You know that slow body “stretching” you do automatically in bed when you wake up in the morning? Or maybe you do it at night while yawning, feeling tired from the day. Did you know that this action actually has a name? It’s called pandiculation, and it’s pretty amazing for you. Here is what pandiculation is, the benefits it has on your body, and how you can do it more intentionally.
What is pandiculation?
The types of movements involved usually involve:
-extending the legs
-raising the arms above the head
-arching and rounding the spine
Incredibly, this movement is instinctual. When I first read about it, I thought to myself, “I don’t think I do that.” But come the next morning when I was paying attention, I realized that I do. In fact, it starts before we’re even born as fetuses have been found to pandiculate in the womb.
And other mammals do it too. (Approximately 40 times a day!) If you have a cat or a dog, watch them when they wake up or change positions. They will likely make those movements I listed above. We have even named yoga poses after them like downward dog, upward-facing dog, and cat-cow.
Benefits of Pandiculation
Pandiculation is not often talked about, but there have been a few studies conducted on its effects. It has been found that pandiculation:
-eliminates stiffness from sleeping overnight
-resets the central nervous system and myofascial system (connective tissue)
-relaxes the muscles and relieves tension
-reduces stress levels
-can reverse muscle pain
-creates an invigorating feeling in the body
-improves proprioception (sense of the body’s position and movement)
How to Pandiculate
There are just 3 quick, simple steps to the pandiculation process.
Now that you too are aware of this phenomenon, be mindful of it in the mornings. Make sure you pandiculate in bed before you jump out to start your day and pay attention to how it feels. There is no time requirement or counting involved.
You can use this action throughout the day if the feeling arises as well. Anytime you feel like you need a reset, during something like sitting for a long time, do a quick pandiculation. It’s easy to gain these benefits with little effort.
Had you heard of pandiculation before? Do you do instinctively?
PS – Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends out there!
PPS – This Saturday the 25th is the last day that the Comfort & Joy Email Course: 21 Days of Self-Care to Get You Through the Holidays is on sale. If you want more information, check out this post. Invest in yourself and commit to creating a more peaceful season of celebration with me this year!