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  • 1 month later...

Such a dynamic time for my family and work; we've just come from a 2 week vacation, am in the middle of changing jobs, moving to a new state. All very chaotic but in that kind of 'storm is mostly over' confidence-building manner. All the coming changes should be nothing but positive for my ability to enjoy relaxing stretches and focus better on dynamic stretching (all that attention-thievery really challenges your body awareness). At the best I've been able to limber most days, but protracted stretching sessions have been very lacking for several weeks now. Excited to get back into those middle-splits work I was finding so much benefit from, as well as switching from standing triangle good-mornings to standing straddled leg good-mornings. 

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Here's to hoping: just paid for the Vancouver stretching for performance workshop in August! The CAD --> US $ conversion was helpful lol. 

Very excited to finally have some direct help and take 2 entire days to focus on my body awareness without the distractions of modern living. 

Now fingers crossed the workshop gets confirmed!

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7 hours ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

Vancouver stretching for performance workshop in August!

Awesome! You'll love it. I'm sure it will get confirmed, and Olivia is a great teacher. I considered going to the Vancouver workshops this year because I thought I would be in the US at that time, but I ended up changing the timing of my trip to the US so I'm hoping to head to Greenwell Point in October instead!

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Question for the group: now that I’ve signed up for the course, (of course) I just pulled my lower back being too assertive doing the “cheating bent leg” stretch from the pike series. Happened today. Have not so much pain but a large sense of tension in the lower lumbar area, making it difficult to bend over with straightish legs.  I’ve been lightly doing the standing elephant walks, squatting, daily five, etc several times already today trying to not allow the muscles to lock up. 

Anyways, this is obviously a trait of mine (and I’m sure many others) that when I get out of the habit of relaxing and stretching that I return to stretching as if it’s a “workout.” Like “oh who needs to test the range today, I’m sure it’s fine.” 

Thanks for any pointers. Probably too early to tell, but my wife did at least test trigger points and thinks it’ll be a quick recovery. I hope so.

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On 5/26/2018 at 12:58 PM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

Question for the group: now that I’ve signed up for the course, (of course) I just pulled my lower back being too assertive doing the “cheating bent leg” stretch from the pike series.

Don't worry about that, at all; just keep going. You'll be fine for Vanvouver! Don't treat stretching as a workout; instead, treat it as a gently exploration of the question, "what does my body need today?"

:)

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10 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Don't worry about that, at all; just keep going. You'll be fine for Vanvouver! Don't treat stretching as a workout; instead, treat it as a gently exploration of the question, "what does my body need today?"

:)

Thank you Kit! Meant to come back on here and report that through gentle limbering/stretching deeper in different positions (most especially bear crawls, elephant walks, and full squats) the tension is totally gone in a matter of a few days. 

Having a 4 day weekend made a big difference in being able to reset with full awareness on exploring 'what my body needed' day to day. Very valuable lesson.

To that end, when I was doing Crossfit a couple years back and would 'pull' my lumbar/hip/hamstring complex (being totally incapable of bending over and picking up my toddler; an onerous position to be in!) and it would take a long time to recover (several days if not weeks). Now I KNOW that being more pre-morbidly balanced in my lumbar/hammies is protective. As well, the post-injury recovery has been expedited through immediate rehabilitation via ROM exploration and high-rep use (this idea was directly a cause of @Kit_L and @Emmet Louis 's recent podcast on injuries: thanks mates!).

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As your body becomes more balanced (more on this idea in a moment) the less frequent and less severe these pulls will become. And when you do have one, it will recover faster, and faster the next time. One of the main effects of experiencing this is that the mind's tendency towards 'catastrophising' at the point of the initial onset is much reduced, too. So, overall, expect to transform this completely, in time.

By "balanced", I am not being 'soft and fluffy' here. I mean, specifically, looser and equal in ROM hip flexors, and symmetry of function (regardless of absolute ROM) of the hamstrings (these are a proxy for many other processes in the body), roughly equal rotation and, critically, equal L–R lateral flexion, particularly in the lumbar spine. 

