Tips On How To Get The Best From Your STRETCH Mat

- By Karen Brown, Yoga instructor and Head Designer at HoMedics

1. Relax And Let The Mat Do The Work
Try to mindfully scan each part of your body during the treatment, and wherever you sense tension, consciously release that tension by allowing your body to become heavier and softer. The motion created by STRETCH will move your body without you needing to exert any effort. In fact, the more you relax, the greater the benefits will be.

2. Enhancing The Twist Action
For programs that include a twisting movement, the benefits can be further enhanced by adding a gentle turn of the head as described below:

- During a shoulder twist, try turning your head slowly in the direction of the twist. Allow the head to be heavy and the ear to sink down towards the mat. Move the head gently back to centre as the shoulder comes back down, before repeating on the other side.

- During a hip twist, keep the upper body relaxed and both shoulders heavy. Allow the hip to be lifted without resistance. As the right hip lifts, try turning the head to the left side and vice versa. Always move gently and return to a neutral position in between movements. If there is any discomfort in the neck, make the movements smaller or try using a pillow either side to rest the head on as you turn.

3. Using Your Breath
If you feel tension or slight discomfort during the treatment program, try to visualise directing your breath to the area of tension. Breathe slowly and deeply, in and out through the nose. If it feels okay, you can also try extending the out breath making it up to 50% longer than the in-breath. To get into this rhythm try counting to 4 on the in-breath and 6 on the out-breath. Sink deeper into the mat as you exhale.

4. Try Varying Your Position On The Mat
STRETCH has been cleverly designed to work for people of all different shapes and sizes. You can subtly change the feel of your treatments by moving slightly closer to either the top or bottom of the mat as you lie down. The effect will be different for everyone, dependant on your height and proportions, so give it a try and find your favourite position.

5. Get In The Habit Of Regular Treatments 
Treatments can be repeated as often as feels good for you, but as with anything new, always start gently and build up your regime as your body becomes accustomed. We recommend starting with a gentle ‘stretch’ treatment on level 1 and waiting at least 48 hours before the next treatment. Then slowly build up to daily or twice daily treatments, as desired.

Please note: We recommend checking the support manual if you have a medical condition before purchasing or using STRETCH