Updated: Feb 14
Ever since graduate school where I researched the powerful impact of combining mindfulness with exercise, I've been a huge fan of using any movement as an opportunity to bring awareness to the moment.
Stretching (or flexibility training as we call it in the exercise science world), is in itself a wonderful practice to balance the body and when combined with focusing on the breath and/or anchoring your awareness in the present moment, magic happens.
We extensively discuss the benefits of mindfulness elsewhere, so we'll focus here on stretching and how to add this tool to your self-care routine.
What are the benefits of stretching?
Stretching is an effective tool used to lengthen our muscles, reduce stiffness, improve flexibility and coordination, increase balance:
Improved Flexibility: Stretching increases our range of motion as it lengthens our muscles.
Increased Circulation: Consistent stretching can improve circulatory health both short and long term by increasing blood flow.
Decreased Back Pain: Stretching is a good tool for strengthening back muscles and therefore decreasing pain in many areas of the back.
Decreased Stress: Stretching relaxes the body and activates our parasympathetic nervous system which calms us.
Where do I start?
Regardless of your history with exercise and stretching, there is no experience needed in order to begin to incorporate stretching into your everyday life. Check out the pages below and let's go through some practical examples of stretching exercises that will only take a few minutes of your day!