Plus, Four Soothing Stretches to Try
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Every instructor of movement emphasizes the importance of stretching, from those in our elementary school gym classes, to the ones leading the barre sessions we take as adults. We gently pull and press and bend ourselves before and after any activity to avoid injury. And less intentionally—when we wake or have been sitting too long—our bodies instinctively reach, lengthen, and twist.
As we connect our breath and our bodies, we become more mindful, too. Everyday distractions can often keep us from checking in with ourselves in real time and acting accordingly based on our needs. According to Daniela de Silva, founder of Blue House Yoga, stretching can bring us back to the present moment and can help us recover from the common stresses we endure during the day.
And if, like me, you’re inclined to nighttime routines, de Silva explains that incorporating a stretching ritual before bed can especially help us return to our bodies and release the accumulation of stress in our fascia and muscles. This will ultimately improve our sleep quality which, de Silva reminds, is strongly tied to our overall health. “A restful night of sleep is one of the strongest pillars for sports performance, wellbeing, and cognition,” she says.
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