Stretching on regular basis reduces any built-up muscle and fascial tension and increases blood circulation for greater oxygen uptake throughout the entire body, helping to calm the nervous system and dissipate stress. It also assists the body with hydration via its fascial network, as the fascia distributes the droplets of water to the various organs, glands, and muscles.
Controlling stress through the practice of stretching is also beneficial for overall health, as stress causes our adrenal glands release excess cortisol (stress hormone), which is manageable in short term, however, chronic stress and constant worry leads to health risks such as weakened immune system, hypertension, insomnia, elevated blood glucose levels, digestive issues, weight gain and more...
The calming effects of stretching helps disrupt this cycle and our systems will be able to regulate and repair, resulting in improved overall health.
Beneficial stretch sequence for overall health and vitality:
Standing side stretches
Downward facing dog
Dragonfly (Runner’s lunge)
Wide legged splits
REPEAT THE ABOVE 2 STRETCHES ON THE OTHER SIDE BEFORE MOVING TO NECK STRETCH
Neck stretch (both sides)
Cats Tail (both sides)
For best results, stay in each stretch for approximately 1 - 2 minutes, and focus on deep nourishing diaphragmatic breathing.
Please note: If you have limited flexibility or are a novice to stretching, be kind to yourself and start gently - don’t force any stretch and build up slowly over time. Use of props such as blocks, pillows and folded blankets is recommended.