|Snickers playing dress-up with Janelle|
My third-grader Janelle is studying animal behaviors in school. Quizzing her yesterday I asked, “What’s instinctual mean?”
“It’s like the Loggerhead sea turtle,” she said. “They’re born and they just know the right thing to do. They’re like, Aaaah, I got to get in the water! Get me to the ocean!”
Perhaps due to our daily drills on the peculiarities of animals I’ve starting paying attention to my dog Snickers’ behavior. And here’s something I noticed.
Every morning, after she jumps down from our bed (yes, we’re those kind of people), she immediately goes into full on yoga-dog mode. Her front legs straight, she pushes them forward while simultaneously dropping her chest to the floor and hiking her butt in the air. A perfect “down dog” posture. Now the name makes sense. (This reminds me of the time I realized why a ponytail was called a ponytail. Staring at a horse’s butt, it hit me, Hey, that’s exactly how my hair looks when I put it in a ponytail. Duh. Sometimes my stupidity surprises even me. But I digress.)
|After her "down-dog" stretch, she goes into this one.|
I call it "The Superman."
Snickers stretches instinctually. Every morning. I certainly didn’t teach her that. If I was going to train her to do something in the morning it’d be how to make a pot of coffee. She stretches on her own.
Observing her throughout the day I see that she stretches every time she’s been in the same position for a while. How about that.
My lovely personal trainer from the In8 program, Will, is constantly reminding me to stretch. I leave every session with him calling after me, “Drink plenty of water and stretch, stretch, STRETCH!”
“Okay,” I call back knowing full well I’ll do none of it.
I don’t know why, but stretching just isn’t part of my day. But now, I’m thinking, Snickers might be on to something!
As we age our range of motion decreases and our muscles tighten, making every day activities more difficult. Stretching helps lengthen the muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion. Plus, it reduces the risk of injury to joints muscles and tendons and reduces muscle soreness and tension. And best of all, it feels good!
So this morning I stretched with Snickers and she rewarded my efforts with an energetic face-licking. And, taking another cue from my brilliant canine, I've been stetching after sitting at my desk for a decent length of time.
Snickers has succeeded in breaking through to me where my trainer has failed. What can I say? If Will had big brown eyes, velvety ears and looked at me as if I hung the moon, maybe I’d listen to him too.
Will—you reading this? That whole, worship-your-client look could be a new training technique for you. Just sayin’.
Here are a couple of Web sites that list some good stretches and have photos to guide you.
More Advanced Stretches
Happy Stretching! Love, Snickers