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zenwoof last won the day on February 13 2017

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About zenwoof

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  1. I have just about every VOD save a couple follow-alongs and I easily work most with the Mastery series. Slow Flow is second, but I prefer to take my own notes and jot the order of exercises so I don't have to rely on the follow-along and can go at my own pace. With the Mastery series, I have a TOC note in Evernote which links to a dedicated note for each Mastery series. In each dedicated note, I have a list of all the exercises and my own description of the exercise and anything to look out for, with certain exercises highlighted in yellow (meaning to focus on) or in red font (meaning there is some sort of pain or blockage). Then in the TOC note I've included the exercises I've highlighted in yellow from each respective dedicated note. When I'm looking to see what to do right as I begin my practice, I'll pull up the TOC note and get a snapshot glimpse of what exercises I should focus on, then I pick and choose. If I need more detail or a refresher, I will click the hyperlink to the dedicated note, perhaps even re-watch the specific video. Maybe every few months or so, depending how much progress I feel I've made, I will perform some housekeeping: - revisit the exercises in red font, to see if I've gained the means to approach the exercise in a new way so as to not experience pain or blockage - adjust highlighting: see if there are exercises I should no longer focus on or new ones I should See here:
  2. I notice that in the Master programs, the exhalation right after a contraction is made - in order to then go deeper into the stretch - is through the mouth and made audible. Is there a reason behind this? I'm wondering if I should be exhaling this way for ST C-R cycles. Also, sometimes the exhalation is very quick, maybe 3 seconds. Should the exhalation be as long as is naturally possible? I'm used to just exhaling through the nose as relaxed and silent as possible, as if in meditation. I tried the audible exhalation through the mouth and notice it produces a certain type of tension in global stomach/diaphragm area. Thanks
  3. LOL hahahaha ok reassurance acquired! Thank you @Nathan!! I will do some research into Emmet's H2T protocol
  4. I had no idea what the Year of the Rooster meant, but I just read this and it auspiciously is aligned with the theme and timing of my log for this year: That brings us to the possibilities for 2017. This year’s theme is “application.” The Rooster has one special super power—the ability to delay gratification and focus on the long term goal. Roosters can actually separate the reward from the work required to get it, and they can do this over long periods of time….like years. So whatever feelings you may have about the upheaval created in the Monkey year, the qi will now support you to focus and apply yourself to the task at hand with discipline and diligence. Set aside your emotions and focus on long term goals. Stay focused. That’s right, see beyond the current situation and keep your eye on whatever it is that you value in the long run; just keep chipping away without wavering. Apply yourself. That’s what this year is all about. source Anyways, practice is going well. Same old stuff, but making steady progress. More muscular endurance in wide leg limbers. More depth/ROM in skandasana. More balance in standing HF lunge. Improved side ankle ROM from Kit's side ankle stretch: this stretch though produces a burning sensation, not to mention as I get deeper, a fear that i'm going to snap and break my ankle! i need some reassurance its safe or actually really study the anatomy of the ankle. also it's tricky getting the foot in a position to stretch the ankle but not hurt the edge of the foot digging into the ground, but I think I got it... I've been averaging over two hours of combined practice daily, but still not proud of the numbers, because its inferior resistance in some form that's holding me back. Keeping a precise time log spreadsheet to really track how much time I spend on practices and hold myself accountable. New: - adding lat stretch(es) into the routine (cat pose from master shoulder flexibility) - craig's straight limb rotations (so far REALLY good for my shoulders, both of which have had surgery) todo: - experiment with block/box stretch for lats - find calf stretch (that doesn't involve working the traps)