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  • 2 months later...

I'm very excited to be at the Vancouver seminar in less than 2 weeks! 

An interesting thing that I'm now experiencing, rather than merely being an intellectual rationalization (with heavy deference to the experts on here): the delayed effect of mobility gains. For prime example, I had been doing weighted pulsing and unweighted pulsing Tailor pose very regularly for about 4-6 months. Between my new job, moving, etc I had no regular access to a gym and it sort of fell off the regular routine for several weeks. Yet, I finally tried doing them today and I had significant increases in my ROM and strength; MUCH deeper than even the last time I did so. Could feel my ankles touching the ground for the first time since probably elementary school karate classes. Very cool!

To segue and again in deference to the experts on here, anyone have suggestions for a mild injury I've incurred today? Context: was playing around with floor planche leans just for the hell of it, but was distracted by my daughter's floor tumbling and didn't pay attention to my elbow positioning (didn't have elbow pits turned out and they felt "tired" but not hurt). Nothing bothering me until I went rock climbing today and on my easy warm-up runs felt uncomfortable dull tension in my L biceps tendon insertion point. So far I've done many many very light reps of the planche move (with appropriate elbow pit "out" or "anterior" position) with some success (again, in line with @Emmet Louis and @Kit_L's podcast, which was so helpful for my lumbar strain couple months ago). 

Any pointers on other maneuvers? I also focused on many many light ring row pulls as the movement was exacerbated by by the similar elbow flexion maneuver used in the rock climbs. I'm pretty sure the injury was likely provocated by the poor planche play (alliteration got away with me there;)

Thanks!

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Was pursuing the forums and found an article I relied on heavily about a year + 0.5 ago when medial epicondylitis was affecting me (trying ring muscle ups without warm-up). http://stevenlow.org/overcoming-tendonitis/

The most intersting thing I’ve discovered is that simply doing the eccentrics for medial epicondylitis today gave me some insight that these areas need more tender (or “tendon”)-loving care. Nothing aggravating, but “pulling” in a “take it easy there Hass” sort of body feedback. Good to know as I’m re-entering the playful arts of rock climbing/bouldering.

However, the biceps tendon insertion at the elbow is most certainly the area of interest right now, and the eccentric “reverse” bicep curls I believe are definitely an avenue of rehabilitative approach.

What a fantastic article and really it makes conceptualizing rehab exercises very straightforward: simply make the long/eccentric phase the reverse motion of the original agitating motion, with a short/concentric return phase at a light (just until discomforting) effort many many times over. 

 

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I only saw this now; a note to everyone. If you would like me to comment on any post, email me to draw my attention to it. Both Liv and myself are extremely bust this time of the year, and it's easy to miss something.

Now to the substance, and this applies to any "mild injury": don't worry about it, and do nothing for a while. A few days is enough, usually. Rock climbing is stressful on the elbows and all the elbow flexors, and (IMHO) you cannot treat bouldering as light exercise or limbering. 

The core idea here is that if you sustain a minor injury today, there is nothing active you can do about it today. Discriminating between minor and significant on ly occurs over time. Normally by the third or fourth day, you'll know and can plan accordingly. 

Just saw the followup post: eccentrics are THE way to fix a real injury (not the perception that something you have done today might be a real injury; only time can tell you that). Eccentrics fixed my hamstring. One thing I disagree with Steven about is number of repetitions; in my experience less is more IF you are really paying attention. Most people cannot pay attention to any more that a few reps.

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7 hours ago, Kit_L said:

email me to draw my attention to it.

Will do.

7 hours ago, Kit_L said:

you cannot treat bouldering as light exercise or limbering

Yes! I certainly have to pay my due respects to this activity; even at the lowest difficulty levels (like warming-up) injuries are completely possible. This is such a body-awareness sport with the additional (heavy) considerations: falling from heights, pulling with the arms instead of focusing on core engagement and foot placement, not resting between runs or "trying stupidly" to "pull hard" for the last hold on a run... all encouraging more injury proneness.

