New yoga program gets you fit in bed

LOS ANGELES "I work. I take care of children," said Susan Reiner of Westwood.

Reiner has a busy life, but a new program called Yoga in Bed is making a difference in her mind and body.

"If I set my day up this way then throughout the day I think about taking care of myself more," said Reiner. "I must decide it's important. Because if I don't decide it's important then I won't do it."

Creator Naomi Call invented Yoga in Bed for clients with a similar mantra who said, "Once I am at home, I just don't find the time."

In a perfect world we'd all wake up rested and relaxed, but most of us, especially as we age, are stiff and tight in our ligaments, joints and muscles. So anything quick is ill advised. The first thing you'll want to do is breathe.

"Pretty much 90 percent of yoga is about breathing," said Call. "It's the key to our health and our well being. As you're inhaling you want to imagine your belly to be like a balloon."

Studies show most use only about 20 percent of lung capacity, as we've been taught to breathe in and pull in, exhale and push out -- the exact opposite of what it should be.

"We want to direct our breath slower, deeper and longer," said Call. "The more we slow our respiratory rate down every other system in our body slows down in response."

The book comes with a DVD and offers 20 poses or stretches, with options to modify or simplify. The main theme is keeping the spine flexible.

"It's a combination of wanting to move the spine in the six directions it needs to go in," said Call.

Moving your body forward, back, side to side and rotational is also helpful for those in chronic pain who can't even consider getting down on the floor, yet need physical activity. And for those who are time stressed, Reiner offers a simple solution.

"I've actually set my clock now to wake me up 15 minutes earlier," said Reiner.

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