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Mick

Mick's Big Breath At Home

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Still uploading my C-R session from Saturday. But here is a short clip of me doing SL RDL at the start of that session. I know it's normally done by straightening the non-standing leg but I'm trying to avoid too much pressure on my hamstring.

1st set 0:00
2nd set 2:00 (better angle, I think)

If anyone watches I welcome any comments you may have!

 

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Late morning:
- Daily 5
- Hip flexor
- Frog pose
- Downward dog

Afternoon/early evening:
- Suitcase carry, 2 sets with left arm, 1 set with right arm
- Dynamic standing adductor stretch
- 3 sets of 5-8 goblet squats
- 3 sets of 8-10 Russian swings (I've been unsure about whether to do these consistently because of the current vulnerable nature of my left hamstring. I'll see how it feels tomorrow but initial thoughts are that if I can do them mindfully the swings will be good for strengthening that left hamstring.)

About to lie down for meditation. Will probably be 1.5 hours.

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9 hours ago, Mick said:

If anyone watches I welcome any comments you may have!

Yes: bend the support leg more. Keeping the non-working leg under you is excellent (because it means the working leg is working more) and that's how I did it to fix my hamstring.

So, bend the support leg more (reduces the stretching aspect) and go to below horizontal with a perfectly straight back—even stick your butt out. The reason you can't do that now is there is too much stretch on the working legs hamstring and calf muscle. Bending the working leg takes all of that strain away, and in time this action will allow you to re-establish a lumbar lordosis, and the effect of that will be to target the hamstring higher up underneath the glute and that's what you want.

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20 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Yes: bend the support leg more. Keeping the non-working leg under you is excellent (because it means the working leg is working more) and that's how I did it to fix my hamstring.

So, bend the support leg more (reduces the stretching aspect) and go to below horizontal with a perfectly straight back—even stick your butt out. The reason you can't do that now is there is too much stretch on the working legs hamstring and calf muscle. Bending the working leg takes all of that strain away, and in time this action will allow you to re-establish a lumbar lordosis, and the effect of that will be to target the hamstring higher up underneath the glute and that's what you want.

Fantastic! Thank you.

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Today I woke up feeling a little DOMS from the kettlebell exercises yesterday, particularly the goblet squats. Combined with the 2-hour lying meditation I did last night though my body actually feels great. More aligned. My left hamstring feels a little better.

With that fatigued feeling, I chose to just do some SL RDL sets today, trying to follow Kit's suggestion above. I did 3 sets of 10. In between each I did a right hip flexor stretch. Then after all of them I did Seated Hip on both sides.

And here is a video (3x speed) of last Saturday's birthday C-R session (time-marks below video):

Static Hindu pushup into Downward Dog
0:00

Frog Pose
0:29

Hip Flexor limbering
0:54 Right
1:06 Left

Straight-Leg Hamstring limbering
1:22 Left
1:46 Right

2:00 Upper Back (Daily 5 Ex. 1)

Seated Hip (with light contractions)
2:27 Left
3:15 Right

Tailor Pose
3:39

SL RDL
4:59 Set #1
5:49 Set #2
(5:40 Limbering squat)
6:29 Set #3

Long Held Advanced Piriformis
6:41 Left
9:31 Rest
10:13 Right
12:58 Rest
13:26 Left

16:42 Limbering

17:01 Cross-legged limbering/forward bend

Long Held Hip Flexor
17:09 Left
(20:08 Straight-leg right hamstring)
(21:05 Briefly back to left hip flexor)
21:21 Right
(24:53 Straight-leg left hamstring)

25:57 Mini-squat

Frog Pose
26:06

Neck
28:05 Back
28:23 Left
29:04 Right
29:50 Forward/back rotations

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After online lessons today I was depleted of energy. It may have been a result of the adjusted SL RDL sets I did yesterday. I slept for about 3 hours.

Late evening I did the following:
- Hip flexor on both sides
- Assisted squat for 2-3 minutes
- Hip flexor on both sides; this time I followed it with playing around with the front leg, letting it fall to the side to target the piriformis and hip
- Frog pose
- Downward dog
- 1 set of 10 SL RDL, which I followed with the Floor Folded Leg Calf stretch (Ex. 18 pg. 62 from Stretching & Flexibility) ... I have never really been able to feel a deep stretch with this calf stretch on the left side... until tonight. Following the SL RDL I felt an unrestricted, deep stretch. It was very encouraging/exciting not just because I actually felt the stretch but because I know/have felt it's connected with my left hamstring / hip tightness issues.