Besides which, patience (like in everything) pays more safety dividends in bouldering. When I take at least 7-10min between routes and use that rest time to read the next route and do relaxing meditation of my soma, I get the best results from a safety, body awareness and route-finishing perspective.

The elbow does feel a bit "prickly" in more hyper-extended and odd-angled flexion, but I think this is a mild injury overall as it's inconsistent and rare now. The upcoming ST workshop is the perfect excuse for staying off the wall and focusing on my body awareness/alignment more. I really appreciate the feedback Kit!

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@pogo69 thank you very much! Look forward to reading the article. 

An (not so incomplete) aside, now that we officially have our house today and will be receiving our household goods from shipment tomorrow... we will at long last have our hands on our kitchen equipment (including pressure cooker and slow cooker). Bone broth is finally back on the menu.

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23 hours ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

@pogo69 thank you very much! Look forward to reading the article. 

An (not so incomplete) aside, now that we officially have our house today and will be receiving our household goods from shipment tomorrow... we will at long last have our hands on our kitchen equipment (including pressure cooker and slow cooker). Bone broth is finally back on the menu.

Nice!  I dissolve my gelatin in bone broth.

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Wanted to give an Internet THANK YOU to @oliviaa and all the other stretchers/stretchees at the ST for Performance workshop in Vancouver the last 2 days. Olivia especially was a fantastic teacher/instructor: very clearly explained positioning, movement, cueing and 'decluttering' of thoughts into productive experience. The chest rise for spinal extension and glutes-contraction cues on the box bridge were especially useful. Without her and the class/space, I don't think I could have the confidence to discover so many things in a very concentrated time period.

A personal highlight was moving probably (not an exaggeration) a full 2-3 feet in my right advanced piriformis position, from chest about >45 degrees in the air, to FLAT CHESTED AND FLAT FACED ON THE FLOOR. Had to take my glasses off just to relax I was that face-planted! Never thought I could achieve so much range of motion at one time. Special shout out to my stretcher partner on that one, who gave me so much confident assurance with his gentle guidance. 

Back to the class, it was so refreshing to see a multitude of levels of experience, talent, flexibility, inflexibility (esp. me and my pancake lol) and yet the unifying theme was a will to engage and encourage regardless of these levels. I walked (sorely; I'm waiting on those DOMS to hit hard tomorrow) away feeling very calm, centered, relaxed, and confident. Despite these positive-"slowing down" qualities I am also rejuvenated and motivated to try positions I had been avoiding or not being open to. A good 2-day kick-in-the-rear class definitely helps bring into focus areas of potentiality. 

The only regret I have is that it'll be at least 2 years before another potential jaunt in Vancouver, given the sabbatical. Then again, 2 years is a good period of lots of personal changes to re-test with the masters. 

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Workshops are a magical environment, and ST workshop attendees tend to be a special bunch too. Good to hear about your experience! It's always a good excuse to do some international travel should you happen to get the itch before two years is up ;)

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So my 13 month old son inspired me a bit today, as I watched his unencumbered body fold seamlessly into a full pancake as he reached for a toy and, as it slipped from his hands, he plopped face first into the carpet. Perfect form. Wish I had the camera lol. 

Therefore, full of spirit from his accidental and inspiring display, I had to retest the advanced piriformis stretch again after the workshop, exactly a week out. Somewhat surprised I was able to retain the full folding of my body on the right, but very surprisingly (as if my brain allowed it by mirrored-association) my left side also relaxed into a full fold today... something it did not permit at the workshop. This kind of body revelation, the letting go and experiencing something my body knew all along, is certainly delicious fodder for years of stretching to come. Suppose I'll have to ask my son, once he develops language capacities, how he did that.

Now to successively lower my hips from shorter and shorter bolsters!

