We had a sudden snowfall here in Seattle, right in the middle of January. With school canceled, I spent two days playing with my kids. I walked and pulled my kids on a sled around the neighborhood. On the first day, I saw something that reminded me of Juli’s Healthy Living Corner Note in the January Newsletter. She spoke about her Father’s words of wisdom to become strong and flexible.
Photo by holliwithani.com
What I saw was a perfect reminder of those words: Bamboo so laden with snow and ice, that they were bent over nearly touching the sidewalk. The 6-foot tall fence standing beside them held them up. I had to bend down, crouching to walk through the tunnel they created. My kids thought it was pretty fun!
The next few days, I was reminded again of those words as my sore muscles screamed at me, “Why don’t you stretch every day!?” Playing is a fun way to get exercise, and I did more than my normal exercise routine that week of snow. My soreness reminded me that even if I don’t have time to go to a Yoga class, I could spend just 5 minutes every morning to stretch.
Hen Sen Herbs has a free little book with suggestions on how to stretch to aid alignment and digestion – working the abdominal muscles, and stretching the back, arms and legs. I have one, but I have not been very good about making it a part of my routine.
My favorite stretching exercise from the book is this one: Kung Fu Circle Arm – Here is how you do it:
– Stand in a “bow step” with one foot in front of the other, feet apart about 4 feet so that you can bend one leg down and have enough room for your thigh to be parallel to the ground.
– Place your corresponding side hand on your thigh (if right foot forward, place left hand on left thigh).
– Extend your other hand, or right in this example, and stretch up toward the sky. Keep your torso facing forward, continue to move your arm forward and around in a circle.
– Complete this stretch as many times as you can, and rotate circular arm stretches. Then, switch sides. Try it slowly to feel the stretch, then increase in speed and repetitions to keep the stretch working your body. It may help to stand in front of a mirror to check your stance alignment.
Do you exercise? Do you stretch beforehand? How do motivate yourself to stick to it? We are striving to provide useful information in the newsletter. If you have a tip that works for you, please feel free to share it with us, and will pass it on when we can. You may mail or email your suggestions to Hen Sen Herbs 13256 NE 20th St. STE 3A Bellevue, WA 98005, or firstname.lastname@example.org – we look forward to learning from you.
Holli Margell, Editor