Stretching vs Releasing into Length

Stretching & Modern Fitness Revisited

Stretching is the corner stone of modern fitness whether you go to yoga or to the gym. Yet is stretching the best way to relieve tension? Is stretching your back or your neck the best way to relieve your neck or back tension? Definitely, possibly, maybe?
Wouldn’t you like to know? Well here it is:

Stretching definitely helps in the moment. Besides it feels great which motivates many of us to do it. However, is it enough? Does it give you sustainable results? In other words, can you stop stretching at some point without the tension coming back?

If your tension comes back when you stop stretching, it is a good indication that you have unconscious habits feeding your tension and discovering these habits is the way to gain sustainable results! And that is true wherever you tend to experience chronic tension or pain.

Many people believe that muscle tension in their neck or back comes from the stress of life. Do you too? Have you ever thought that it may be the other way round? Maybe stress reveals where you habitually hold tension by enhancing it?

Back and Neck tension is not due to texting or computer use, it is not due to sitting long hours on a chair either. Rather it is due to how you use yourself while texting, working at your computer or sitting on a chair.

These activities are affected by how you use yourself the rest of the time even doing simple movements such as looking right and left to cross a street, to check produces in a store or to look for your children.

If you are like most people, you are overusing your neck muscles to move your head instead of moving your head from its natural joint. When you move from released joints, the muscles around the joint area are programmed to release into length automatically. It feels like a softening into length.

Being aware of whether you are moving from a natural hinge or not is crucial to prevent excess tension and pain, whether on or off the mat. And learning what it feels like to release a joint rather than forcing it into a stretch is also key to a well functioning flexible body.

Discovering unconscious habits that are feeding your level of tension is key to be tension-free in your back, neck, or other places whether in daily life or while exercising, dancing, working, or simply walking or standing.

Would you like to learn how to discover and unlearn these unconscious habits? Then, join me for my next Online Event on January 19, 2023. Click the following link to register and receive the info to access the event: Healing Chronic Tension or Pain with a Unique Way


Cécile Raynor has been teaching for 30 years, published the Wise Way to Yoga as well as numerous articles, and she was featured several times both on TV and on an “Expanded Awareness” radio show. Her blog has been read by thousands of people in over 100 different countries. Her work is based on the Alexander Technique, the best-kept secret of Olympic athletes and famous performers. They swear by it because it allows them to perform at their best with optimal safety. Although it is now commonly used by everyone. She also created the Body Intelligence Activation Process™, a mind, body, heart and spirit work that affects her students in all aspects of their life as they experience increased wellbeing.

Cécile has been helping people with poor posture, chronic muscular tension and pain, joints issues and headaches reclaim their ease of movement, their natural good posture, and the joy and peace of mind brought by well-being. She has also been a mentor for many students interested in embodied and integrated personal growth.

Cécile can be reached by responding to this blog or by contacting her through her website