Stretching is good… until you snap

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus  – Week 8 9

This week’s topic in our Year of Mindfulness is stretching. “Yogis say what? . . . Duh!” Yogis know there are numerous benefits of asana practice and stretching is certainly a huge one. Here are some well-known facts about stretching:

  • Posture is enhanced with stretching as it improves muscles balance around a joint
  • Stretching reduces the chance of injury when playing a sport, and in everyday activities
  • Stretching increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage which reduces muscles soreness after training

But stretching is just one aspect of yoga, and is only that when not coordinated with breath and mindfulness. …

But let’s take stretching one step further. When is the last time you stretched outside of yourself? When did you last take a risk? What are you holding back? How can you give more, be more, put yourself out there more? This is stretching too. Life is to be lived. Could you stretch further to see where that stretch takes you? I’m guessing you’ll not regret the things you do as much as the things you don’t.

I haven’t been very mindful of my #mindful52 prompts in the last few weeks (the stretching prompt was posted February 26). I haven’t responded to it previously because I was unsure of what to write. I wrote a lot about the new things I had done to stretch myself  over the last few years and what I’d like to work on this year, when I was blogging during November and December 2010, and even into January 2011 – writing, the radio show, public speakingmountain biking, etc. I’m frankly a little tired of rehashing the same things. And maybe you’re tired of hearing about them?

Last month I took a risk and got quite unexpectedly burned, and my confidence took a nose dive for a few weeks. I’m a little scared to put anything out there again, but nonetheless I’m still trying scary things. I pick up the phone weekly to call strangers for interviews on my radio show, or interview them in the studio (I can’t imagine doing that without major anxiety a few years ago), but my heart still skips a beat when a new challenge comes along, like the prospect of doing a live radio show during a pledge drive (so far we’ve been doing it all prerecorded). What else? I’m always on the lookout for new authors to stretch my reading brain.

But there’s only so much of me to go around, and it seems like the more that I stretch in one area, the more that other areas of my life seem to be stretched too thin. That is something I’m still trying to figure out. I suspect that I’m not alone.

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