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Stretching to improve health and increase energy
Stretching to improve health and increase energy

by Prunella de Pedant

A health regime is of the utmost importance to anyone who wants to live a genteel life. Exercise keeps us calm and boosts our vitality, ensuring that we have a robust and balanced existence.

This is the reason for this humble piece: I would like to share a stretch that I find most effective. It was designed and penned by one of my heroines Dorothy Cocks, the author of The Etiquette of Beauty.

It goes something like this:

Standing with feet parallel and knees straight, let the body bend forward from the waist and hang in a relaxed position, with arms and flopping inert. Inhale slowly as you lift and straighten first the waist, then shoulder, then neck, raising the arms and straightening the elbows and wrists till you are stretching body and arms to their fullest height. Exhale slowly, while relaxing first the fingers, then wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and waist, and you hang down from the waist. Repeat five times.


This is a lovely movement to execute with slow music set to waltz times. Think of yourself as a young tree, a weeping willow that stands beside a quiet green pool. When the sun is to hot, you droop, all your branches wither, your tender leaves trail on the ground. (See if you can trail your fingers on the ground.) But a cool breeze fills you with life. Your branches lift themselves to catch the air. Your leaves reach up to the birds. But now the breeze has passed. Your leaves are parched again. Your branches languish. Your stout bole is strong always. (Keep your knees straight.) But your branches and leaves rise and fall with the coming of the breeze.

Original illustration of one of Dorothy Cocks's stretches

Please do try this at home. Just following these simple instruction, coupled with the suggested waltz music you will see how tranquil you will feel.

Enjoy…

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