Stretch like a cat!

An article by Nathan Simmon (Remedial Massage Therapist) – 3min read.

Instructing myself to stretch is one of the most challenging activities for me on a motivational  level. It makes zero sense. I feel good while stretching and I feel good after stretching. Whilst it lacks the immediate feedback like weightlifting or running, where you feel as though you have worked for something and feel that pump, or that vitality in your lungs, mixed with a well-earned sense of tiredness that is different from a long day of work. Yes, increasing my flexibility does take a long time, but that doesn’t matter, because I feel good after stretching. It takes just as long a time to build big muscles or shorten your 5 km running time.

I know through pure experience that most of my clients feel similarly. Its an effort to start stretching, but if they were to stretch, they feel great. So, what gives?

I don’t have any quick fixes or a simple hack that will change my commitment to stretching, but I do have a mental switch to flip. 

Stretch like a cat!

Hear me out. I’m not saying do a hundred cat-cows or anything like that. What I want to change is both my own and your engagement with stretching. Right now, if I want to stretch it feels like I need a dedicated practice. This might be a yoga class I attend three times a week, or cooldowns after weightlifting (which from my experience is highly unlikely to happen even if I know I should). I think that is potentially an error in our engagement with stretching. Don’t misunderstand me, setting time aside to stretch like one of those examples or in some other form is fantastic and important, but if you’re not doing that. Well…some stretching is better than no stretching.

So, here is where we insert stretch like a cat!

Well……. a cat won’t set aside 60 minutes each day to do downward dog. A cat won’t go out for a hunt, chase a mouse and perform a 20 minute cooldown routine. A cat gets up from its resting position, gives itself one or two good stretches and moves on. 

Stretching like a cat involves mimicking the spontaneous way a cat stretches throughout the day, by introducing intuitive often multijointed stretches into our daily routines, we can gradually improve our flexibility and reduce stiffness! Cats don’t strictly follow a rigid stretching schedule. They listen to their bodies, feel the stiffness and stretch as they feel it. We too can introduce a similar principle in our days.

So, from now on, if you have been doing one thing for a while, sitting in front of your computer, sitting on the couch, sleeping, walking. Whatever that thing is that you were just doing for a while, notice the stiffness in your muscles, the creak in your joints, and move your body. Move your body through a dynamic movement hold a pose that takes you to the very end of your range of motion, take a few deep breaths, move into one or two more and bask in your new favourite way to stretch…Like a cat!

Book online with us!


Read more
Call for Appointment