Cricket and Polly do some lovely downward dogs. Perhaps it helps to be a dog. Actually, since they spend a large portion of the day “meditating,” I might have to describe them as accomplished yogis. Maybe not. Yogis don’t usually bark at everyone who passes on the sidewalk and I hope they don’t become absorbed in licking their own behinds.
My homeboy, Joe Pilates, watched animals and their instinctual urge to stretch. He incorporated his observations into his system of exercises. (So now I have cited a real authority, not just my dogs…)
Stretching is one of those things we tend to skip when we work out. It does not satisfy the way weight lifting does, nor does it burn calories and release endorphins like cardio work. For some people, it just hurts. For others, it just feels good.
The former group transforms into the latter group with practice. The latter group sometimes feels like it is wrong to spend time on something that feels good when there is only limited time to work out.
Bulletin: it is okay to feel good.
Most of us have more stress than Polly and Cricket. We have lots of things to accomplish besides waiting hopefully for someone to drop food. For us, stretching gives both mind and body a chance to relax and reset.
Let’s give ourselves those few moments.
(Polly is the one tucked in with the toys; Cricket is the one with the long hair and light eyebrows.)