Listen to my somatic invitation below. In case the audio doesn't play on your device, you can read below:
Stand up and reach your arms high into the air. Make fists and tighten your elbows so you’re stretching your arms and contracting them at the same time. Push down into the floor with your feet and tighten the muscles around your knees. Reach your hands as far away from your feet, as you can, stretching your spine. Lean your spine to one side, now opening your hands and stretching your fingers wide. Breathe in, and out. Lean your spine to the other side and scrunch up your face, wrinkling your nose. Then open your mouth and eyes super wide. Return to center, still reaching upward.
Now relax your arms by your sides. Notice how your body feels. Walk around a bit. Tune intoyour movement—more fluid? more upright? looser? more "you"?.
What you just did is called pandiculation. All animals do this, some of them as many as fifty times a day. This reflexive impulse primes your body's fascia for movement after periods of inactivity. Yawning is a type of pandiculation. Maybe you yawned just now.
Hydrate Your Fascia
Fascia Researcher Robert Schleip, PhD, tells us that whole body stretches like this help keep your fascia hydrated and healthy. But unlike cats and dogs, humans tend to stifle this natural urge. In polite company such movement is considered rude.
We tend to confine our full body stretching to the yoga studio. But because human lifestyles have become so sedentary, our bodies crave those full body stretches much more frequently than a few times a week.
What if we were to emancipate our collective body images? What if we stopped worrying about what others think when we grant our bodies the movement they need? Give yourself a juicy moment of pandiculation next time you get up from a movie seat, get out of your car, or stand up from a long meeting.
We could start a movement!
© 2017 Mary Bond