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Should I stretch before meditating?

by Andy Puddicombe

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Question:

Hi there,

I was wondering if there were any recommended exercises to loosen and prime the body before sitting down to meditate?

Andy’s Answer:

This is a great question. Funnily enough, in some small way this is the origin of yoga. Maybe not as it’s taught in your local gym, but how it was intended to be used many years ago. The idea was not just about limbering up to sit in one position for a long time, but actually preparing the body, physically and energetically, to be comfortable sitting in meditation.

We’re looking to produce something like this very soon, so please do look out for news on the website. Until then, I’d suggest either following a stretch routine or some very basic yoga movements which don’t require any special instruction. It may even be worth doing a class or two to get more familiar with the moves. Or if you prefer something digital, check out the Nike training app, which has an area devoted to flexibility and stretching.

Warm wishes for now,

Andy

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten-year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.