In his book “Sapiens, a brief history of humankind”, Yuval Harari explains how for hundreds of thousands of years, seasons played a crucial part in humans’ daily existence. The impact of seasonality became even greater following the first agricultural revolution (around 10,000 years ago), due to farmers’ dependency on the grace of natural forces to the success of their crops.
Now... despite my rural upbringing I ended up a city dweller. And yet these days, I find myself channeling my inner farmer - looking forward to the imminent arrival of spring. I can feel my mind awakening from the long cold winter and my body telling me it’s time to ‘stretch out of the cave’ and get ready to enjoy the longer days and warmer temperatures.
But just before we all rush to put on our best training gear and go out there to conquer the world with sweat and hard work, a word of advice - if you have not been doing much with your body in the last few months, it might be a good idea to take it easy at first. Allowing your body time to adjust - your joints to get juicy, your core to get stable and your muscles get strong gradually is always better than pushing yourself too hard and too quick. What you ‘break’ in the rush to tone up ASAP can take weeks and weeks to heal which is both annoying and demoralising (and probably painful).
A new day starts with a yawn and a stretch; a run starts with a light jog; a movement practice starts with a warm-up, allowing the body time to adjust in order to avoid strain or injury. If you are indeed stretching out of winter hibernation, it is a good idea to spend the next few weeks taking classes that will help you stretch, mobilise and centre your muscles and joints. Our bodies are wiser than we give them credit for… and it always informs us when we have pushed ourselves appropriately and when we have pushed too hard. We just need to listen.
Check out this compilation of stretchy classes
Have a great spring