Right from the very beginning as babies, we stretched with resistance. Over the years as we attended school, however, we forgot how to do this as we were taught to relax and stretch as far as we could.
The last vestiges of our instinctive stretching are our yawning stretches as we wake up in the morning or yawn and stretch in the day.
Why is it, when animals resist and stretch and we do the same instinctively, we think we should stretch a different way when we do it intentionally?
I believe this is a result of man’s goal-oriented mind and tendency to do the things we think are best, rather than the things we feel are best. This dominance of the mind has lead to many advances in society and technology, but many problems also.
We think the further we can go in a stretch, the better – but this is not necessarily true. The beauty of stretching with resistance is that we engage all of the structures and go as far as is safe. If we relax and then push into a stretch we are often only pulling on the areas that are already weak.
Of course, there is a point of view that all movement is better than no movement, and to a certain extent this is true. But why put up with an average stretch when you can have a great one?
Why not try resistance stretching right now? Tense the muscles in your torso, with your hands close to your shoulders and with a big yawn stretch your arms out. Can you feel this in your shoulders, chest and back? How amazing to rejuvenate and engage such a large area of the body with just one powerful movement.
Imagine all your stretches were like that. Don’t stretch further – stretch better. Use resistance to feel amazing.