Animals do it all the time, because they can't escape their bodies. We are the only creatures that can live up in our heads. Let's not do that. A body this is loose, stretched out, is a body we can inhabit with more ease. Stress and muscular tension go together.
If the body is tense, it’s very hard to settle the mind. Have you ever noticed this? The tighter, and more wound-up the body, the tighter, and more wound-up the mind. This is one of the reasons yoga is so popular. When we stretch—when we breathe into the body, when we take the time to occupy it, to move around, to lean into the edges of discomfort, the thousand little ordinary pains that have dropped beneath the threshold of our conscious awareness, to actually dig into the archeology of the body—it changes our minds. Have you ever noticed how much animals stretch? Every time the cat gets up from a nap, she arches her back, and all the ends of her tingle. Have you ever wondered why the yoga pose is called downward dog? Animals do this as a matter of course. They shiver , and they stretch, they move around because they fully occupy their bodies, —because they don’t have the cognitive circuitry to wander up into discursive thought and get lost. It is only modern people, sedentary, ever on our screens, who have forgotten that we are animals. Stretch, bruh.
Video: Distill | Photography: Stein Egil Liland | Licensed from Pexels.com, used with permission.