We have two dogs, ZuZu and Clint, and a cat, Stella. They grew up
together so they all get along.
I call them my “cubicle mates” because I work from home and they
are usually hanging out here in my office with me. In fact, they
are lying down beside me as I type this at my desk.
Here’s a picture of ZuZu and Clint:
Do you have pets? If so, then you already know that we can learn
so much from our pets.
One thing I always notice is how – and how often – dogs and cat
stretch. Anytime Zuzu, Clint or Stella have been laying down for
any length of time, such as a nap, they always stretch when they
First they stretch their paws to the front and pull their bodies
to the back. Then they lean foward on their front paws and stretch
the back part of their bodies. These same positions have been
imitated in various types of stretching methods, such as the
yoga pose “Downward Dog” or the “Dand” or “Cat Stretch” from
These are good, all-around body stretchers and waker-uppers –
not only for cats and dogs, but also for us humans!
But equally important as the stretching position is the way that
cats and dogs perform the stretch. They don’t assume the
position and then hold it for a long time, like some stretching
methods will have you do.
If you watch closely, you’ll see that they perform the stretch
in a dynamic manner. That is, they smoothly move into the stretch.
Then, at the extended part of the stretch, they tense all their
muscles and actually use the stretch as a resistance exercise.
This type of dynamic stretching comes naturally to us humans too.
We may assume different poses and focus our stretch on a specific
part of our bodies. But we naturally stretch in a dynamic
However, there are two things that prevent us from reaping
the benefits that our pets do.
First off, pets tend to stretch multiple times per day, throughout
the day. They take just a few seconds to stretch their bodies.
But this few seconds leaves them limber and ready for action.
In contrast, we humans may work (typically sitting) for hours at
a time without stretching. No wonder so many people complain of
backaches, neck strain, and late afternoon fatigue.
Secondly, our cats and dogs use their dynamic stretch to both
relax and strengthen their bodies. They stretch in such a way
that muscles, connective tissues and joints are all exercised.
In contrast, many people stretch passively. They have been taught
to move into a stretched position – preferably to a level of
discomfort – and hooooold that position for 30 seconds, a minute,
maybe even longer. Rinse and repeat – do it again, then move
onto the next stretch.
There are many reasons why this is not as effective a way of
stretching. I don’t have time to go into all of them now. But,
I will point out that stretching statically takes longer and is
not as effective as stretching dynamically.
By stretching dynamically – the way that I teach – you can
exercise, loosen and strengthen your entire body within just
a few minutes. You relax and work out the kinks without any pain,
without any grimacing, without having to get into and hold
awkward positions. And you become more resilient.
Interested in learning more? Click here
and read more about it. Here, you will discover a better, more
effective and more enjoyable way to improve your flexibility,
mobility and resiliency.
Now I’m off to do a little stretching with my cubicle mates!
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
P.S. Getting older doesn’t have to mean increased stiffness and
loss of mobility, degenerating joints, or chronic nagging pain.
You CAN recapture the limber, pain free body you once enjoyed
in your younger days. And I have just the program to help you:
“Dynamic Flexibility: The Secret To Healthy, Pain-Free Joints,
Limber Muscles and Maximum Mobility”. Right now I am offering
this program at special limited time only price. You can secure
your own copy today at the Best Breathing Exercises website.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011