Exercises- Mindful Stretching


Be sure not to rush or force yourself to do anything uncomfortable or painful. Here are the steps:

  1. Stand or sit in a comfortable place. It’s okay if there is noise. You can do this alone, or with others. 
  2. Breathe normally. Notice your breath. Notice it without changing it. Is your breath deep and long, or short and shallow? How does the air feel in your lungs?
  3. Slowly stretch your head and neck to one side. Does it feel tight or loose? 
  4. Slowly stretch your neck to the other side and see how it feels.
  5. Slowly move your neck in a circle, all the while checking to see where it feels tense or sore, and where it feels loose or flexible. Make sure you are always breathing.
  6. Next, move your shoulders up and down, and then slowly bring them around in a circle. 
  7. Stretch your arms up above your head. Do they feel heavy? Do they feel light? Do they feel painful? Do they feel strong?
  8. Lower your right arm next to your side, stretching your left arm over your head towards the right side. Breathe. Check and see how it feels. You can stretch more or less. Whatever is comfortable. 
  9. When you are ready, slowly try and stretch the other side, bringing your left arm next to your side and your right arm over your head towards the left side. Again, notice how this feels.  
  10. Now, try twisting your waist. Turn to the right side, and move your right hand to your lower back, or to the back of the chair if you’re sitting on one. You can rest your left hand on your right leg and look back across your right shoulder. You can twist as much or as little as you like. Check and see what feels good for your body. Once you finish the right side, come back through the center and twist to the left side, placing your left hand on your lower back or on the back of the chair. Placing your right hand on your left leg and looking back across your left shoulder. 
  11. Keep breathing  while you stretch. Notice  how your body feels. 
  12. Return to the center
  13. Notice your chest. Is it open or does it feel closed? Do you feel anything near your heart? Do you feel anything in your lungs? Do they feel wide? Do they feel constricted? 
  14. Notice your stomach. Is it calm? Is it in a knot? Does it feel warm and soft? 
  15. Keep breathing.
  16. If you have been sitting, come to a standing position. Try bending down to the ground – you can do this with your legs bent or straight. You can bend just a little bit, or all the way down to the floor. Check and see what feels good for your body. Stretch less, or more. Listen to the signals coming from your body.
  17. Now do any movement or stretch that your body feels like it wants. Is there some part that feels neglected?  Is there any part that wants more attention? If so, you can stretch or move these parts of your body now.
  18. Do not forget to breathe smoothly, noticing any thoughts or feelings.
  19. Notice. Do you need more sleep? Do you need more exercise? Do you need time to talk with someone about how you are feeling? Do you need to eat a specific food or drink more water? Any response is okay, even if there is no response.
  20. Listen to what you need, and bring yourself to a neutral position as we finish the exercise.


Simple, you’re done. All this exercise requires is you, and you can do it whenever you need, especially if you tension in your muscles, or disconnect between your mental and physical state.