Supported Bridge Pose Good for: chronic pain, releasing tension This supported back extension helps open the chest for better breathing and relieve the hunched posture that can come from sitting too long. The supportive nature of this exercise comes from the head and neck being lower than the heart, which promotes this parasympathetic system of rest and digest. He reported his life at home to be an endless round of quarrels, reprimands, hypodermic injections of sedatives, suppositories, and nightmares. His father, a physician, threatened him with shock therapy if his shaking did not cease. It seems that a psychiatrist had told Henry's parents that he shook in order to gain attention, and they were determined to end his nastiness. In the face of his many problems, Henry felt quite overwhelmed. His own words provide a vivid account of his psychological state during this first therapy hour. The excerpt is from the last half of the hour, and is reproduced from his therapist's notes. Henry: One time, my mother said she'd take me to Baltimore. So I got up early, 7 o'clock, and I went into the living-room. It was empty. I should have gotten up at 6 o'clock. I am worthy of more wealth Money is energy. I am comfortable with more energy I easily attract my heart's deepest desires. I am wise in my investments and they grow in value. I enjoy saving my money.

I enjoy an abundance of love and money. I easily and wisely control my own money. My dreams deserve my own financial backing. I accept more ease into my life. Suggested breath: Feel into the lateral movement of your lungs and ribs during inhalation and exhalation, focusing breath on any area of the body that may feel stress, tension, or discomfort. Props: Couch cushions, blankets, small pillows, eye pillow or an elastic bandage wrap to cover your eyes Let's begin. If you don't have any neck or shoulder problems, feel free to allow the upper body and head to lie on the floor without a pillow. You can also allow the arms to be at your sides, palms up. Your head should be below your shoulders in this position to achieve the greatest benefit. Soften the backs of your eyes. If you notice any areas of gripping, tension, or tightness, allow them to soften with your breath as though the tension is a sugar cube dissolving in hot liquid. Crocodile Pose for Basic Diaphragmatic Breathing Good for: chronic pain, releasing tension, stress relief She took Michael [older brother] instead. Therapist: They left you when you'd hoped to go? Henry: (Nods. He weeps again. She protected me from everybody, but now, now she's gone, and -- (interrupts his story with tears) Therapist: You're all alone without anybody to protect you now?

Henry: Yes. They say Miss Palmer spoiled me, but I don't think so. Therapist: You miss her? Henry: Yes, I do. Today I am enough and I have enough. CROSS CRAWL Here the focus is to create a new pattern or reinforce an old one that has fallen out of use. The Cross Crawl is useful for when you are missing connections, when life seems out of sorts and you don't know what else to do. Connecting your Rational and your Creative currents is enhanced when you play the piano, walk, or touch yourself across the midline of your body. With one hand touch your opposite elbow, shoulder, knee, or toes. Then do the same thing with the other hand, shifting from one side to the other for five or six cycles. For a wild experience and one that will reset your cycle of flow, get down on your hands and knees and crawl. Make sure the opposite arm and leg actually work together--that your left arm moves at the same time as your right leg, so that you are working across opposite sides of your body's midline. Do this slowly so you allow your mind to integrate the actions and any new connections can begin to flow. This is the best posture for sensing the flow of the breath. When you are lying facedown and are well supported, your body will naturally begin to breathe in a diaphragmatic way. This is a wonderful pose to use when you are nervous or feel tightness in your belly. Many people carry tension in their abdomens without their knowledge--this pose offers a chance to unblock the breath and release pent-up tension. Props: One blanket or pillow; It should be six to eight inches wide and no more than three inches thick.

You can also use a pillow that is the length of your torso. If this is uncomfortable for your neck, roll a small washcloth up and place it under your forehead so that you're able to breathe and your nose isn't squished. If your head is facedown, you can place an eye pillow over the back of your neck. The idea is to quiet the pace of your thoughts by inhaling and exhaling and focusing on the rhythm of your breath. I have a cousin, Jean. Well, I happened to fall in love with her. Michael says, Jean doesn't care for you a bit. He says Jean likes him better. Therapist: He doesn't want you to be happy? He doesn't. He does everything he can to make me miserable. My father always says Michael is right. If I try to stand up for my rights, my father gives me a hypo. Therapist: Things seem to be going pretty badly at home. Humming also connects the opposite sides of your brain. You can do this alone or add it to the Cross Crawl exercise. Silently humming also works to connect the opposite sides of your brain and your body--creating more flexibility and harmony. This concept flows through as a foundation for feng shui, ikebana, the martial arts, as well as other art forms, business, and the way the Chinese live their lives--when they are in balance. The Ba-gua indicates a pattern for creating balance in your own home and life. The Ba-gua also has layers of information, some of it mystical, some not.

It is made up of eight outside lines, each corresponding to an idea and space, and an inner space at the center called the tai ch'i. The nine areas are referred to as guas and represent the nine areas of physical space and your life, both inner and outer. The area of the tai ch'i is where the yin-yang symbol is located. Three patterns emerge from this Ba-gua. The breath will find its own pace without you having to control the speed. Just let the body breathe. Relax the muscles in your belly, and let these movements of the abdomen become deep and soothing. Notice how the lower ribs expand laterally with the inhalation and contract with the exhalation. The rib cage expands as the diaphragm contracts, and the ribs return inward as the diaphragm relaxes. Notice that as you inhale, the back rises, and as you exhale, the back falls. Soften your back muscles and allow the breath to flow without resistance. This is a particularly relaxing sensation, and you may find that it helps relieve lower back tension that is often difficult to release. Notice how relaxed your breathing has become. Notice the changes in your body, mind, and breath. Henry: Yes, oh yes! He goes on to relate other incidents. Then, he becomes very insistent upon knowing how therapy can help. Earlier in the hour, the therapist had said that she was there to talk things over with him. Henry: What good will it do to tell you about it; I don't understand.