You might have heard many meditation teachers talking about the importance of stretching before your meditation session. Many meditation classes start with a short session of stretching during the relaxation procedure. In yoga, which is basically a meditation lifestyle, there are plenty of stretching exercises. So, why is stretching so important for your meditation journey? Let’s start with the basics.
If you have already practised some kind of meditation, you already know that the most important subject we work with is our energy. Energy is basically a magnetic field full of vibrations which flows inside your body. Imagine energy like a river which flows inside your body. Take some time to imagine this river flowing inside you. Use your mind to feel this river. Watch it flow from your coccyx to your spine, to your neck and head and then moving downwards from your tongue to your throat, chest, solar plexus, belly, perineum and back to your coccyx. Now imagine that river flowing towards any direction inside your body. Watch it flow towards your arms and legs. Watch it move towards your whole torso, your vital organs, everywhere. Can you feel it?
Now, let’s make a short introduction to energy in order to understand its nature and needs. Energy is basically the transmissions of vibrations from one part of your body to the other. In order to fully understand this, simply observe a wave at the sea. Can you see how a wave moves towards the coast? Can you see how this energy that forces the water moving upwards is transmitted from one part of water to the other? Exactly the same way your energy moves inside you from a group of cells to the next one. Now imagine your energy trying to pass through your neck area. If the muscles around your neck are loose the energy will pass unostracted. This can happen because a loose muscle is flexible and able to receive and transmit this wave of energy easier. In order to understand this, do the following experiment: Take a rope in your hands. Tight one end on a steady surface. Take the other end to your hand. Let the rope loose. Now with the other hand try to move the rope towards any direction. It is easy, right? Now tighten the rope as much as you can and try to move it again. It must be quite difficult now. The same way work your muscles. If a muscle is too tightened, the energy is unable to pass due to inflexibility. If your muscle is loose the energy will pass easier.
This is why stretching is so important. Stretching techniques help your muscles and organs to stay loose. They also help your bones move a bit away from each other so they can move unobstracted. When you do some stretching, your body is in a better condition to move your energy. The higher the energy the deeper the meditation experience. For that reason I strongly recommend to do some easy stretching exercises before practising any meditation. Be careful though not to overdo it. Stretching, like meditation in general, must be joyful, not painful!
Fotis De Tao.