STRETCHING AND ITS BENEFITS
the area rather than focusing into it. Can you stay with the sensations occurring and let them be, rather than automatically pulling away? When something is not acknowledged it can become worse but
If I want to make my clients happy during a Pilates class, I just add in some stretching, especially those hamstrings and gluts.
When we stretch our bodies with the emphasis on releasing tension and breathing deeply through it, we create relaxation in our bodies and minds and that feels good.
If we miss out stretching and work our bodies without releasing and relaxing, they can become rigid. When a muscle is worked it shortens and we need to lengthen and stretch it.
Not all stretching is easy. It can feel pretty intense when we are lengthening an area of the body that is tight and it can be very difficult to let go of tension. There are a couple of techniques that can be used to help us to let go. I will detail them below and you can try them out next time you are releasing those muscles.
When we are holding a position that lengthens muscles and feels tough, we can use breathe technique to let it go.
Notice where your body is fighting the stretch and check whether there is any holding going on and allow the muscles to release by taking a deep breath into the tight area, soften around and then as you breath out allow the tension to dissipate. Just keep focusing into the area, breathing into it, softening around and breathing out while letting all the tension go.
IMAGERY AND MIND AWARENESS
When holding a difficult stretch we can also use imagery to release the tightness and holding!
Focusing into the muscles you are stretching, make an image in your mind of them gently lengthening and the area releasing. This can be very beneficial if an area is particularly tight and unforgiving.
You can also allow your focus to draw towards the tightness rather than pulling away. Sometimes when we find something difficult, the urge is to take our attention off
if it can be accepted, release can occur.
I hope these hints are helpful and they let your stretching techniques become even more enjoyable and relaxing by using them. It is a mindful way of really getting the most out of your body-mind connection and allows you time to focus and let go which is always good.