The Secret Connection Between Stretching and Meditation
“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.” ~ Saint Francis de Sales.
Today some friends and I are attending a Holiday Detox, VINYASA FLOW & YOGA NIDRA workshop. I’m so looking forward to this class this afternoon, which will incorporate yoga and meditation, two of my favorite activities. With that in mind I thought I’d tell you a little about stretching and meditation, and how incorporating them into your life can help you maintain mental and physical balance!
The Secret Connection Between Stretching and Meditation
Stretching provides excellent physical and mental preparation for meditation. They support each other in a balanced way. Make your sessions more productive and comfortable by working on your flexibility. You’ll be able to sit longer and more comfortably. See what the perfect balance of stretching and meditation can do for your total well-being.
Physical Benefits of Stretching
- Sit more comfortably. A limber body adjusts more easily to any pose. You’ll be able to relax on a chair or cushion.
- Enhance your posture. Slumping in front of a computer or TV shortens and tightens your muscles. Stretching exercises will show you how to correct your alignment and carry your body weight more efficiently. You’ll look better and be protected from many common injuries.
- Breathe more effectively. Controlling your breath while stretching will teach you how to breathe slower and deeper. Stretching also revs up your circulation. Let the blood and oxygen reach every part of your body.
- Extend your sessions. Even a few minutes of meditation can produce dramatic results. However, the most valuable realizations often come from being able to sit for longer periods of time.
Mental Benefits of Stretching
- Shift your attention inwards. Stretching promotes mindfulness. You’ll notice your body and breathing. Let external cares drop away by focusing in on the here and now.
- Heighten your awareness. Follow that inward path. You’ll find that your intuition grows stronger, while discovering greater self-knowledge. Knowing who you are at the core is a key concept of Livelihood Spirit Balance.
- Boost your energy levels. You’ve probably noticed that even small body movements can help you wake up when you start to drift off during a boring meeting. A long stretch is an ideal way to increase the energy flow throughout your body.
- Reduce distractions. Put off worrying about the broken dishwasher or your child’s report card. You’ll see faster results from stretching when you engage both your body and mind in the present moment.
- Sharpen your concentration. Since stretching boosts your concentration, you can apply that ability to your meditation session and all other daily activities. Set a goal that you can focus on while meditating. See how long you can watch your breath. Bring your attention back each time you catch it drifting away.
Simple Stretches to Help Meditation
- Practice sitting poses. The traditional lotus position awakens your energy level and quiets your mind. If you’re just starting out, a half lotus or easy sitting pose will generate some of the same benefits.
- Twist around. Twisting from the waist squeezes out toxins. It helps your circulatory system and internal organs function better.
- Strengthen your core muscles. Many stretches invigorate muscles in your back and abdomen. You’ll lower your risk of back pain and have more energy for meditation and daily tasks. Start each morning with a series of sun salutations.
- Release neck tension. Sitting and sleeping in awkward positions can create chronic neck troubles and even headaches. If you have difficulty lowering your head to your chest, gentle head rolls and other movements can put things back on track.
- Soothe your shoulders. Similarly, many people get in the habit of keeping their shoulders raised. Try holding light weights in your hands to lower your shoulders. Aim to duplicate that feeling all day.
- Wiggle your toes. You might be surprised to discover how much your toes can move once you give them a break from being squeezed into shoes all day. Curling and spreading your toes will cut down on foot pain and increase your balance.
Recharge your meditation practice by training for flexibility. Increasing your range of motion reduces stress and muscle soreness. You’ll feel more balanced, supple and peaceful during your meditation sessions and in the hours in between.
Love & Light to you, 🙏💝🙏
Your Mindset Transformation Virtuoso & Nature Goddess Guide
Written on 7 January, 2020
Dawn-Marie P. Dalsass, President of Livelihood Spirit Balance is a Stress Management Maven. She’s a Stress and Anxiety Expert for Middle Managers. She started her career in Corporate America while she was in high school and worked her way up the ranks finding herself in middle to upper management for most of her corporate career. She loved what she did but along the way she battled stress, anxiety and depression. When work and life were more than she could handle she planned her suicide in detail. Fortunately, she didn’t go through with it when she saw her 2 little boys on her way to get a knife with a plan to end it all. It was in that moment that she vowed to pull herself together and begin a new journey.
In 2015 she started her own business called Life Coach DM. After several years of working with clients, she realized that the majority of her clients were in middle management just like she was. She had helped most go from being stressed, anxious and / or depressed to being more balanced, aware and dynamic while guiding them on their own journey to achieve life goals including work life balance.
Dawn-Marie has since become a Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide and teaches individuals how they too can annihilate the stress, anxiety and depression (aka S.A.D) that middle managers and working parents can face through a process called equilibration (the balancing of the mind and emotions) along with the healing benefits a deep connection to nature (both indoors and out) can bring to become fully balanced, aware and dynamic (aka B.A.D).
Through her own practice, Dawn-Marie discovered what she calls Livelihood Spirit Balance where how one lives their life is in alignment with their authentic self, their B.A.D Ass-self. With Livelihood Spirit Balance, Work Life Balance and everything else just falls into place.
Based on her years of work and client success stories, Dawn-Marie changed her business name to Livelihood Spirit Balance to align with her teachings, mission, vision and purpose.
Dawn-Marie offers online courses, personal and corporate development coaching, workshops and seminars. As the owner of Total Convalescence – Nature & Forest Therapy she also offers public and private Nature & Forest Therapy Walks.
Dawn-Marie is a:
- Certified Mindset Transformation Coach
- Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide
- Certified Law of Attraction Wealth Practitioner
- Certified Fraud Examiner and
- Certified Internal Controls Auditor