the effects of hunching over a book or keyboard with this back bend.

Roll a towel or small blanket and place under your chest about breastbone height.  Experiment for the best location until you feel very good. Try placing the roll along your back bone. Also under the knees can be relaxing. Relax on the floor and breathe, allowing chest to open. Take slow deep breaths. (Very flexible? Use a rolled yoga mat.) This is sometimes called the modified Fish Pose.

2. Rock and Roll the tension out of your back and shoulders. 

Lie down on the floor. Use softening protection for your back if needed.
Bring your knees up towards your chest. Breathe slowly in and out through your nose as
you allow your lower back to relax and flatten. Keep your neck and head relaxed.
Continue as long as you like without falling asleep.

Still holding onto your knees, begin to roll from side to side. Gently, not too far in each
direction, massaging the spine. (If you’re not completely comfortable, stop and add
another blanket.) Keep breathing, slowly rocking side to side.

As this becomes easier, use your hands to move your knees in a clockwise circle. Begin
with smaller circles and let the circles become larger. Feel your lower back flattening
and stretching as it relaxes. Reverse the circle and keep breathing.

Continue as long as you like. Then change to a back and forward movement rolling from
head to the base of your spine. Hold your opposite ankles or move your hands under
thighs and rock as long as it feels good, massaging your entire back and spine.

To come to a sitting position, cross your legs, grab your opposite big toes, and rock up,
pulling on your toes. Or roll to one side and get up slowly.

Find some quiet time, lay on the floor, put your feet up the wall or on a chair, and BREATHE. 

When I teach yoga it's always clear the hardest part for most students is learning to relax. The progressive relaxation (savasana in Sanskrit) that I taught scientifically teaches your body to relax.

Amber (Amala) Polo, MS, RYT, is an Integral Yoga teacher trained at the
Satchadananda Ashram in Buckingham, Virginia. Amber has studied with
teachers throughout the country, taught in the Florida Keys, and offers classes
and workshops in the Verde Valley of Arizona near Sedona. 
She is also a published author.

Amber's CD combines gentle words teaching relaxation with peaceful background music. 
The CD and MP3 downloads are available from
MP3 downloads also available from Amazon and iTunes.

Leave a comment about stress release for a chance to win a demo disc of 
Relaxation, One Breath at a Time.
Contest Closed.
Congratulations, Kitty!


  1. Thanks for the tips...I also like to think positive...

  2. Oh, the towel roll under the shoulders while lying on the floor sure looks it might help me! :) Thanks for sharing. ~Skhye