Stretching for beginners – Sitting

Please read the following suggestions before practicing the stretching shown in the video at (1).

The video demonstrates a series of sill postures and movements. They gently stretch the muscles of the eyes, face, neck, shoulders, arms up to the fingers and legs up to toes.

It shows the upper body movements done sitting on the edge of a chair, with an erect back. The lower body movements are shown sitting on the floor. If you can’t sit on the floor, you can skip these. If you can sit on the floor, practice both upper and lower body movements sitting on the floor. Make sure that the back remains erect, without stooping, all through.

If your body does not permit the range of movement shown, limit your movement to the extent you can. Slowly increase each movement till you reach a level of mild pain that you can bear. Over a few days or weeks of repeating these stretches combined with breathing, the range of movement will gradually increase without causing pain. I can assure you that most of the initial pains will gradually go away, if you follow the suggestions given here, specially focusing on breathing while holding the stretch or moving. Don’t be in a rush. Practice at your own pace. Let the results come in small increments over many months, to sustain the improvements.

Initially, hold each posture and focus on the breathing, using the counting mode. In each posture, count one set of three breaths. Similarly, repeat every movement, till you complete one set of three breaths.  After you get used to the stretches and like their after effect, practice them for a duration of two sets of three breaths and after some more time, increase the duration to three sets of three breaths.

Pause between the postures or movements if you like. Even when you pause, continue counting breaths, in sets of three. Don’t let your mind get lost in thoughts. If it does, bring it back to breathing. As soon as you feel rested to your comfort level, resume the postures or movements from where you left.

If you find that some postures or movements make a relatively bigger impact on your muscles or make you feel good, double or triple the number of breaths spent doing them to get the most of benefit.

After about a month of daily practice, the whole series takes about 10 minutes. You will be happy to see the change in your body condition. You will no longer feel like you are dragging your unwilling body along. Instead, you will feel like your body is happily following you like a well trained dog.

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(1) VIDEO of stretching for beginners

Parent page: VIDEOS