  5. Did craig’s wrist conditioning tut for the first time a couple days ago. forearms have some DOMS. I notice, what feels like a bony restriction, on my left wrist, the area closest to the thumb. will continue to learn more as I continue to do wrist prep. pretty excited though, basically most of craig’s tut is new material for me, and I’ve played with Yuris, kit’s, and GMB’s wrist prep in the past. I had to stop for one reason or another, but actually with craig’s I feel is friendlier on my body, which I’m pretty excited about. perhaps a wrist conditioning workout I can stick with! also, actually stretched hamstrings for basically the first time since I discovered ST. I tried liv’s wall outer HS stretch when I started but it caused big numbness so I left it (I inhabit a markedly different body now though). I’ve only done the limbers for hamstrings. but this time I did bent-leg hamstring stretch. phew what a novel sensation afterwards, an extremely welcome one in my body. I need to stretch the hamstrings (on top of the million other things I need to do)! but, it slightly aggravates my right hip impingement when the right leg is either forward (being stretched) or backwards (when left leg is being stretched). but it felt great afterwards. I wonder if stretching in a position where I feel a slight impingement is OK, if perhaps this is what is ultimately needed to overcome the impingement, or if any position I get myself in where the impingement presents itself should always be avoided todo: - wrist CARs daily, 3x all directions - I rarely do this anymore but when I do the wrists feel a great release, so I must commit to daily - perhaps a novel forearm movements 1x week
  6. Conscious walking as in alignment between heaven and earth? So you no longer do the 'fall forward' diagonal force vector walk, but the 'down and forward' horizontal force vector walk? I've done some feldenkrais walking lessons and have learned some subtle ways of making walking even more conscious, besides vertical alignment. Namely, at least right now, being hyper aware of relation of shoulder to how the pressure in the bottom of the foot changes (e.g. does shoulder begin its forward swing as soon as same-side heel strikes the floor? and playing with all variations of that). greater cudi frequencies for sure
  7. I've gradually noticed how my feet have gotten beefier, but I didn't notice how much more vascular they've gotten. my feet are fookin shredded! training the feet & toes may be like doing the laundry, washing the dishes, vacuuming, dusting, going grocery shopping, AND taking out the trash but i’m always rewarded at the end of the session I have been slacking off though, not making it a daily thing. need to get back on course! one thing I’ve done lately is, since the hands/fingers tend to mimic the feet/toes (this was a useful trick to increase the feet maps at first), and since I’ve developed a good enough connection to the toes, I’ve started ‘drumming’ the fingers arrhythmically or rhythmically against what the toes are doing as an extra challenge also, I’ve begun to close my eyes and try to project my consciousness fully into the toes, almost as instead of my brain operating my feet, I’m my feet operating my feet. at least it is my intention, closing my eyes, and becoming one with the toe tried wall quad/HF again… was actually able to stretch the quads without aggravating my hip impingement, so I need to do this more. the right quad (same side as impingement) is much tighter than the left quad. JUST started to do rib awakening in the frontal plane. up until this point I’ve only done sagittal. i’m not putting much time into the lat activation but its still changing the game in big ways. need to put more time into it did the usual hamstring SMR session… usually I’ll sit on a supernova ball, on a tall plyo box, twist the ball to capture the superficial fascia, and then flex and extend the leg, then repeat on diff parts of the hamstring finding tender areas. sometimes i’ll also use the black rumble roller on the hamstring too. in both of these I focus on the undercut, its usually the most tender area. IMO its the self-administered best hamstring release possible I have been good about ‘gut smashing’ - rolling around on the stomach with SPRI ball. god at certain points its super tender, but slowly its becoming more comfortable. excited to see what gains this has in store for me after 3 lunar cycles oh i’ve also been doing long-held sumo squat here and there. I just do a set per session, I get to 40 seconds and stop. just this is enough to make my glutes sore the next day TODO: - stretch quads to the point where at least right quad is more symmetric - more time with lat activation - daily foot (even if it’s just 5 mins, and not 30 mins) - continue frontal plane rib awakening (in addition to not stopping sagittal) - get long held sumo squat to at least 1 min
