The Importance Of Stretching~
First of all, you might be asking yourself how stretching relates to being an independent woman. First of all, physical stretching is a huge part of good health, of self care and living an independent life. Age has nothing to do with it either. Regardless of your age, stretching is a healthy activity that keeps you limber, helps you to move gracefully, safely and with strength. Independent women need to be strong and as healthy as possible. So, let’s start stretching!
Stretch Your Body~
Stretching is not just for athletes, or people who work out regularly. To quote health.harvard.edu, “we all need to stretch in order to protect our mobility and independence.” Stretching just feels good! Just watch your cat or dog when they wake up. If you’re still not convinced, here are some other benefits of stretching:
- calms your mind
- helps to de-stress
- improves blood circulation
- improves posture, range of motion and flexibility
- helps to avoid muscle injury, stiffness and soreness
It only takes a few minutes of stretching each day to see and feel the benefits listed above. Yoga of course is a practice full of stretching. I’ve always admired people who practice yoga. They look so long and lean and tight. They walk with grace, their posture is fabulous and true yogi’s appear so calm.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been practicing yoga at home, with Yoga with Adriene for almost a year. She’s a very thoughtful teacher, gentle with beginners, but believe me, it’s still work! And I feel great after a class. You can follow Adriene on YouTube or her Instagram account, adrienelouise. Now this girl is graceful.
If you want a serious laugh, here I am, in all my glory; a large chested, 58 year old, overweight woman, trying her damndest to learn and to grow in my home yoga practice. I swear I’m going to suffocate myself! Beware, if you’re prone to middle-age incontinence, you better sit down, cause this is a side splitter. I took this pic with my phone on the floor, to show my girls and my sister just how hilarious and un-graceful I look. You ladies need to see what yoga is REALLY all about…
Now that’s reality folks! LOL
Alright, now that I’m done talking about stretching your body, and if you’ve dried the tears of laughter, let’s move on to other types of stretching.
Stretch Your Mind~
I’m sure you’ve heard before, that most humans under-use their brains (some more than others). We suffer from limited thinking. Sometimes we can be closed-minded about things, and I suspect it’s more about habit or our upbringing than it is a concscious choice. We can become trapped in old, no longer relevant, rigid thinking. Try to really think about why we have an automatic opinion about someone or something, a political party, a religion, etc. We should try to be very mindful of why we think what we think. Maybe we could open our minds and hearts to others, be more empathetic and thoughtful.
Consider your reasons for holding a grudge for instance. What is the purpose for holding a grudge in the first place? Where does it get you; what does it accomplish? Maybe it’s time to forgive. Check out a previous blog of mine in which I discuss both the benefits and difficulties of forgiveness. It’s time for us to challenge our opinions and be more intentional about what we say, do and think. Remember that we should retain the right to be independent in our thinking, but let’s not simply accept the way things have always been, just because they’ve always been that way. Question your values. Stretch your mind!
Stretch Your Comfort Zone~
What is your comfort zone and why should you stretch it? The fact that it’s called a comfort zone means that it is your comfy place, right? The definition of comfort zone is “a pleasant state of relaxation, physical comfort, free from worry, easily achieved”. All nice things. I believe there is a time and place for your comfy zone.
We have one life, ladies! Consider stretching your comfort zone. Get some excitement in your life! How about a little healthy fear? Make new friends; yes, even if you’re in your 40’s, 50’s or 70’s. Get involved in a new hobby; something you’ve never done before. Did you know you can learn to tap dance from YouTube videos? Learn a new language, either for travel (which you CAN do alone) or to communicate better with a co-worker, a neighbour or simply just to challenge yourself. Change your routine slightly. What about a new hairstyle? If you have always wished for a different job, start planning to make that change. Here’s something; why not change your opinion about yourself, your body, your personality.
It’s difficult to change your opinion about yourself because you may be stuck in an old habit of negative self talk. Challenge that habit and give yourself some routine self love. Don’t pigeon hole yourself. Try something new and exciting even if it does frighten you a little bit. Stretch your comfort zone!
Stretch Your Vocabulary~
We all have our favourite sayings, words we automatically use in a certain situation. I do too, and I’ll admit many of them are so automatic and too easy to throw out there. They don’t in any way exemplify my knowledge of the english language, or the sometimes colorful way I write when I’m trying to convince someone or show heartfelt emotions. I often wonder why I settle for the easy expletives when I could be much more effective with a more carefully chosen word. Learn a new word once a week. Use it as often as you can; create more interesting and vibrant conversations. Let me get you started.
Octothorpe– this word is the actual word for something you use often…I’m going to force you to Google this one. Here’s a hint- when I was young, we used to call it a pound sign, or number sign.
Callipygian– pronounced kalli-pid-jen. I thought I’d give you a word that you may have use for, lol. Most people want one of these, or they want a partner with one. Again, you have to Google it. I can’t just give it up.
So there you go, a couple words to get you started and maybe you can have fun with them. Stretch your vocabulary!
Remember, it’s not about how graceful you are, it’s about how hard you try. Up the excitement and challenge yourself this week. Feel free to share pics with me if you’d like.
Thanks for reading. I really appreciate your comments, so please feel free to leave one for me. Check back on Fridays for more from Carol Paino~ Parts Of Ourselves