This morning at the end of our strength training workout at Fitness Revolution Pasadena, we took several minutes to just lay and our backs and breath deeply into our diaphragms. Our trainer Joseph says it’s a great way to release the muscles of the spine and prevent back pain. Then we took 5 minutes to stretch. It felt so good to lengthen and soften into the stretches.

As we stretched, I flashed back to Tuesday’s workout when we didn’t have time to stretch. I missed those five minutes a lot. And, my stiff low back and hips later in the day reminded me of the importance of lengthening and softening my muscles at the end of a workout.

Last night at the Long Live LA video screening we viewed a series of health videos by Ann Kaneko. 

Qigong Series: STIFF by Ann Kaneko from Freewaves on Vimeo.

I love the simple message of “Stiff”. It validated my instinct to rub my tense muscles and frequently shift and move my body into new positions.

Sometimes it feels awkward in public situations to stretch or move around a lot, but when my body cries out for attention, I’ve learned it’s better to respond sooner than later. Delaying attention to seemingly small needs for a stretch, a deep breath, a drink of water or to use the restroom isn’t good for my body.

Love your body today. Take a few minutes to practice belly breathing or stretch. Your body will appreciate it.