- Stretching is natural, intuitive, subconscious and instinctual activity. It’s our body’s natural intelligence to relieve any “stuck” energy and gently increase blood circulation.
- When we stretch and flex our arm or leg muscles we are basically “making movement”. Movement is the basis of good health. When we eat un-healthful food or are lethargic in the day, then we collect excess fat and toxins in our gut and eventually the crevices and corners of all our organs. After a point in time this fat and these toxins harden and begin to impair our general movement, flexibility and blood circulation. Often people begin to feel stiff and inflexible.
- This can change with diet and movement, especially deep stretching and exercise forms such as yoga,qi gongand do-inmeridian stretches. When we take a deep breath and stretch our body, it literally expands the range of motion (ROM) of the muscle as well as improves blood circulation to our joints, tissues and organs. This helps to release toxic matter that has hardened in the nook and corners of the body. It also helps in improving posture, reducing back stiffness, improving lung and respiration function. It also helps to align our deeper energy channels called as nadisand meridians which further help to improve our digestion, spleen and liver function as well as excretory functions.
- Doing a stretch once by natural default is not always enough and hence in a yoga, pilates, do-inclass we stretch in repetitions of 3 or 5 to make an effective impact. There are many ways of stretching – some are dynamic and active while some are passive. There is a new form of yoga that is very effective is when we hold each deep stretch and posture for 5-9 minutes while deep breathing. This form of yoga, called as yin yoga is gaining popularity amongst the new generation due to great benefits observed simply with holding deep stretches for a specific time.
- Movement is also the basis of clear and positive thinking. Exercise is known in many researches to help alleviate depression. This isn’t rocket science – you can observe this yourself in your daily life and interactions. If you go for an exercise or yoga session, when feeling low or unenthused, it instantly gives you fresh energy, motivation and a positive mood – people often call this the “exercise euphoria”.
- The simple act of doing a deep stretch slowly with control and releasing slowly helps to build a rhythm of a slow, calm and de-stressed mind. The deep and slow movement also helps to create more control and body awareness for us. The benefits of calculated and specific healthful sequences of deep stretching cannot be ignored.
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