Yes, stretching really can help you relax. There’s more to stretching than just preparing you for an exercising session. Did you know that stretching can also build muscle mass, and that stretching regularly can improve your posture?
Yes, stretching can do all that, but let’s first see how stretching can be similar to going to a yoga class in your favorite city. Let’s see how stretching can help you unwind.
Does stretching help you relax?
Some people find driving a motorbike through several rings of fire in the style of Evel Knievel massively enjoyable and utterly relaxing, while others get their fill or r-n-r from a hammock ,a cool drink and beautiful scenery. It all depends on just what kind of a person you are.
However, stretching seems to be as relaxing as an activity can be for the majority of people who’ve actually tried stretching in this capacity. The slow, precise movements, the holding of a stretch, the deep inhale and a slow exhale… Admit it, you’re becoming more relaxing just reading this.
And that’s exactly what stretching is like, and why it feels so good and so relaxing to simply stretch. It’s advisable to stretch prior to exercising, but this really should be expanded to note that stretching is also a relaxation technique.
How can stretching help your mind?
There’s a saying, albeit not a very well-known one, that states “stretch your body, stretch your mind”. It means that performing slow movements that relax your body will also work wonders for relaxing your mind.
For example, excessive stress can cause your muscles to become stiff and tense. OK, why not try a bit of stretching to relieve some of the tension? So, you stretch, relax your muscles, but hey, what’s this – I’m no longer stressed? How can that be?
That’s the power of stretching – you focus on relaxing your muscles, and you end up relaxing your mind as well as your body. It has to do with you giving your mind a break, focusing on the physical aspects of exercising, unconsciously allowing yourself a mental break.
How does stretching contribute to muscle relaxation and stress relief?
We would like to apologize to begin with, as to explain just how stretching contributes to muscle and mind relaxation demands that we take a deeper dive into the science behind it all. Yes, there’s science involved, biology, to be more precise.
Again, stress – it not only causes your mind to become a crumpled mess of negative emotions, it also causes your body to feel stiff, tense, and sore. You sit, thinking about how you could improve your current state.
Enter stretching. You see, when you stretch, you stimulate the receptors inside your nervous system, receptors that slow down the secretion of stress hormones. However, that’s not all stretching does. The mental benefits of stretching are threefold:
- Stretching fosters and quickens the release of mood-enhancing hormones throughout your entire body.
- Stretching also increases blood flow in your entire body, but, more importantly for your mood, it improves blood circulation in your brain.
- As you stretch, your body becomes more relaxed which, in turn, leads to you refocusing your mind and allowing yourself to think about things that don’t cause stress.
How quickly can yoga improve flexibility?
Understandably, the majority of people eager to practice yoga are looking for one of two things, usually both – to relax their minds and to make their bodies more flexible. Normally, they want to know how long before they achieve full-body flexibility.
Now, we have to be honest – the results do not come right away. Many people become discouraged if they do not notice results after a week of practicing yoga. That’s too short a time period for any results to become noticeable.
It takes a bit longer than that – a couple of months. This can sound like a long time, especially in the fast-paced world we live in, but it’s the truth. You will start noticing considerable improvements after a month, but it takes two months for you to become truly comfortable with yoga.
The good news is this – once you’re off, you’re really off. Three months in and you’ll feel like a true yogi, self-confident, content, and happy to be practising yoga each chance you get. And that’s the true power of yoga – once you start doing it right, you’ll fall in love with it!