Young exhausted man yawning

Most of us take what the body does for us for granted but do we ever stop to think about movements that we just automatically do and wonder why we do them?  …

 First thing we do when we wake up is, a great big Yawn and stretch.

The Yawn
  • When we stretch our jaws, we increase the rate of blood flow to the skull, and as we inhale at the same time, the air changes the temperature of that blood flow bringing cooler blood to the brain. So you start the day with a nice clear head.
The Stretch
  • This full-body stretch activates the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the body’s ability to rest, digest and recover, and increases the blood flow helping the body restore conscious, voluntary control over the muscles. 

This yawn and stretch is known as a Pandiculation, which is just the most amazing way to get those muscles lengthened and toned. Have you ever noticed when you yawn and stretch how you almost resist the stretch?  .. slowly stretching but with contraction… just try it now and see what I mean.

Think about your simple style of stretching, most of the time you are just pulling on the muscle but when pandiculation is active you are actively using the muscle, you start with a muscle contraction and slowly lengthen with an element of strength and control.

Because of this focus and connection, I like to think of Pandiculation as an intelligent type of stretch …. it connects to the spinal cord and the brain cortex (due to the contraction) so it’s a win win, improving body proprioception and releasing tension far longer than a simple stretch – which only sends signal to the spinal cord reflex.


There are three elements to a pandiculation:

  1. A voluntary contraction into the tension of your muscles (it doesn’t have to be vigorous!)…
  2. Followed by a slow, controlled lengthening….
  3. And a complete relaxation. This gives your brain time to integrate the new feedback you just gave it
So next time you want to stretch, try first contracting the muscle that’s tight and then slowly lengthening it
If you need any ideas for stretches, or would like to become a purestretch Instructor get in touch 
In the meantime, have a quick look at our video to see what the purestretch training is all about.

Whilst purestretch provides exercise routines, we strongly recommend that you consult your Doctor before undertaking any exercise.
Any user of an exercise program assumes the risk of injury resulting from performing exercises or using suggested equipment. Extreme care must be taken in selecting and using properly maintained exercise equipment at all times. Purestretch accepts no liability for any damages caused during, or as a result of, a purestretchhome exercise programme.
The instruction and advice presented are in no way a substitute for medical advice.



purestretch courses

purestretch online courses

purestretch blended

purestretch blended courses

purestretch workshops