Full Body Stretching Program

In our last article we discovered Stretches Increase Flexibility. 

Tree logo used for a golden voyage  stretching program

In this article we will learn a Full Body Stretching Program, where we will describe several, of an infinite amount of body postures to adopt as an effective method to improve the connection between the conscious thinking brain, and the physical body.

Moving us further along the path to good health.

Use It, or Lose It

Movement is life, and stasis is death. Remember the adage, “Use it, or Lose it.” That applies to the human body and its health.

peaceful meadow with a babbling brook running through it

The more positions we can adopt with our physical bodies, the more health we can actualize.

Visualize a babbling brook meandering through a meadow. The moving water attracts life. Butterflies flutter by. Birds sing. Frogs jump. Strong, healthy fish swim in crystal clear water. Flowers of all colors and shapes sway in the cool breeze.

Now picture a swamp filled with foul smelling, slimy, still waters. Dead trees pitched hither and yon. Vile creatures lurking in dark shadows. The stench of death permeating the still air.

Which scenario do you want your body to express; stasis, or movement?

Movement? Great choice. Now, up you go, get out on the floor, let’s get moving.

The full body stretching routine I am going to describe is one I use for my foundation.

From this routine I venture into an infinite amount of movements searching for “My Restrictions.” Everyone has their own to work through. More on that later. For now let’s get to the program.

Foundation Body Postures

Recall from a previous article Breathing Exercises Increase Lung Capacity we stated, improving health always begins with

Reconnecting the Conscious Thinking Brain with the Physical Body through Focus, Breath, Full Range of Motion

That holds true especially now.

In all of the postures we adopt we can hold them for one, or five, or as many breaths as is desired.

Focusing on the restriction, directing breath to that area. Ask the body if you can move further into, or through the blockage.

Doc Milligan showing focus before starting the stretching program

Focus-Breathe in-raise arms over head arching spine backwards.

Doc Milligan arching back, with hands over head

Focus-Breathe out-bend forward as far as comfortable hands tracing

Down the shins towards the floor until restriction is felt.

Doc Milligan in a forward stretching position, hands grabbing ankles

Focus-Breathe in-place hands on the floor, extend right leg as far

Back as possible, look up.

Deep lunging stretch keeping the back leg as straight as possible

Focus-Breathe out-extend left leg alongside the right leg.

Doc Milligan holding plank keeping the spine straight

Focus-Breathe in-place knees on floor, fold body by bending knees and

Sitting on legs, bending from the waist, forehead on floor, arms

Outstretched over head, palms on the floor.

Position know as childs pose. on your knees face down arms out in front

Focus-Breathe out-push forward placing knees, chest, and chin on the

Floor, hands by the chest.

Knees, Chest, chin stretching the lower back muscles

Focus-Breathe in-push the arms into full extension, swooping the chest

Up, back arched, and look up to the ceiling.

straightening arms out and curving your back stretching out like a cobra

Focus-Breathe out-push the butt up to the ceiling, drop the chest

Towards the floor, head lowering between the shoulders.

head between arms fully extending with butt in air stretching out calves and lower back

Focus-Breathe in-lunge the right leg forward under the chest.

second deep lunge stretch with opposite leg as before

Focus-Breathe out-bring the left leg forward, extend the legs while

Bending at the waist as far as comfortable.

back to standing while touching your toes

Focus-Breathe in-return to standing position. Arms relaxed at the side.

Repeat the postures as many times, with as many breaths as comfortable.

Now, let’s move into other Foundation Postures:

Focus-breathe in-raising arms to shoulder height straight out from the body.