  8. SICK kicks dude are those the 2017 Air Zhuangzis or the Lao Tzu IX Wuji's?!?
  9. @Francesco See here: http://kitlaughlin.com/forums/index.php?/topic/33-flat-feet-pronation-in-response-to-a-q-from-coach-sommer/. Most of it is in there, but there’s also some stuff in SF. I mainly do the drills in simon’s first video, and adduction exercises putting a pencil between pinky toe and ring toe, also between ring toe and middle toe. those are weakest maps. there’s a ton of exercises though. and then ankle and toe stretches (side ankle, front ankle/anterior tibialis, etc.) Also diaphragm stretches: I need to find some lol. There’s one I learned a few years ago, basically you are on the floor in position to do a glute bridge. You raise your hips and bridge while raising your arms overhead while inhaling, when your arms are overhead to the ground and you are bridged up, exhale fully/quickly, vacuum the TA/diaphragm inwards, then lower your ass to the floor while keeping shoulders/arms flexed overhead. produces a little stretch in the belly area
  10. just to give an update on the past couple months, from what I can remember… craig reminded me of the ’letting the pelvis hang’ cue along the same time I actually began committing to nei dan. since then, connection to the center line has been stronger than ever, spine lengthened more than ever, and I hit an ‘energy awakening’ and very clearly leveled the f*** up in everything and energy seems to be increasing daily for a while I just stopped stretching piriformis because I no longer felt any stretch from the "Beginner" piriformis ST stretches and the advanced piriformis on a bolster was too big of a jump, would aggravate my hip impingement and fairly easy to cause numbness craig's post on stretching on the bed reminded me of way back in the day, I used to do a similar stretch except on a plyo box (starrett was huge on camping out in that position), so I have just been clocking in a few minutes each leg on the box every other day. never going beyond a mild stretch but I’ve been making steady progress a couple months ago my right hip impingement just all of a sudden got significantly worse. pretty sure its due to sleep. when I switched from my old mattress to a much firmer futon, I still slept on my stomach and side, and I got rid of using a pillow in between my legs when sleeping on my side. I was fine for months but of course the pain now is a lagging indicator. I’ve since started to use a pillow in between my legs when sleeping on my side, and drastically cut back on sleeping on my stomach. I really need to re-program myself to sleep on my back but it is hard!!! the impingement has gotten slightly better since adjusting sleep, but is still overall worse off instinctively I’ve been turning to stretching the adductors and activating the glutes to ‘alleviate’ the impingement. so I’ve been playing around with long-held frog position… I don’t time it but maybe upwards of 10 minutes 1-2x a week… limbering super slowly in it, wakes up all sorts of lines, and hits certain spots in the hip joint that feel great. a little tailor pose too here and there with either of these, I cannot do the PNF contraction that involves resisting adduction/bringing the knees closer together… this immediately causes me to feel my impingement (I used to be able to do this though!! :/ ) also I’ve been clocking in time on holding the L1. sumo squat from master the squat, as an isometric strengthening exercise craig’s lat activation, making good progress. it’s cool where I’m at a point, I lift the arm and the lat is already unconsciously activated, zero trap involvement. of course there are still angles where the trap turns on, but significant progress has been made. and i’ve noticed interesting left/right differences rib awakening is coming along nicely too, it’s a great supplement for the nei gong practice, in terms of sequencing the kinetic chain, and even the nei dan in terms of freeing the breath, loosening the structures around the diaphragm. feet awakening pretty much everyday. also began kit's side ankle stretch again. has led to much improved grounding, nice feet qi sensations and afterwards feel like my whole system has absorbed qi craig’s leg activation maybe twice a week. tried SF3, pretty good. there’s some great lower body stuff I want to memorize, legs were pretty activated (fatigued/shaking afterwards) to do: - since really committing to nei dan (breathing practice), I want to do whatever possible to enhance the sensations and get the fire burning. so I want to: - actually commit to massaging the pelvic floor and diaphragm with a SPRI ball on a daily basis (to reduce tone and increase proprioception of internal organs) - diaphragm stretches - do more SF1
