With all the stresses of daily life, many people suffer from some sort of stiffness or pain in their bodies. Dr. Oz talks to yoga instructor Michael Gilbert about learning to open the body and breathe.
Michael is certified in Rolfing, a method of bodywork that looks at the body as a three-dimensional object in order to make it more pliable. He says it's not so much therapy as it is an idea of increasing the surface area of the body over time. "By teaching the body to open rather than close, you increase the surface area," Michael says. "The more joints that can move and change shape, the more surface area [you create]."
As a yoga instructor, Michael is a big believer in the practice's ability to relieve pain. While he advocates plenty of stretching, he feels that yoga is even better at opening up the body. "Yoga concentrates on the opening of the pelvis and the opening of the ribs," Michael says. "In gyms you usually see people working on the front of the body, making the muscles tense. Yoga focuses on hooking the arms and legs to the back of the body, creating extension and opening everything up."
Michael says everyone can incorporate some of his everyday yoga practices into their own routine:
- Before you even get out of bed, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. Make the exhalation of breath more important than the inhalation.
- During the day, make time to sit down and recalibrate yourself—focus on calming down and watching your heart rate.
- If you have time, take a yoga or meditation class to help turn down the volume in your life.
- Before bed, take time to shift gears and once again focus on breathing.