It’s not something I generally ask myself – “Have I pandiculated today?”, but I have talked to people who, when they were over-busy and therefore extremely focused, have later realised that they had been pandiculating less – they seemed to get out of the habit. Whether that is you, or whether you are an instinctive pandiculator, know that this is not just self-indulgence but possibly has great health benefits as well!
This ‘stretching’, that animals are regular seen doing so beautifully, often combined with a yawn, is very natural to us, and is better described as a top to toe unfolding, or unravelling, as we take our body into an instinctive series of positions and rotations; it is such a luxuriating feeling that it’s hard to believe we could stop doing it or indulge in it less just because we are busy. If that is where you are, try setting a timer to remind yourself every morning and evening, until you get back in touch with your body’s instincts.
Why do we do it? You could say that it just feels great, and it’s always good to have a deep yawn, but it goes deeper than that. Bertolucci (2016) described it as having an “auto-regulatory role in our locomotor system: to maintain the animal’s ability to express coordinated and integrated movement by regularly restoring and resetting the structural and functional equilibrium of the myofascial system.”
In other words, it is believed to recalibrate your fascia.[i]
Our lifestyles today are generally too sedentary or laced with unnatural strain and body positioning; to take a minute or so for a quick reset is one of the many things we can do to improve our fascial health. Start with this one thing and it will put you more in touch with your body, then other small things may start to change for you.
Pandiculation, an organic way to maintain myofascial health. (2016). Bertolucci, L.F., Fascial Fitness. http://www.fascialfitness.net.au/articles/pandiculation-an-organic-way-to-maintain-myofascial-health/ [Accessed 9.11.21]