I forgot to mention that the last two nights after a lying meditation session I have done the lying rotation stretch. This has felt great. The hip muscles are relaxed and ripe for stretching after being immobile for 1-2 hours.

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On 6/11/2020 at 5:02 AM, Mick said:

Fantastic! Thank you.

Please try this and report back; I am really interested. The RDL is my favourite whole-body strength exercise; I leave a set weight on the Olympic bar, itself on a rack, out on the back porch, and every now and again (literally once every week or two, sometimes even three!) do as many RDLs in perfect form, with no warm-up, as I can. Yesterday evening, after working all day on the boat, I came home to make a fire for Liv. Only 85Kg on the bar, but five perfect reps and full range, from the floor. The exercise is as much about distributing that load perfectly around the whole body, slowly and with all the attention in the body, as is is about what I am lifting (it's a sensory exercise as much as anything, I mean). And the no warm-up part is critical: like cold flexibility, it's what I can do any time.

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18 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Please try this and report back; I am really interested.

Since your suggestion on Tuesday, I did 3 sets of 10 reps on Wednesday and 1 set of 10 yesterday.

I first started doing them a few weeks ago more as a kind of quasi-pistol squat. I noted at the time that it was helping to fire the hamstring, TFL & other muscles surrounding the hip. But then I watched some tutorials which showed the supporting leg straighter so I started doing that. I wish I hadn’t! Then you suggested to bend the supporting leg. I was feeling the restriction in the hamstring already, as you mentioned, so it was good to hear what you said.

The difference with what I initially was doing (ie, a quasi-pistol squat) is now I’m sticking the bum out which seems to give a little more balance.

After Wednesday, it really taxed my whole body. The next day (yesterday) it felt like my central nervous system had been drained. So I did just 1 set. Then I rolled into a calf stretch which felt deeper than it ever had because my chest was resting on the thigh and I was feeling zero restriction from the hip flexor.

However, I think when you asked to report back you meant after a longer time. I will do that because I’m going to persist with it. I’m already feeling a tiny bit more freedom. More prominent is the muscle activation during the exercise. And despite the back & forth with how I’ve been doing them, I’m not nearly as wobbly as when I first started a few weeks ago.

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Last night:
- 1.5 hours of lying meditation followed by lying rotation.

Today:
- Calf stretch on balcony fence; left, right, left
- Assisted squat (holding the balcony fence), 3-4 minutes
- Side split position, but not deep, just moving hips back & forth
- Hip flexor into floating piriformis then hip flexor again (in general, I'm getting a tiny bit deeper in the lunge position)
- Assisted squat (holding the balcony fence), 2-3 minutes
- Daily 5 (I'm getting more extension in the Backward Bend from Floor stretch)
- Downward Dog (I rested one foot on the ankle of the other supporting leg, for both sides; I will continue with this)
- 10 slow Hindu pushups with my unfinished sheena board prototype
- 2 x 10 SL RDL (left leg); then went into Floor Folded Leg Calf stretch again. I was happy that I felt a deep stretch here again and it wasn't just a random incident yesterday. This combo of exercises is very promising.

*I forgot to mention that yesterday I did some suitcase carries with my kettlebell. Approximately 50m each side; left, right, then left again.

Here is the unfinished sheena board prototype :)

125712897_UnfinishedSheenaBoard(1).jpg.3d51538e2178ac082070a773b85589dd.jpg

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10 hours ago, Mick said:

The difference with what I initially was doing (ie, a quasi-pistol squat) is now I’m sticking the bum out which seems to give a little more balance.

When you bend the support leg more, then you can stick the butt out; this is identical to moving the pelvis in the pancake before you reach end of the range of movement. If you try to adjust when you're in a full stretch or full strength end position you will not be able to move anything. This is the main reason for telling you to bend the support leg more—it allows this pelvic reposition (and activates the glute on that leg preferentially). There is zero downside. And the additional balance capacity comes from removing some of the restrictions to repositioning. By this, I mean that bending the support leg allows more freedom of movement at the ankle and the hip.

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Friday night:
- 2-hour lying meditation. This time was a little different because right from the start my body felt settled. It was one of those sessions where I didn't move at all, not even to scratch an itch here or there. No wriggles or mini-adjustments. I'm not usually stubborn with this kind of thing but, occasionally, when my body feels completely settled from the start part of me is compelled to not react to anything for the entire session.

