Last night, during one of our regular chats, my Mom told me that she stretched recently, upon waking. And this was news. It was an observation on a simple, natural, automatic physiological response to being still for an extended period of time. Babies stretch. Animals stretch. I find myself throwing my arms up in the air and arching my back several times a day.
She had not stretched in years.
Stretches should come up from our cores like yawns - separating vertebrae and ribs and pulling our muscles against our bones. They should fill us with air and fresh blood. I go to classes just to sweat and stretch - when you really think about my hot yoga routine.
Her exhaustion has been so great for so long - her body was not finding that moment to stretch when she woke up. She was always on call and seeing what my Dad needed. She was so tired. She didn't stretch.
And now she's stretching.
All this talk makes you want to lift your arms in the air and stand on your tippy toes, doesn't it? It reminds me how powerful stretching really is.