At the same time move legs beyond shoulder width.

arms straight out to the side feet a little wider than shoulder width

Focus-breathe out-laterally bend from the waist to the left, point left

Foot to the left, place left hand on left leg and bend until

restriction. Keep knees straight. Look up past right palm.

bend over to the right keeping arms out touching your toes

Focus-breathe in-return to standing position. Arms remain out.

back up arms straight out to the side feet a little wider than shoulder width

Focus-breathe out-laterally bend from the waist to the right. Bend

Right knee to 90 degrees. Reach left arm over head. Look up.

lunging left arm pointing straight over head

Focus-breathe in-shift weight evenly to both legs while squatting.

Continue moving to left until torso is facing left. Breathe out.

crab walk to the other side stretching out lower back

Focus-breathe in-left knee bent to 90 degrees, right leg stretched out

Behind in a lunge, palms facing, lift arms overhead, arch back.

Focus-breathe out-stand up, torso rotates facing forward, arms lower

To 90 degrees, right foot pointing right, left leg remains straight

Right knee bends as the torso sinks towards the floor, rotate

Head looking past right arm and hand.

lunge to the left hands straight in the air over your head

Focus-breathe out-stand up, torso rotates facing forward, arms lower to 90 degrees, right foot pointing right, left leg remains straight

Right knee bends as the torso sinks towards the floor, rotate

Head looking past right arm and hand.

arms out flat lunging to the right head looking over shoulder

Focus-breathe in-rotate torso left, palms facing, arms overhead as

Weight is shifted to left leg, raise right leg up, out behind body,

balancing on left leg keeping right leg even with hands pointing past head

Balancing on left leg.

Focus-breathe out-rotate torso until facing right, right arm remains

Overhead, bend forward, left hand descending down right leg,

Continue rotating torso, looking behind you.

left hand grabbing right foot right arm up twisting spine for go stretch

Focus-breathe in-standing up, left arm overhead, rotate torso until

Facing left, bring palms together behind the back, fingers

pointing up, arch back, look up.

hands in prayer behind back lean as far back as possible

Focus-breathe out-bend forward, head toward knee, legs straight.

Focus-breathe in-stand, rotate right facing forward, arms out at 90

Degrees, and begin the program to the right side.

arms straight out to the side feet a little wider than shoulder width, relax
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I have found this sequence of stretches are a great foundation to increase flexibility, and accomplishes a full body stretching program when performed by, reconnecting the conscious thinking brain with the physical body through:

  1. focus
  2. breath
  3. full range of motion

Remember this routine is a foundation for further connection of the conscious thinking brain with the physical body.

meme referencing to your own body movements saying "ur yoga"

When searching for your own restrictions you will move into positions no one else has ever performed. These posture’s will be unique to you, releasing your restrictions as you expand the expression of You.

Develop Connection

As the connection develops and you are holding each posture for six, eight, twelve breaths, focusing on the restricted parts of the body, filling them full of chi, prana, blood and asking for just a little more expression of your capabilities, searching for “Your” restrictions and moving through them, listen to your body. When it says, “Enough,” stop.

Your health is a lifetime project

You can start again tomorrow. Plan on incorporating flexibility training into your schedule at least three days a week for around thirty minutes. Or, more days and minutes if the feeling strikes you. Make it a habit like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t think of leaving the house in the morning without brushing your teeth, right?

I must say the dental profession has done a great job of convincing us dental hygiene is critical to good health. And the mouth is such a small part of our whole selves. Kudos to them. Now take that attitude of daily health habits and apply to the rest of you.

Sore Is Good, Pain Is NOT

Let me tell you right from the start. Flexibility training is paramount to good health, and it is not without its challenges. From the get go you will feel sore. Further, that soreness will be a daily reminder you are doing your body good.

Each time you breathe into the restriction and ask for just a little more, the tendons (the part of the muscle that attaches to the bone) are stretched. Thousands of tiny little micro-tears occur and soreness happens. Not to worry, sore is a good thing. The tendons heal, become stronger and more “Elastic.” Flexibility is on the way.

cross out sign over the "no pain no gain" gym motto

A word of caution. Avoid allowing anyone physically moving you into the “Correct” posture. Please listen to your body. It will tell you in no uncertain terms when your limits have been reached within each posture. Exceed those limits and pain will occur. No one else can know your limits, regardless of their “Expertise.” Sore is healthy, pain is not.

