10 Animals Who Inspire You to Stretch

by Rebecca A. Watson on May 4, 2015

in Dogs, exercise

I don’t like to stretch before I work out. I do it because I know I should, but I don’t enjoy it.

Once in a while I do a P90X stretch routine though. It’s an hour of stretching, which seemed excessive to me at first, but every time I do it, I feel like a new woman.

A friend shared this with me and what struck me was this line:

“If a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which he or she was born, it means so can you. And so, you can try to stretch. Stretch. Stretch yourself.”

Watching my dog every morning and throughout the day has shown me that stretching isn’t a luxury, it’s part of life.

elephant stretch

horse strech lion stretch loon stretch polar stretch sea lion stretch swam stretch tiger stretch wolf stretchdog stetch

So I aim to stretch more often and with gratitude. Maybe I’ll even try that German yoga class again.

(Ha! Maybe I should even start smaller, like actually committing to stretch when my computer program reminds me every 45 minutes. I was trying to avoid it while finishing this post.)

Here are a few things I’m going to try to remember:

Breathe thru it — If there is anything I notice when I’m concentrating, it’s that I tend to hold my breath. I wonder how often I do that during the day. When you stretch you have to breathe. It helps and gives you something to focus on. I also find that when I stretch more often, I breathe more regularly during my normal day.

Don’t resist … Let go — It’s amazing how much more flexible and limber I feel when I stop try to push through a stretch and just actually sit in it. It’s as if as soon as I let go, I am able to do far more than what I thought I was capable of. Maybe a metaphor for something bigger, no?

sailboat

 

My word for the year is Bloom, and I feel like stretch is another word for that. I mean, what are flowers doing if not stretching to open those petals of theirs?

Do you like to stretch? How does it make you feel?

 

Photo Credits: David Sui, Hugo Kerr, Michael Williams, Tambako the Jaguar, Nick Roosen, Tom Kelly, Tony Fischer, Cecil Sanders, Jason Saul, Mega Udonitron

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel May 5, 2015 at 6:22 am

Hey Rebecca, I used to struggle with stretching, I found it too slow. And after doing yoga a few times, I found myself breathless whilst doing all these slow movements. Now stretching, well anything I can get my hands on that stretches is my kind of work out. It allows me to be more in the moment than high impact because all I can focus on is getting through that without fainting.

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Rebecca A. Watson May 6, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Hey Rachel…I find that doing stretching like that is also a great workout for me too when I can keep it up. It’s different. Slow and calm, which is not something we’re told can actually be a workout!

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