Stretching in whatever form you prefer yoga, pilates, etc when practiced together strengthen the mind body connection, improving overall fitness and well-being. Many combine meditation with the physical routines, which use controlled breathing throughout poses. You can meditate without practicing by simply relaxing, clearing your mind and concentrating on controlled breathing. Both stretching and meditation, when used consistently, have proven health benefits.
Regular stretching/meditating practice helps to reduce stress responses in your body. Reducing the inflammatory response to stressors on your body will help reduce your chance of stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Meditation is also an effective stress reducer that is used to help reduce anxiety, panic disorders and agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder.
Western society is plagued by sedentary jobs where workers sit most of the day. This leads to reduced muscle mass, fitness and flexibility. In addition, office work increases neck and shoulder strain from hunching over in front of a computer all day. Yoga poses in particular focus on stretching and lengthening the muscles. Increased flexibility will help you with daily movements such lifting and bending, while improving sports performance. Many athletes incorporate yoga into their workout schedules to improve or maintain flexibility.
Both Stretching and meditation improve mental focus and provide a general feeling of well-being. Meditation provides an emotional boost through deep relaxation, and it can be done anywhere. You can give yourself an emotional boost by taking a 10-minute meditation break right at your desk. Just simply shut your eyes, focus on relaxing your muscles and practice deep breathing.
Studies suggest that practicing yoga improves fitness and body awareness, leading to better eating habits. This in turn leads to increased self-esteem and the desire to take care of your body. Practicing meditation or stretching frequently is a behaviour modification technique that can help you improve your overall fitness.
Reducing your stress level, eating healthier and getting more exercise can only lead to better health. Modern life is full of stressful situations, fatigue from long hours and little sleep, allergies, anxiety disorders and a long list of stress-related diseases. Adding stretching in whatever form you choose or meditation to your life will improve the quality and possibly the quantity of your life. Improved health means you can participate in more physical activities and just feel better in the things you do daily and it’s so simple & free you can do it in your living room like me!