Let’s avoid pain and seek health in our stretching program. Another healthy benefit occurs as a result of moving all skeletal muscle, through their full ranges of motion.

Take Out The Garbage

Skeletal muscle movement is essential for funneling the waste of those seven trillion cells doing their jobs, propel it through the lymph system, refine and reuse it, or expel it from the body.

In short, if not for the movement of skeletal muscle the bodies fluid system would back up and the resulting stasis would terminate the life of the body in short order.

So, the more body postures you can adopt, the fewer dark, foreboding places those vile creatures can lurk, waiting for the chance to attack your good health.

Get up and move it, or not, and lose it!

Okay, we are breathing and moving. Now it is time to increase our cardio-respiratory system. Basically breathe hard, heart pounding, and sweating a lot. Again, there are a gazillion ways to do this. We will discuss what I consider to be the highest rewarding, time conserving, least damaging to the joints of the body method for improving cardio-respiratory functions. You guessed it High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Join us in our next article regarding a method of increasing your cardio-respiratory output utilizing a High Intensity Interval Training Plan. We will describe various methods, and support the reasoning behind using these protocols advancing us on the path to health.

If you have and questions or want to leave a comment please do in the box below. Also feel free to like and share of your favorite social media. Thanks!

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Recently, I sustained an injury while hiking in Tasmania. I’m finding it difficult to get back into my usual exercise routine but have found gentle stretching to be quite good.
    Thanks for providing this detailed article and pictures which actually show me how to do the stretches discussed

    1. You are very welcome! Very sorry to hear about your accident I do hope it was nothing serious but have no worry the body is an amazing instrument with extraordinary healing properties. I believe you will be back out there enjoying nature once again.

      You certainly are on the right path, consistently finding your resistance and slowly pushing a little further everyday, much like a lot of life’s worthy accomplishments.

  2. Thank you for providing above tips.
    its really clear and easy to follow 🙂

    1. Thanks, Faten I’m getting better and better.

      Best regards,


  3. Great article. I’ve tried similar stretching exercises although I haven’t continued doing them regularly. It’s great to find info like this just in case I get the time to do some stretching exercises.

    1. Hey Bob, thank you for your kind words. Over many decades of practice I have found breathing into and becoming consciously aware of my physical body, providing supple flexibility to my spine especially encourages deep peace within when I sit quietly in repose. Just in case you find the time. Doc

  4. thank you for this, I like that you included pictures that way I can see clearly how the posture should be. great job.

    1. Hi Rose, Thank you for your comments, kind as they are. Remember the entire concept is to “Reconnect your conscious thinking brain with your physical body, through Focus, Breath, Full Range of Motion,” searching for your restriction and moving through it. These photos are a good place to begin this procedure. From here you will develop others most suited to you. Enjoy the journey. Doc

  5. Wow this is exactly what I need! I will not be able to do some of it due to my shoulder injury, but I am loving the rest.
    I plan to do this three days a week this week, four next week and work my way up to daily.

    Do you think that is reasonable for someone who has not been working for a couple of years?

    1. (First contact your physician and comply with his/her recommendations)

      Hi Irma, Shoulder injuries are such a pain. They take forever to heal and even then may restrict activities for the foreseeable future. The full body stretching program may be a bit much to begin with. May I suggest you start with Step 1 “Breathe.” Then Step 2 and 3, focusing on first the spine, then expanding out to the shoulder. Consciously connect with each of the rotator cuff muscles and begin isometric contraction, eventually using the other hand for resistance and become aware of exactly where the restriction is. Spread the goodness that surrounds the challenge while at the same time avoiding insult. Over time you will become the best you can be. Remember, sore is good, pain is not. Doc

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