After lying in bed all night or sitting in an office all day, there’s nothing like a little stretching to make you feel alive and ready for action. Why does stretching feel so good? To me, it’s like reaching for the stars!
Try this. Stand up and slowly stretch your arms straight up over your head. Now feel the nice tension as you extend your reach a little more and feel your spine lengthen, as if you’ve suddenly grown a couple of inches.
Let Your Awareness Expand
Now stretch your fingers open as wide as you can over your head (while still remaining comfortable) and feel your stretched-open hands tingle with energy and pleasant tension.
Then with your arms and fingers still stretched open, slowly move your arms out to your sides and continue to hold them wide apart, like you are preparing to embrace something very big.
Hold your arms straight open for a few more seconds and let the feeling within them expand outward – like you are reaching across an infinite distance.
Open Up to Something New
Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? Like anything is possible. Your body says “Come on, life. Here I am!” For a moment the boundaries fall away and you can imagine yourself open to just about anything.
Stretching releases both the body and the mind. They are intimately connected, after all. Both feel constricted when we stay in one position or repeat one activity or habit for too long or without occasional breaks.
Stretching helps us find a good balance between tension and relaxation and reminds us physically and mentally of new horizons in a seemingly ordinary day.
5 Tips to Enjoy Healthful Stretching:
- Add stretching to your daily routine – morning and evening if possible – to get your blood, energy, and endorphins flowing. It’s a great ritual to start and end your day, as it enhances both activity and rest.
- Keep in mind that even brief stretching is a form of exercise. Move gently and slowly from one position to the next to reduce the risk of injury.
- Use stretching to maintain and improve your range of motion and flexibility. Loss of flexibility is a major cause of injury as we age.
- Use stretching to improve your immunity. Gentle stretching helps move waste through your lymphatic system and remove it from your body.