Stretching Daily Makes You Smarter
(From archived lianprice.com blog, circa 2017.)
Happy Monday Fly Tribe!
Stretching has been scientifically proven to boost intelligence.
How is this possible?
As we know, the mind and body operate together as part of one system. When there is contraction in one or more areas of the body, meaning when muscles become tight or joints become inflamed, these sore, fatigued parts will close in upon themselves in a dutiful effort to heal.
When this process of recovery happens, especiallyif it becomes chronic (example: sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, causing chronic hamstring and hip flexor contraction) it throws off the entire body’s sense of balance.
The framework of levers and pulleys that essentially make up the body’s muscular system send signals to the unconscious, automatic part of the brain via nerve pathways, announcing that the system is out of alignment. The brain then sends signals back to the opposing muscle groups, alerting them to resist the added force so that functional balance is not lost.
As the unconscious brain becomes more and more overworked in this way, the conscious parts of the brain, (the ones we use to think, create and connect with others) are given the limited leftover energetic reserves to work with.
Put simply, when the mind is contracted it does not have the freedom to expand in thought or reach its full creative capacity. A contracted state of mind is more akin to survival mode.
By contrast, when the mind is in a relaxed state, that is when creativity and true intellectual thought can flow. And you probably guessed it; the mind cannot relax until the body does.
Tight, contracted physical body= contracted, fatigued mind.
Balanced, expansive physical body= clear, open, energized mind.
Stretch your body each day and give your mind the opportunity to operate at full capacity.
Last thought: The biggest bone in your body is your pelvis. The largest muscles in your body stem from this bone as well. (Glutes, quadriceps, etc.)
Therefore, the most energetically expensive processes take place around this area (Oh, and by the way, so does digestion, another extremely energetically expensive process that takes places just above the pelvis.)
The 2nd, sacral chakra is located here as well, a primary energy center believed in Eastern medicine to be responsible for creativity, pleasure, enjoyment, emotional intelligence, intimacy, connection, money and movement.
So by all means, if there is one area of the body with which to make a top priority to keep healthy and stretched, it would be this one!
Sadly, so many of us in the Western world sit all day long, making this area extremely contracted and tight. No wonder we are not operating at optimal capacity!
We can easily turn this around. If a full-body stretch session each day sounds daunting to you right now, let’s start with just stretching the muscles surrounding the pelvis. It will do us all a world of good.:)
Cheers to more mind freedom! And cheers to being healthy, stretchy and creatively expansive.
Have a wonderful week and I hope to see you soon!
– Love, Lian