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Whee, contortion....my favorite stretching exercise

by Noelle
(Wisconsin (USA))

My favorite stretching exercise involves bending myself into ways that make other people cringe.

Examples of this are as follows:

-Sometimes I bring each of my legs, one at a time, around forward and then behind my head. This is commonly known as the "pretzel" I think.

-Sometimes I lay face down on the floor (hopefully a soft one) and bend each of my legs forward until the backs of my calves are touching the ground, level with my torso and me feet are near my head. I can take this further and bring them below level with my torso (which would require doing it vertically, balanced on my knees; doing it suspended over an open space (with my knees balanced on one object and my head on another); or simply lifting myself up a bit with my stomach muscles.

There are many more of these 'exercises' that I perform. I'm not entirely sure they are healthy (in that they may cause pain later in life), but they do prove to myself that I am flexible, since I feel no pain at the time, while I am told they would make other people scream and possibly break something.

And they prove to other people that I am probably inhuman or should be working in a circus. Mainly, this makes others happy, or at least amused from the incredulity, and myself happy from seeing their reaction, which, as far as I am concerned, is the point of life (happiness, that is - my own, and others').

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