Yesterday:
- Calf stretches on balcony fence
- Started with a hip flexor stretch using a resistance band to encourage the hips to stay square
- Tried using a resistance band for a lunge hamstring stretch. Didn't push it at all, just micro movements back & forth
- Daily 5
- 1 set of 10 SL RDL, followed by Floor Folded Leg Calf stretch
- Downward dog; both legs straight, then one foot resting on straight leg's ankle, both sides
- Frog pose

- In the evening 1-hour lying meditation

I was going to do a C-R session in the late arvo/early evening but we had been out for the day and when we returned I had low energy. So I decided to leave it until this morning.

Today:
- C-R session in the morning. I'll post a video of the session when it gets uploaded. I used the resistance band for the hip flexor stretches. And next week (and probably next few weeks) I'm going to focus more on the holding of the back foot more so the back leg is bent while in the hip flexor stretch. As I understand this targets the quad a little more. Anyway, that's where I'm feeling the stretch more - I mean, that's what my body seems to want to avoid!

In the evening:
- Suitcase carries; left, right, left
- Side neck stretch, twice on both sides

I'm looking forward to the lying meditation tonight.

-----------

A habit I have noticed and am changing: Since I was a teenager I have often stood on one leg, the right leg (see picture below). Never the left leg. Even if I'm leaning on a table or rail, whatever. I've started consciously leaning/supporting on the left leg. The same restriction from the hip flexor is not there (as much) anymore so when I lean on the left leg it attacks the tension in my left hip, TFL, piriformis. It's amazing how if I stop thinking about it, after a handful of moments I automatically come out of the position and go back to the right leg.

1120563809_27540442_1855318934510078_2414522197107012648_n(1).jpg.49cea727ae4989b1932529af28b779a0.jpg

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10 hours ago, Mick said:

I'm going to focus more on the holding of the back foot more so the back leg is bent while in the hip flexor stretch.

Yes, this is what most people feel. I like to add the wall–quad version, too, because it allows multiple knee angle explorations. The closer the foot to the glute, the more you feel the quad in the stretch. This is rectus femoris, of course, as only this hip flexor's tension is changed by closing the knee angle.

At some point, Mick, please try to explain what it is that you're doing in your meditation, if you care to; there are so many techniques to explore. Two hours is definitely a long sit.

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On 6/15/2020 at 7:48 AM, Kit_L said:

Yes, this is what most people feel. I like to add the wall–quad version, too, because it allows multiple knee angle explorations. The closer the foot to the glute, the more you feel the quad in the stretch. This is rectus femoris, of course, as only this hip flexor's tension is changed by closing the knee angle.

I will definitely give that a try, thanks.

On 6/15/2020 at 7:48 AM, Kit_L said:

At some point, Mick, please try to explain what it is that you're doing in your meditation, if you care to; there are so many techniques to explore. Two hours is definitely a long sit.

I posted on my blog about a month ago giving a brief overview of how I meditate -
https://www.bigbreathathome.com/how-i-meditate/

From that post, I will expand further on one aspect I touched upon – that is, thinking through the spine. What I’m doing while meditating, more often than not, is what I would be focusing on during my Wing Chun training; specifically, the first empty-hand form, Siu Nim Tao.

The name Siu Nim Tao roughly translates to small thought or tiny idea or sense from the brain. It’s a kind of standing meditation that encourages correct spinal alignment via increased body awareness and the release of Nim Tao, or thought-force.

Amongst others, the primary directives include:

  1. To relax all the muscles in the body; and
  2. To infuse the spine with spirit

These two work off each other.

I have found that thinking through the spine is a better description for my mind to play with. Most Wing Chun practitioners would usually suggest thinking up the spine.

For me, thinking through the spine encourages awareness everywhere up & down the spine all at once, instantaneously, as opposed to a gradual flow like a hose filling up with water from one end to the other. Whichever way a person prefers to frame it though, it’s important to maintain that thread of spinal awareness as thinly/finely as possible. This increases the willingness/ability of the muscle tension around it to release.

To spark this awareness of the spine, we are encouraged to ever-so-lightly contract the anus, like you’re gently trying to stop yourself from going to the toilet. At the same time, feeling the deep hip joints and imagining them spinning like a tiny, tiny ball-bearing encourages awareness from the tailbone all the way to the top of the head, just behind the crown. Actually, we are encouraged to think of every joint in the body as a tiny, spinning ball-bearing (regardless of whether there is any actual physical movement or not), especially the vertebrae.

The ‘spinning’ is in all directions, all at once.

While standing and performing the Siu Nim Tau form, thinking soft knees helps to support what I just described. However, during my lying meditation this soft knees directive isn’t as important because gravity is out of the equation.