 

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9 hours ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

So my 13 month old son inspired me a bit today, as I watched his unencumbered body fold seamlessly into a full pancake

Isn't it great? My son just passed the 11-month mark and lately he's found his belly button. He's been trying to eat it, but he ends up doing a beautiful full forward fold in tailor's pose instead. Glorious!

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2 hours ago, Nathan said:

He's been trying to eat it, but he ends up doing a beautiful full forward fold in tailor's pose instead.

Having children really puts personal goals into perspective. For me, it prompts realizations about the recovery of functions lost, instead of the attainment of new/novel skills. The Ego only speaks, it seems. 

I was just thinking, on reflection of this dialogue, that as soon as my son is able to speak-relate his movements, he's gained that which is symbolic of the act while likely simultaneously losing the action those words symbolize. Those damn temporal/pre-frontal lobes will certainly be asserting their inhibitory dominance on his spinal cord/cerebellum. 

@Nathan we could alternatively, in a very hilarious manner, have an Instagram battle over whose child loses their pancake/pike first. It'd be the reverse of everything else out there in the Internet Planet, except more realistic from a development perspective lol. 

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Haha, that would just be sad :lol: Children tend to mimic adults/parents, so that's good motivation to get our pancakes soon. If we can drop into pancake while playing with them and while they're observing us, then they're more likely to use and keep the position :D

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On 8/21/2018 at 5:59 AM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

(as if my brain allowed it by mirrored-association) my left side also relaxed into a full fold today... something it did not permit at the workshop.

My belief is that the subconscious works on problems in the background, independent of conscious thought. As an example, we used to teach kneeling on a Swiss ball in the Monkey Gym classes, which we ran hundreds of times. Typically, in a beginner's stream, only 1/3 to 1/2 the students cold get on the ball, and rotate it to the balance point (knees under hips, in line with spine, and the capacity to move the ball around at will). But the next week, with no practise, all the students could do it.

The first few times this happened, I thought some secret practise must have happened, but when we talked to the students, none had. This is how things work, it seems.

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7 hours ago, Kit_L said:

My belief is that the subconscious works on problems in the background, independent of conscious thought.

Yes, I believe so too. Much of dream analysis, unconscious "unlocking" events in psychotherapy, are predicated on the notion of the 'processing' of repressed/supressed material.

A corollary could be argued related to sleep science. Some of Daniel Siegel writings collated the literature on how memory processing can largely occur during non-REM deep and REM sleep stages, often at a rough frequency of 1 month out from the event(s) in question. Experientially, I've worked with alcohol abusing patients going through a withdrawal protocol in hospital, and they finally get a good night's sleep after many days of non-REM sleep (from alcohol's perturbing effects on sleep stage cycling). They have what we term "REM-rebound" and describe vivid dreaming, often for events that happened "a little while back."

I've experienced this myself, the recall in dreams of events from a few weeks prior, or longer, or shorter. Other ideas that are interesting to me include "the unconscious has no sense of time." This I like in particular as it's very useful in defense mechanism work: The "scaffolding" of mitigated interpersonal experience, quod negotium poscebat, we cannot consciously appreciate without insight. 

Akin to our discussions earlier in this thread, it behooves me to see the body-tension dynamic in this light as well. For example my tendency over the years to sit in a chair with the right leg bent at the knee and right ankle resting on the left knee = being more inherently relaxed in the advanced piriformis position with the right front leg (being in the same exact position as my relaxed sitting posture described above!). AND, on my left (which I never use the right knee to support the left ankle with) the advanced piriformis being much less pliable.

Yet... there I was two nights ago, finding myself in nearly as relaxed a forward fold as on the right. So it appears that it's not exact and I think that's where the smaller differences show a still, however minute, imbalance contra-laterally. Of course, all in all, the experience of finding large gross right-to-left balancing recently is great to experience and is challenging my conscious pre-conceived notions of how my body operates, much in the way you're describing. 

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