You are encouraged to amplify yawning, sighing, or spontaneous stretching when they occur and happened naturally through your day.
These mechanisms are the body’s attempt to restore the elasticity of the connective tissues at rest. They show us the way of natural, animal and instinctive relaxation.
To facilitate them, it can help to expire and inspire through the mouth so as to better relax the tongue, the diaphragm of the throat, the chest and pelvic diaphragm.
Muscles that are tight/tense are working unnecessary contraction. It is a waste of energy.
By pandiculating our muscles tensions, we can reset these patterns of contraction so that the muscles can be at rest, no longer distorting our posture, causing pain and draining our energy (neuro sensitive and motor amnesia).
It is the simplest way to restore muscle function and reduce the level of muscular tension held in the body. For example a yawn is a reflexive pandiculation. It is not a stretch!
When we yawn, we actually tighten or contract the muscles of our jaw, neck, upper back and often our arms and shoulders, we then slowly relax back to rest. When we yawn, we first contract and then slowly relax, and that is exactly what pandiculation involves.
Felines and cats are true experts in pandiculating. Cats have incredible agility, phenomenal reflexes and can contort and pandicualte themselves into some weird positions in order to clean themselves.
Most animals in the wild will pandiculate somewhere in the order of 40–50 times a day. Whenever they wake from sleep they will automatically and naturally pandiculate to prepare their nervous system and their muscle for movement.
Pandiculation starts with a deep voluntary contraction tightening of a muscle or group of muscles, this sends new sensory information from receptors in the muscles to the Sensory cortex of the brain.
The length of the contracted muscle has reduced and the level of tension in the muscle has increased.
This new input allows the Sensory motor cortex to ‘sense’ and become ‘aware of that very muscle.
The next step is to slowly and carefully contract less and less all the way back to complete rest. By going slowly, we allow the Sensory cortex time to sense the muscle lengthening and the reduction in the level of contraction/tension.
When the contraction has been fully released we come to complete rest and pause. This pause is very important as it again, allows the brain and the Sensory cortex time to sense that the muscle length and level of tension have changed.
By pandiculating throughout the day all our major muscle groups we can reduce the level of tension held involuntarily in the body at a given time.
The result is improved movement, a deep sense of relaxation, a reduction or elimination of muscle pain, improved proprioception and coordination.