My writer friends and I spend a lot of our lives slaving over our computers. It’s not surprising that when we look at the clock we see that we have been writing for hours. And if you are like me, your head, hands, and butt make it clear you need to move, I need to stretch.
I’m a dedicated exerciser so assume that I’m getting the body work I need. As a daily gym rat, my chosen body wreckers are the elliptical and the bike. I rate my work-out on the number of miles I put on my internal clock. Like every dedicated exerciser, I know the importance of stretching. And at other points of my life I’ve done that. How could I not in that two of my gorgeous daughters are lifetime yogis? Over the years, I’ve practiced yoga, but resisted getting back into it. That avoidance got its comeuppance when my youngest daughter visited and stayed in the room next to me for a week.
Julia is as much of an exercise zealot as I am. The only difference is that in addition to her long-distance running, gym work etc. she is a dedicated yogi. And a talented one. All you have to do is watch her twisting up and down on “silks”—what they call the cloth panels aerial yogis use to support themselves as they fly, flip, and swing in the air. Think Cirque de Solei. Julia is also a nationally recognized yoga guru and instructor.
After listening to the litany of aches and pains I’ve been suffering, Julia didn’t comment on my gym routine. Rather she said carefully, “You seem to be tight, Mom. Not as flexible as you once were.” Rather than pointing out that, yes, my 78 year old body has changed, she said, “I think it would help if you added stretching to your routine.” Of course as a life-long exerciser I know how important stretching is. I just don’t do it.
Before I listed all the reasons I don’t do things that I know are good for me, Julia said, “How about for a month you work some mild stretching into your routine?” While I wanted to let her know that I appreciated her concern but… she cut me off. “Mom, if I told you, that you could change your productivity dramatically if you added ten minutes of stretching into your routine a couple times a day, would you take that time?” Sigh. Of course, I agreed.
All her life Julia loved charts, calendars, diaries, colorfully documenting whatever she was working on at the moment. I wasn’t surprised when she suggested I might want to document my stretching on a calendar. Not finding a calendar we liked online, she said, “That’s okay, I’ll make one for you.” Bringing back memories of all the calendars, charts, etc., my sweet daughter made as a kid, she quickly made one for me. And like the mother I’ve always been, I headed for the Dollar Store to get stickers for my calendar. (Wonder where Julia gets it?)
This brings me to the purpose of this blog. That is to give my writer and reader friends a gift. Two videos of my lovely daughter doing simple stretches specifically for those of us who spend our lives bent over a computer. Honestly, the stretches seemed so basic, so simple, I didn’t know how they would work. BUT after nearly a month of doing them, I’m amazed at how much more flexible I am. My gift to you are two eight minute videos that I urge you to add to your routine. I think you will be surprised at the difference you feel. And just so you know that Julia learned her “documenting” lessons from her mom, I’m also attaching my calendar….
8 minute chair stretches:
8 minute standing stretches:
PICTURE of MY CALENDAR
P.S. And if you want a relaxing evening routine, check out Julia’s twenty minute “Rest and Rejuvenate” nightly routine, guaranteed to relieve any and all tension from the day, check out:
Did you enjoy Julia Pearl’s videos? You can connect with her online:
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After you are relaxed and rejuvenated, throw yourself into my:
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What an incredible post, Taylor. With Donna’s help, it looks fantastic here. I’ve shared it on Facebook so my friends can get the benefit of the exercises. I will start both the sitting and standing routines… and make myself a calendar.
Love you guys.