Thursday, May 21, 2015

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Loosen Your Bones

Loosen Your Bones

    by Reb Gutman Locks  

 

        On the Shabbos morning before the upcoming New Moon the Chasidic sfard custom is to "bless the month" with a very nice prayer that begins; "May it be your will…." In this prayer we ask for such things as; the new month to be for good, long life, livelihood, and then the prayer for "chilutz atzmut" (חלוץ עצמות).   

     The prayer continues requesting, a life of awe of Hashem, honor, love of Torah....

     Chilutz atzmut can be translated as strength or health, but it also means flexible or pliant bones or sockets.

     Here is an excellent overall objective and instructions for a healthier body through stretching. Do any common stretching exercise, such as reaching to touch your toes without bending your legs. You can do it either standing or sitting. When you reach as far as you can do not push to reach further, but rather gently relax the areas of your body that feel tight, such as the back of your legs or your shoulders. This will loosen the tightness somewhat and your fingers will come a little closer to your toes. Relax there at the full stretch position for a moment or two before straightening back up.

     The more you do it the easier it will become. Be sure to identify the exact area of your body that is feeling the discomfort or pain when you reach the limit of your stretch. Where you feel the pain is the very area that you have to gently release. If you have difficulty releasing that area, try to imagine the tightness spreading slowly away from its center. You need to release only a tiny bit at a time. Do not try to force it loose, but slowly and gently release some of the area where it hurts.

      Use this same method of releasing when doing any stretching exercise. Try tilting your head all the way to one side then to the other side. When your head goes as far as you think it can, stop for a moment, take a gentle deep breath, and relax the areas that feel tight. Your head should move a little further.

     Then tilt your head all the way to the front until your chin touches your chest, and then all the way toward the back.

     Reach your elbows toward each other behind your back. When you can reach no further, release the pressure you feel in the front of your chest and shoulders.    

     Whatever the particular exercise; the point is not to push hard to stretch further, but to release, the area that is restricting your stretch. Wherever you feel the pain of restriction when you reach as far as you think you can, that is the exact area that you have to gently release.

     Any direction or muscle you want to stretch is fine. The key is when you get as far as you think you can go, not to push but to loosen your bones. Here are a few examples.

    






       

      

     When you loosen your bones you feel more comfortable in your body. You will have an easier time walking, or doing any other physical movements. You will feel better as you go.

 

 

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great tips of how to stretch.

Happy Shavuot to your and yours and Shabbat Shalom.

anon.

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