Aside from the party trick aspect of doing a split, stretching helps the muscles, tendons, and joints in your body get in better alignment, Powell says. That means you not only walk with better posture, but you also release the pressure and tightness that could cause aches and pains in your neck or back, she says.
Even if viral videos like Eiko's seem intimidating, Powell swears that all stretching can be relaxing if you have the right mindset. "Look at stretching as a healthy habit that relaxes your muscles and teaches you how to breathe," she says. So Eiko might be totally onto something here that's way bigger than just doing a split — ending up like Gumby is just an added bonus.