If you want a healthy body, you are going to have to stretch. We continuously stretch our finances, our mind, our patience, yet we rarely stretch our bodies.
It’s so easy to say to ourselves, “I don’t have the time to sit down never mind to sit down and stretch.”
Make time to stretch.
Most people have the notion in their heads that when they stretch they need to look like someone from Cirque du Soleil. Often, the thought pattern is, “I’m not bendy. Therefore, I shall not stretch.”
You don’t have to be bendy to stretch. You just breathe, hold a pose, and be patient with yourself.
Let’s talk about some rules to stretching.
Now you might be saying, “Aw, man! There are rules? I’m outta here.”
Hold on a second. These rules are simple. Take a look!
Rule 1 ~ Mind Your Own Stretch
Don’t look at the person stretching next to you.
She’s not you. She doesn’t have your body. She has not been through what you have been through, so don’t compare yourself with the person next to you.
That’s easy enough, right? That rule doesn’t get you too worked up, does it?
Rule 2 ~ Move It Before You Stretch
Get worked up!
You want to get your blood flowing and your muscles warm before you stretch. Now don’t let that be a deal breaker. You can do a few, yes a few, jumping jacks, or run in place for 30 seconds.
That’s not too bad, right? It doesn’t take too much time to warm-up those muscles, does it?
Rule 3 ~ Slow Your Stretch Down
Take time to stretch.
You will want to be gentle with yourself when you stretch and not just bend over in a quick jerking motion to a two-count and then exclaim, “Done!”
When you stretch, take time to breathe as you bend or lengthen. Relax. This is time for you! Hold a pose and count several breaths while you are holding the stretch.
Five or ten minutes out of your day shouldn’t hurt your schedule, right?
Rule 4 ~ Stretch With No Pain, and Have All Gain
Stretching shouldn’t hurt at all.
If you find you’re holding a stretch with tears streaming down your face, or you just can’t breathe because of the pain, then back off the stretch. Find that place where there is no pain only a gentle, slight resistance because of tight muscles. When you feel that place, you should hold the position for a few breaths.
You aren’t going to cause pain while you stretch, so the ten or so minutes you spend stretching is relaxing, right?
Rule 5 ~ Relax Your Stretch
Stretching helps get blood and energy flowing correctly throughout your body.
It’s essential, like flossing your teeth or taking fiber. I don’t find flossing or fiber very relaxing, maybe that’s just me, but I do find stretching relaxing. When you sit or stand to stretch, and you breathe through the stretch with the intention of elongating your tight muscles, your mind settles down.
Even for ten or so minutes, relaxing your mind is incredible. With a relaxed mind, you can get to the places in life you need to go.
Rule 6 ~ Wherever You Are, There You Stretch
Speaking of places, you don’t need to go anyplace to stretch.
You don’t need a fancy yoga studio, although the studio in the picture above is super nice. You don’t need a class to stretch. You can stretch where you are. Are you reading this while you are at work? Well, you can stretch right at your desk after getting up and moving to get your blood flowing. Do some jumping jacks to warm-up before your stretch. Go on. I dare you!
With stretching, all you need is your body. Unless you have entered The Matrix, you’ve always got your body with you, so you’re good to go!
Rule 7 ~ Stretch Yourself Daily
Find time to stretch daily.
Yes, it is one more thing you need to add to your daily to-do list. Flossing, fiber, eating, sleeping, work, and now you have stretching added to the schedule. Remain calm; it’s just a five, ten, fifteen-minute addition.
There are many benefits to daily stretching. These benefits include increasing the overall wellness of your mind, body, and spirit.
Go on, stretch yourself! You’ll be glad you did.
- To follow my blog, please click the subscribe button on this page. We’ll be working together on ways to journey towards the positive.
- Coming soon: Yoga Wednesdays! I’ll be posting simple yoga poses that we can all do together to help move in the direction to calm down and let go.
- Next week we’ll talk about how to fix a broken heart (just in case Valentine’s Day didn’t go exactly as you planned). I hope you will find your way back to The Happy Bishop to read the post.
Coming soon, How to Survive the ICU Experience, an eBook geared to help you as you sit by the bedside of a loved one.