Author | DIAKADI Trainer, Jator Pierre When we are stretching we are addressing much more than just the length tension relationships of our bodies. We are stretching our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Stretching is a powerful healing tool, but to use it as such we must bring awareness and intention to our stretches.
This is a basic guide to your corrective stretching program, there are many ways to be mindful during your stretching, choose a few or one from the list below and watch as your body releases and opens up.
- Stretching should not be a painful experience, if your baby was crying would you pick up your baby and shake him/her around? Most of us would probably pick our baby up and soothe him/her, relax and show love. Go into your stretching with the mindfulness that your tight areas are “crying babies”, you want to soothe them and love them, by doing this you will get a much better release and it will be a good practice in mindfulness and loving yourself.
- Mindful stretching is a good time to bring awareness to posture and your breathing, never miss an opportunity to be mindful of deep 3D breathing and postural alignment. The more often we are aware the easier it is to change and let go what no longer serves us.
- Be aware of the images and thoughts that arise during each stretch, the body will guide you as to what may be energetically stored in these tight areas. Journal these images and thoughts, bring what you would like to share and we can explore the deeper meanings together.
- Your stretching can be used as chakra/zone work, use your EMBH book and correlate each stretch to a given chakra/zone. You can breathe in the correlating chakra/zone color as you do each stretch; imagining each cell breathing deeply with you and releasing what no longer serves you. You can repeat correlating mantras during each stretch or as above you can pay attention to the correlating lessons from each level of chakra/zone. Stretching is a great opportunity to get to know yourself.
- As you stretch you can also imagine every cell in your body taking a deep breath with you, especially focusing on the areas of tightness or pain. Imagine with each inhale you are bringing in nourishment, oxygen, healing etc, and with each exhale you are simply letting go anything that no longer serves you. Intend those areas to open up and release, imagine them in your mind’s eye gaining more range and letting go of tension.
- It is also a great idea to stretch in the evening before bed. This will not only set you up for a good night sleep but it will also have profound effect on your length/tension relationships. You will be healing and regenerating throughout the night in alignment without gravity pushing you back into your old patterns. If you have the time in the evening it may serve you well to do longer static holds during your stretching (1:00+), this will be a more relaxing mindful stretching session as compared to the contract/relax method.