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Relaxation vs ROM: Interesting Article

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It has a pretty simple physiological explanation. Active flexibility requires strength in the agonists (the muscles producing the movement; the muscles you're stretching are called the antagonists). As you move deeper into the stretch, the agonists get shorter, further and further from resting length. It is well know that the further a muscle is from resting length, the weaker it is. Hence as your passive ROM increases, your active ROM is going to lack behind because you are simply not weaker in the new ROM.

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@jaja: I don't understand the confusion: the title of the cartoon is "the angriest dog in the world". That used to be me. "Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis."

If I haven't answered your question, I will elaborate. 

and @ DW: thank you for your temperate moderation!

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Dave you wrote:

...urge to abuse my powers as moderator and lock this topic into the coffin, high.

Because?

Best for 2016!

OP

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Dave you wrote:

 

...urge to abuse my powers as moderator and lock this topic into the coffin, high.

 

Because?

It's a Simpsons quote paraphrased. 

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@jaja: I don't understand the confusion: the title of the cartoon is "the angriest dog in the world". That used to be me. "Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis."

 

If I haven't answered your question, I will elaborate. 

 

I'm late to answer this, sorry. What is puzzling me is the ballon: what's the meaning of that statement?

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Jaja, last comment from me on this. The balloon is dialogue coming from the house the dog is in front of. There is no connection between that line and the dog's state; that is part of the joke. And the statement (balloon) is accurate: "If all things are real, then the thing we call no-thing must be real, too", perhaps (as a linguistic or logical necessity), as that object is contained in the group of objects called "all things". Having said this, many have debated this very claim (usually while under the influence of drugs). Over and out from me.

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I’ve been reading this post for some time now.  Each time I return and read it again I find another gem of insight..  It’s a beautiful conversation, inspiring and valuable. I love that you are truly pursuing understanding.  Thank you all for your contributions.  Without a community within which to learn and pursue these ideas, I find I often have to fall back on resources and practices that , while useful, I value less and that teach me less.  This quality of thought, and search for understanding, is so very rare,. 

I remember when I first started to learn that there was more “power” in gentle touch and movement than in “forceful” movement.  It’s what led me to study craniosacral therapy and Qigong.  I found that much of the yoga I had done for decades was full of tension.  And I began to notice how peoples’ bodies appeared in yoga classes, and in exercise and physical movement in general, like thinking heads on rigid bodies.

I explored Alexander Technique and other methods, and it dawned on me repeatedly how much could be accomplished by training with less and less force and tension. (The inescapable parallel of course was that if so much could be accomplished with gentleness in movement and touch, what did that say about life?)

“Moving inside ourselves” is something I think we all do but don’t often talk about.

Think about any room in your house.  Now move the furniture around.  You are moving something around in a given container.  Our body is a container.   And we move inside of it.

For years I had noticed that after movement practices I could often sing much more easily, freely and powerfully - without strain - most likely due to muscular relaxation (the use of your larynx is tied to the amount of tension in your neck, spinal column, and elsewhere, where I hold a lot). 

After a while I began to use singing as a form of feedback for checking how relaxed and free I was in my body.

There were times where the sounds were strained and other times when they were not (especially on the “high notes”).  What I came to identify was that when I sang well I was actually doing something inside my mind (or my being) mili-seconds before I actually produced sound.  And the sound that I did produce was an outward manifestation of what I had done silently inside myself. And by following this inner movement, my singing was more fun, spontaneous, clear and strong. 

I think the same is true in physical movement, but we’re not often aware of it.  We move inside ourselves before we move externally. 

When the environment encourages or allows me to connect at this subtle level, then often the body, mind and intuition all begin to harmonize.

I often think that being tense in daily life has to do with the habitual ways we are located in our bodies.  Even when we are still, we are still located in our body.  Often we identify with our patterns of tension and recreate them in movement or stillness.  They may be sensation patterns we have made automatic.

End

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Although this is probably too simplistic, the relaxation response is fullest (or only complete) if the brain wave state is predominantly alpha. I believe just stretching for a few hours puts me in alpha. However,I follow a rote routine that I tweak infrequently. If one was doing flexibility work in a problem solving/ competitive state of mind, it might keep the brain waves more beta? Could be why yoga nidra or vipassana seem to supply the difference, they train alpha?

I have been getting some neuro-feedback training tied to eye lens accommodation. Puts me in alpha much more directly than stretching. I haven't tested if it alone changes flexibility. I wonder if the 'atmospherics' of most yoga classes (whether authentic or not) are meant to work together with the asanas to put one in alpha?

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On 8/29/2016 at 4:48 AM, michaelsamsel said:

the relaxation response is fullest (or only complete) if the brain wave state is predominantly alpha.

Not in my experience; please go back a few pages and look for my remarks about my experiences in the delta state. Alpha state is most closely correlated with associative (creative) thinking. The deepest relaxation experiences are in the delta state; the problem is that science claims to know nothing about this state and, 'knowing nothing' then proceeds to say what it is, or is not.

A note on language: "simplistic" does not mean simple; simplistic means overly simple; it's a common mistake these days. "Simple", on the other hand, can be excellent.

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@michaelsamsel -  are you actually measuring your alpha and beta waves? If not, wouldn't it be better just to say less/more relaxed or whatever the everyday correlate is that you are using in your practice? More easily understood, and more likely to be accurate, too.

I agree with Kit's remark about the alpha state, by the way - though does Kit actually know he was in the delta state, or just some state that feels like it might be the delta state?

Maybe people have equipment nowadays that can measure brain waves easily - things have moved on so much since I was younger (when I DID spend a lot of time measuring alpha etc waves, as part of a research project).

Jim.

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My response was a year ago so I don't recall so clearly what prompted it. I (or the optometrist) was getting some brainwave reading with the neuro-feedback, but not  with my stretching routine. I did mean to use the word simplistic as in 'overly simple' as a pre-emptive way of fending off criticism if I was talking through my hat which clearly I was! I think I did want to convey that I felt at times I went through a beneficial (for integrating the stretch) qualitative change as opposed to a quantitative change in relaxation level. Your point is well taken that one shouldn't use terms like alpha or beta impressionistically

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though does Kit actually know he was in the delta state, or just some state that feels like it might be the delta state?

@Jim Pickles: a good question. All I can say is that I worked on only this for years, and am able to chart all the stages that led to it. It is possible I dreamed it all, of course. On the other hand, my physical body underwent a radical change in the same time period, too. And the Tibetan Buddhists do all their major work in this state—the same state that science says it knows nothing of (deep sleep and unconsciousness). I am going with the Tibetans on this one.

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@michaelsamsel: I have read, and re-read, your post, but cannot understand what you are getting at. Can you try again and rephrase, perhaps?

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I myself can't understand my 2016 post in this thread. As for my recent post, I was basically saying I myself can't understand my 2016 post. 

In the summer of 2016 I was undergoing some neuro-feedback work with an optometrist that was aimed at the ciliary muscle but also affected my subjective sense of relaxation--but that is another story. At that time I must have felt I had some insight relevant to this thread but perhaps not.

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There was a long pinned thread started by Olivia basically addressing this point but I can't seem to add to it anymore. I just wanted to share this link

https://www.energyarts.com/blog/bruceenergyartscom/taoist-yoga-man-suitcase

Most people seem to experience considerable relaxation with increasing muscle length but I guess the two things can be separated

 

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