Global Resilience Solutions > Category:stretching

A Sure Sign of Your Decline…

No, it’s not gray hair.  It is just as easy to spot, though.  So read on to learn more…

And YES, we’ve found a video for you that you definitely won’t want to miss. But don’t CHEAT! Read this post from the top and watch the video at the proper time if you want to benefit.

As People Age 

A funny thing happens when people get older. And by “older” I mean as early as their forties! They become more “top heavy” in the sense that their attention becomes more focused on their torso and head, while they increasingly ignore their lower body entirely and reduce it to a transportation system that takes them (by walking) from point A to point B. I remember vividly watching my own father in this regard. I only saw him try to “run” once and that was when I was about 5 years old, so he was still in his forties – it was during a game of hide-and-go-seek in our backyard and it wasn’t much of a run as I recall! But Dad got virtually no exercise and was a typical example of what I’m talking about here. Not that he was much overweight – he wasn’t. However, like so many people today after the age of forty, if he had fallen or suddenly had to “hit the deck” or dive to the ground, there would have been a horrible mess of ripped and torn muscles, tendons and ligaments, and probably some broken bones too!

The Taoist longevity tradition is constantly inviting us to consider the image of the child. Children are so full of Qi or “vital energy” and feel so close to the ground. They love to tumble and roll and engage their WHOLE bodies in continuous physical activity. The ancient Taoist masters developed forms of exercise to imitate these child-like dynamics on the hypothesis that they were congruent with LIFE, while the “top heavy” dynamic that sets in with so many adults is only congruent with DEATH. And, from the fact that they were able to reliably extend the human lifespan well past one hundred years in great physical, mental and emotional health, the Taoist scientists concluded their hypothesis was correct.

Flexibility and Your Lower Body

After decades of investigating the mind-body connection, I take it as axiomatic that mental and emotional flexibility – the kind so critical for maintaining any kind of objectivity, for avoiding judging things by appearances and also for building great relationships – depends to a very large extent on PHYSICAL flexibility. The “top heavy” crowd – those who have lost lower body flexibility, are afraid of toppling over or falling and who would be lost without chairs to sit on – are notoriously inflexible in their thought processes and emotional lives as well. Beyond that, they have far less energy than their more flexible counterparts. In a very real sense, they are in the process of losing their personal resilience  on all levels.

The Miracle of Stretching

As you probably know, Yoga (Indian Hatha Yoga, to be more precise) is one of the most brilliant methods of exercise ever devised.  Though it’s far more than a system of “exercise”  or “stretching” in the crude, Western sense of the words, today we’ll focus solely on that stretching component.  So watch the video below (it’s really amazing!!) and enjoy!  This viral video came out of Russia – the opening title says “Feline Yoga” and the end title says “The Art of Health Yoga Studio.  It’s not just people who love Yoga…”

The young lady in the video is going through part of a pretty standard Yoga workout and she does have great form!  The cat does too, but I suspect he/she was more interested in finding a lap to curl up in, something Yoga was not designed to provide 😉  Now consider what’s happening as she stretches and goes through these postures…

  • She’s stretching nearly all her muscles, both superficial and deep core.  As she does this, she’s increasing blood circulation throughout her body, toning her circulatory system and delivering more and more oxygen to her muscle tissue.  She is also toning her central nervous system by stretching the nerve fibers that run all through her tissues and is reconnecting her mind/consciousness to those tissues.  All of this keeps the muscles flexible and lubricated, so there is very little chance that sudden exertion will cause any damage or loss of mobility.
  • As the muscles stretch, so does the fasciae that surround the muscle groups.  This helps to ensure that fat cells don’t infiltrate and compromise the integrity of the fascia tissues.  Moreover, a significant part of her body’s energy system runs through the fasciae, so keeping them in good repair helps ensure that critical inter-cellular communication throughout the body is optimized.
  • Along with her muscles, she’s taking her tendons and ligaments through their ranges of motion as well.  And strong tendons and ligaments are critical for developing flexibility, avoiding soft tissue injury and for protecting  the joints.
  • Yet her torso is not being ignored either!  As she does these whole-body stretches, she is actually massaging her internal organs, thereby detoxifying them and feeding them with more blood, oxygen and Qi.
  • She is also taking her spine through its complete range of motion, preventing back pain and helping to circulate spinal fluid and Qi up the spinal column.
  • Finally, the weight-bearing quality of many of these postures (you try staying in “downward dog” posture -or should that be “downward cat” in this case? – for ten minutes or so and you’ll see what I mean!) helps to build and maintain her skeletal structure at the optimal balance of rigidity and flexibility.

YOUR Personal Resilience

So if you want to build your own personal resilience, you absolutely must stretch your body on a regular basis, because that’s the only way to FEED it with the abundant supplies of blood, oxygen and Qi that all its cells are screaming for.  This is what will allow you to maintain or regain your physical and emotional flexibility, build up your central nervous system, create healthy organs, keep your body in proper acid-alkaline balance and make you feel GREAT!

And the best part of all??  You don’t even need the cat!!

Happy stretching!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Resilience Tip: Expand your range of Motion

That’s right, expand your range of motion.  

One of the great keys to personal resilience is to maintain a full range of motion throughout your body for your whole life.  In the world of health and wellness, there are very few things you can do that will give you this much benefit… and on minutes a day!

Where should you start?  Simple… think of a range of motion you used to have and would like to reclaim.  It might be touching your toes while keeping your legs straight, or spreading your legs wide apart (side splits) or being able to stand on one spot and turn your head and spine far enough around so you can look behind you.  Starting today, take a few minutes a day to stretch and expand this range of motion very gently and slowly, being careful to breathe into the tissue you’re stretching.  Warming up a little before stretching is also highly advisable.

(NOTE: If you’re planning to stretch a previously injured area or one that’s particularly delicate, make sure you consult a physician, chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist first).

Notice here that range of motion involves a) joints, b) muscles, c) connective tissue (tendons and ligaments).  What most people don’t know is this: as you stretch, you’re also massaging and toning the fascia layer under the skin and the fascia that wraps the tissues you’re stretching.  This strengthens your overall posture and improves the flow of blood, energy, synovial fluid, etc.  

In other words, every stretch you take not only contributes to your flexibility and range of motion; it boosts your overall health and immunity in ways you don’t see.  Want to be resilient – STRETCH!

Want to learn the world’s top system for using simple body motion and breathing to boost your health and immunity through the roof?  You can learn about it here: