Stretch to Awaken your Body & Mind

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The noisy repetitive alarm clock explodes into our dreams, to remind us to wake up to a new day. The static sleepy body feels like a block of wood, and of course the mind blames the body for the lethargy to get out of bed. Truly, one really needs to awaken the sleepy muscles! When we are fast asleep at night, the slow blood circulation makes our muscles tight. Unconsciously, we ALL spend a few moments in bed, as soon as we open our eyes to the world. Everyone does it unknowingly in different ways. We curl up, we push down from our legs, or extend our arms on both the sides. Unknowingly, these are “Me Time” moments before we jump back into the daily humdrum of life.

The science behind the stretching is very simple. The muscles in the body become flexible, as stretching increases the blood flow to these stiff muscles. These instinctive stretches in bed, allow us to soak in and stay in the Present Moment, in addition to clearing our minds for the New Day.

Tomorrow morning do a simple experiment. As soon as the alarm rings, immediately jump out of bed, without giving any time for your body to react to any instinctive stretch. Chances are you may injure your sleepy stiff muscles, in addition to having a very scattered mind with millions of directionless thoughts.

Day after tomorrow try another experiment. Once you hear the alarm, wake up consciously by stretching the body. Observe carefully, this exercise assists you to be in the Present Moment while enjoying the spontaneous stretch.

It’s a great idea to to kick off the day with a stretching routine. The morning stretching routine can be a short one. The main focus is to loosen all the muscles in the entire body. Also, the blood flows to the brain, improving our concentration and focus for the rest of the day.

As our body has been resting for the night, we should keep stretches gentle, breathing deeply into each stretch. We should not force any stretch and hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds. We should do simple stretches to loosen the neck, back, shoulders and the spine. This will take care of any morning stiffness. We can call this a 5- or 10-minute morning workout

In this technology dominated world, a lot of people spend time sitting on the desk or working on the computers. So, it’s a good idea to get up and do a few stretches to relax the overused sore muscles, during the day. This will improve performance and flexibility.

Our endeavor should be to incorporate a Stretching Routine once a day, where we devote at least 20 minutes of focused time. Ideally, this can be done in the evening. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day, softening our tense muscles. Anxiety and stress accumulated during the hectic day, can be released by the stretching routine. The stretching induces a natural relaxation response in our body, by bringing both our body and mind to state of deep rest. The deep breathing calms our mind, consciously assisting us to release the stressful clenched muscles.

Yoga, Tai-Chi are slower exercises which help us stretch to improve our flexibility and strength. The key here is consistency in our daily stretching routine. The best way to learn is to join a class, or hire a teacher or follow video instructions. Once we learn, we can tailor it to our needs.

Stiffness, tightness, stress, anxiety accumulate unconsciously in our body. Once we become aware of the benefits of stretching, we can eliminate this pile up by incorporating a Conscious Stretching Routine!

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