When cats do those gargantuan stretches, they're actually improving blood flow and getting their muscles loose and ready to move so they're ready to run, jump, pounce, or play whenever they decide to!
According to Cornell’s Center for Materials Research, a cat’s limber spine is the reason behind those graceful and acrobatic escapades. The ability to easily move, contort, and bend also contributes to a cat’s momentum when running—and regular stretching aids in these phenomenal feline abilities.
And, research shows that regular stretching is beneficials to humans, too. According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, stretching is a mechanism for protecting independence and mobility, one Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital physical therapist remarked.
Stretching is also a way to keep our muscles strong, flexible, and healthy. And, one way to work stretching into your regular well-being practices is to practice yoga. In addition to improving strength and balance, yoga promotes flexibility, Johns Hopkins Medicine reports. Yoga can also help with anxiety, chronic illness, and depression, Mayo Clinic research shows.
So, the next time you see a cat stretch, think about how a good extension of your limbs could benefit you, too! And, if you would like to learn how to stretch like a cat join Phinney's for MeowMaste: Do Yoga with Cats! on March 28 from 7 – 8 p.m. EDT. This livestream hatha yoga class to benefit pets in need features instructor Tara Barile and cute, cuddly feline yogis.
Space is limited, so if you would like to participate, we urge you to register soon.