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Kit_L last won the day on March 23

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About Kit_L

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  • Birthday 03/19/1953

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    Greenwell Point, NSW, Australia, when not on the road
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    Small boat (FX108N!), small cat, and small partner.
  1. No: to be clear, top of head to top of feet. Try both cues; the one I gave you produced a different and desired spine-lengthening effect. For the rest, too theoretical: it doesn't matter how flexible you are, the standing version has two advantages over the sitting one (until you are perfectly flexible): ankles are 90° flexed, so this part of the chain is emphasised, and your upper body's weight can be used to lengthen the spine. Arm strength is more than enough in addition to this to effect a desired stretch. If balance is a problem, stand facing a wall (about 12" away), bend legs and hips, place your mid-back against the wall, and use that for both balance and to lever more stretch into the hamstrings. The wall will support you. Of course, once you are flexible enough, the pike will simply be part of your daily ROM.
  2. Where one feels a limitation may be inaccurate guide to exactly what is limiting any desired movement. More on this below. Next time you try the standing pike, don't think about getting your face on your shins (nice though that is, and definitely is a stepping stone); instead feel the top of your head, and become aware of the top of your feet, and think/feel how to pull the top (not forehead) of your head directly to the top of your feet. This self-cue will change the experience significantly. The reason you feel your thoracic spine the way you do is that this is where you are bending the most—the image above is perfect evidence of this. No problem, though. As you follow the cue above, the whole spine will flatten and that curve will be translated to more anterior pelvic tilt. Some limitations in the movement of the thoracic spine fascia can be helped via the modified plough, though, so worth doing (and in Olivia's case it was lumbar fascia restricting her pike). Standing and sitting pike feel different because (of the many reasons) your sitting pike usually will not move the pelvis anteriorly anywhere near as far (because gravity's not helping you much); the result is more of the stretch effect is experienced in the thoracic spine. This is why I recommend the standard and wide Elephant walks so often: from a physics perspective, you are getting maximum assist, and you can use your arms's strength mostly to lengthen the spine. In time, this yields a perfect pike (and pancake).
  3. @AndeL: that little site of yours says a LOT about you; it's excellent. That image of the two of you hand-standing together needs to be all over the net. The sub-texts are the gold. @Olga: do you have a site yet? if so, can you advise (PM fine)? Liv and I can look at it and feed back, if you wish: a site has a weight and accessibility 24/7 that no other communication form has, and that allows people to 'see' you in a way that's impossible to emulate any other way, IMO.
  4. Julz: whole forests have been harvested to publish peer-reviewed articles looking at this problem (how to assess symmetry via whole body x-ray, I mean). The standing test I linked to above, in addition to considering femur and tibia discrepancies, also considers small hemi-pelvis and the adaptations any/all of these may have caused. Measuring femur and tibia—even if accurate (and the expected measurement error is plus or minus 5mm) will not take the whole body into consideration. Please do the standing test; ask a friend to help, and report back.
  5. Why won't this old myth just die? Work with someone else, Danny; he must be an idiot, seriously. Tell him the knees have to go beyond the toes, depending on one's proportion; if they don't, hip hinging is the only movement option the body has to go deeper than that point where the knees want to move forwards. This is the difference between RDLs and full squats... Romanian DLs are all about vertical shins, glutes and hamstrings and feature hip hinging only; full squats are a different pattern that includes quads, etc., and where the trunk angle with the floor does not change (unless you are a power lifter). Jeez.
  6. I will be putting the lying meditations from the subsequent SBS retreat (I think there are eight) in the next few days, too; I am listening to them now and will name to reflect contents, if people have particular interests.
  7. I am linking to an excellent page on Patrick's site separately here, though I have also linked the page in the Starting Mediation thread, and also in the Stretch Teacher thread, for different reasons. The 13th to 16th recordings on this page are the lying mediations I presented there. I am very grateful to PK for this resource.
  8. This link will take you to a page on Patrick Kearney's site; he and I co-present at a number of monasteries annually most years. The last six links on this page are live recordings of the instructions for the morning sessions, a varied set of exercises to prepare the students for a longish sit. Because the Buddha spoke of the four forms of meditation (lying, sitting, standing, and moving) these recordings have the title "Morning movement".