  11. “The ARC of Mountain Hammer is long, but it bends towards Physical Alchemy” On my self-healing journey I discovered ST in late 2015, and found it to be one of the best communities I’ve ever come across. Everyone has been extremely helpful and generous with their time and knowledge. The ST system in itself has been transformational, let alone all the other practices I’ve discovered through the ST community. I’d like to dedicate this year’s fire rooster log to Craig and remembering ARC! Craig not only introduced me (us) to DX, but has been supportive by way of answering a billion questions, on top of having an inspiring story, and continuing to maintain his log which has proved very motivational for me. But most of all, his tutorials have been complete game changers; I will be spending a majority of available non-meditation time working on them. Plus Aware Relaxed Connected is merging with PA, it is no end, only a beginning! The goal of all non-meditation practice is essentially to enhance the quality of the meditation practice: overcome injuries, eliminate all unnecessary tension, enhanced body maps, increase suppleness, eventually being able to sit on the cushion. Which is all, in the end, to improve the "yoga of daily life" Focus: - limbering movements (mainly ST) - foot awakening (incl. ankle/foot stretches) - craig’s tutorials: - rib, torso awakening - lat activation - leg awakening - glute activation - the list continues (qi gong, spinal waves, TBA tuts, etc.) !! but these are ones I’m prioritizing now Meditation practice: - Nei Dan, Nei Gong, Shen Gong - Qi Gong - Wai Gong (Basic Hands, Static Postures) - Minimum: 1.5 hours per day (30 min/practice), but shoot for ~2.5hrs Bonus: - SLOW FLOW!! - reverse posturing work whenever I can fit it in: - core activation / stability (plank variations, anti-rotation, etc.) - movement patterns & glute activation (SLDL/RDL, skater squat, etc.) - pec stretch - HF stretch - thoracic opening (e.g. passive backbends) - groin: frog, tailor pose - piriformis stretching - random SMR - joint mobility stuff - active flexibility stuff - bagua walking For the most part, it’s the same shit every day. But “the basics are the most advanced,” as Serge says. On one hand, it’s monotonous doing the same external form all the time. On another level, it’s transcending the monotony: settling into the truth that it’s the same form, but never the same experience. Returning to the form with the ceaseless cultivation of greater levels of embodiment and mindfulness, as Heraclitus said “No man steps in the same practice twice, for it’s not the same practice and he’s not the same man.” or something like that I own just about every ST program and have had over an entire year to play around with all the exercises, so I’m at a good place where I can pick the perfect tool for the job. This year is all about execution! Doing the laundry, taking out the trash
  12. I have not received the BH 2 exercises yet, but I did receive the shorter video on adding qualities & some lower body stuff to the wai gong. Also, I've only ever, and continue to only, seriously practiced BH ex. 1-6. Wouldn't moving to BH2 be getting ahead of myself if I don't at least have a good proficiency in all the BH1 exercises first? Meaning I have the technique down to a point where I can make any of the BH into nei gong, the lat is fully activated in all, and I can do any of them for at least 10 minutes (easily)?
  13. at some point I might take up xingy too... all it took was experiencing a 'stiff-arm attack', my chest barely prodding into a knuckle whose arm was stiff like a spear, once and it was just too cool and powerful to not want to learn!
  14. @Nathan How long or seriously did you practice it?
  15. @Nathan thanks. The lactic acid buildup or lack of muscular endurance in the wide-leg EW is much worse than regular, but like the regular, I do believe it will improve as well, and rather quickly as you say. As for postures, it's described a bit in the Shen Gong/Nei Dan book of Serge's, but a picture really would best do it justice. There are a number of variations, but the two biggest ones are hands up, palms facing you, maybe 1ft from your face, index fingers at chin height, finger tips facing each other and slightly tilted up, hands maybe shoulder or slightly wider length apart, elbows dropped down, but not all the way (there is still space in your armpit), maybe 30º out from your sides. Then the other variation, which produces more tension, is turning your hands from the same position so your palms are facing away.
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