  9. I am linking to Patrick's site here; the link takes you to a page of recordings. Anyone interested in this thread will find gold here. The first 12 recordings are all the dharma talks from our recent co-presentation at Bandar Utama Buddhist Society (BUBS) in Kuala Lumpur, presented by Patrick Kearney. The next four recordings are lying meditations, recorded live at BUBS over the same period, by me. The last six recordings are an experiment: they are the full instructions for the morning exercise sessions, with a focus on the first satipatthana, in particular. Here, we use the body and its sensations as the focus of the moving/still practise, and at the same time, the students' attention is directed to become aware of how the mind is relating to the many sensations produced by the practise. The seventh dharma talk, 07 The four satipaṭṭhānas, is the most relevant here, though all are connected, and if you are new to this, begin at the first talk! I will link to this excellent resource in other places here, too. I will be putting all the lying meditations from our joint presentations at Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary 2016 up soon, too. I am extremely grateful to Patrick for connecting us to this resource.
  10. Jim, can you find that article again; seems that site is down. I tried searching on "bridge-mobility-why-your-gymnasts-may-be-struggling-possible-injury-prevention-for-the-lower-back/" but that yielded nada. TIA, KL
  11. This is precisely what I did, too. But I said to myself, "I will focus on this because my life depends on it" (no analogy, "as if"); a small step closer to the reality of it. One's self talk is the most powerful medicine (or poison) one takes, every day. Clarity in language is not just important: it is your life. @jaja: One more note: "fear" is a physical sensation. Once, it had evolutionary importance; these days, except in rare moments where you are personally threatened (in which case a whole suite of hard-wired reactions will take over in a heartbeat) it is not real and is not useful. Actually, genuine fear is experienced by the body, and the body acts; the fear you have spoken about is anxiety and worry, and all a product of the mind, not the body, if you reflect on it. It is not real.
  12. @jaja: Olga wrote: Please print this out, and stick it to your bathroom mirror. I mean this: do that. No amount of thinking or analysing will evert move you beyond this stopping point (unless you simply get so frustrated at what your mind produces and you stop thinking and act).
  13. Funny, SD—the next session will be better: you'll see!
  14. Five minutes will really condition everything, and you will have to be able to relax fully (apart from hands) to make the five minutes. You can force two minutes, which is why I disagree with IP on this. And you don't have to go straight from two to one: when I was getting this capacity, I used a light band to take some weight, or used a finger-and-thumb only grip on a nearby vertical surface. Craig and I demo the methods we used to get to a total of five minutes on one-arm hangs on the YT channel. 30" on each arm, and changing arms with zero foot support: gold. And I was about 83Kg then, too. If you are not as strong, then use ladder bars and take weight off the hand(s) by resting one or two feet on lower bars. There are many ways to cut this cake. Last point (this is for everyone): one of our principles. "Be nice to yourself". It's up there with "Do no harm to the instrument", and "No unnecessary tension".
  15. There is a dimension to the sensation of "pinching" in the hips that no one seems to discuss: the alignment/shape of one's pelvis. What I am about to discuss affects women more often than men, and it is never suspected. If you lie down face up, and pull one knee to your chest, in many women the front aspect of the ilium (ASIS) simply digs into the thigh: it is as wide as the line you are trying to compress. If you palpate the front of your own hip, you will feel this immediately. Becoming more flexible will not change this relationship, either. But as you get overall softer (another dimension that no one seems to mention) then the thigh itself simply flows sideways. This aspect of having a body that's soft enough to flow where needed is the real secret of the full squat and a perfect pike, too. It is THE key to being able to sit in full lotus, as I demonstrate in every workshop (and the partner HF exercise is the only one that will soften that upper part of the thigh the ankle has to flow into for a perfect full lotus). This capacity (to relax a part deeply changes poses like this completely. I demo. this in a YT clip (search on full lotus in my channel); my lower leg is literally buried in the thigh, meaning that the degree of external rotation in the hip that is needed to get into the position is reduced significantly. If the pinching is much deeper in, it will most likely be the hip flexors. In the life of a tight hip flexor, a month is nothing. And they have to be really soft to flow out of the way. It took between a year and two years for my advanced group to make deep, significant changes to these muscles, and that came about sieging them for 30–60' every week over that period! And many were very flexible to begin with. @Kygates: once a week for a tight area, if you really get into it, is an excellent frequency. All this takes time, and if you do rest to that extent (on this particular part) you will notice grater depth every time you stretch.