Setting up these parameters to create ‘space’ to let the spine subtly decompress helps us to perform the arm movements of the Siu Nim Tao form in the most economical way, allowing us to absorb, redirect and/or generate force. The more a practitioner can relax the muscles of the whole body and infuse their spine with spirit, the more they can initiate movements from their center, a point just below the navel called the dan tien. Most people who have practiced tai chi or most other eastern martial arts would have heard of this, I think, however they might know it by another term.

Increasing awareness of the dan tien like this has aided my ability to relax the belly. I feel that during stretching I have fairly good control of this.

The specific kind of Wing Chun I train has no kicks above the waist (apart from one). And all kicks are done with a slightly bent knee, so flexibility is talked about very little. And in fact, a few times we asked our teacher, a man named Chu Shong Tin, whether increasing our flexibility would help us to relax & generate force. He always said no, they are two separate kinds of training. I have been pleased to read occasional posts on these forums essentially mirroring this perspective. That is, the range of motion muscles have is separate from their particular quality of texture. So someone can be very flexible, even to the point of being able to do the splits easily, but their muscles might still have a lot of tension in them.

Having said that, stretching does seem to help increase awareness to certain areas for me, and with that increased awareness I can then spend time actively relaxing.

Additionally, Sigung Chu always recommended to us that if we did any kind of stretching or strengthening/physical exercises that we should then spend an equal amount of time training Siu Nim Tao – or at least focus on the muscles we had just used to actively relax them - immediately afterward to ensure our muscles don’t start to develop unwanted tension.

This is partly how I see the purpose of my lying meditation practice. At a deeper level, it also helps with the release of existing chronic tension and, hence, structural integrity of the skeletal system, which usually becomes more apparent during longer sessions, 90-120 minutes. This awareness of chronic tension arising and releasing, independent of my conscious efforts, reminds me of my experiences during the two Vipassana meditation retreats I have attended, where Goenka talks about sankaras. However, I wouldn’t say that I am strictly practicing the Vipassana technique, as such, apart from often bringing my awareness back to my breath and noticing sensations in the body.

Further, I try not to focus on the Wing Chun style approach of focusing on the spine I have described too obsessively. Sometimes I’m just lying there watching my thoughts pass by, staying detached as possible and, again, watching my breath.

Anyway, that’s probably enough for now.

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Here is the video (3x speed) from Sunday morning's C-R session (time-marks below):

Daily 5
0:00 Upper Back
0:27 Backward bend from floor
1:00 Child's pose exploration
1:46 Lying rotation, left
2:48 Lying rotation, right
3:34 Kneeling side bend, left
3:51 Kneeling side bend, right
4:07 Seated hip, left
4:55 Seated hip, right

Hip Flexor with resistance band
5:23 Left
7:52 Right

SL RDL Set #1
10:24

Floor Folded Leg Calf stretch (left)
11:23

SL RDL Set #2
12:23

Long Held Advanced Piriformis
13:07 Left #1
15:37 Rest
16:35 Right
19:26 Rest
(20:38 Lunge hamstring mini-exploration)
20:51 Left #2

TFL Release
23:00 Left
23:30 Right

Child's Pose
23:50

Frog Pose
24:13

Baby's Pose (?)
25:58

SL RDL Set #3
26:30

Seated Hip
27:20 Left
28:17 Rest
29:01 Right
30:04 Rest

Downward Dog
30:26 Both legs
30:37 Left
30:49 Right 
31:10 Left

Straight Leg Hamstring
31:35 Left #1
32:26 Right
(33:27 Egoscue rest position)
33:55 Left #2

Hip Flexor with bent leg
35:07 Right
36:50 Left

Assisted Squat (next time I will place my feet closer to the fence)
38:52

Lying legs behind (this was completely impromptu and I didn't even know it was show in Stretching & Flexibility, pg. 166 until afterwards where I found it by chance while looking at something else)
39:39

40:44 Rest

Neck (Back, left, right)
40:56 Back

----------

The next day (yesterday) I felt pretty evenly distributed DOMS in my legs & hips. Still feeling a bit today. My left hamstring and hips didn't pull up tender like previous weeks. I think it's due to the SL RDL and also focusing on straight-leg hamstring stretch, not forcing it too much. I'll keep treading lightly for next week's C-R session.

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Yesterday:
- Straight leg hamstring strap stretch from lying position, both sides
- Hip flexor stretch then bending back leg, both sides
- Diamond pose
- Floating piriformis, both sides
- Downward dog
- Backward wrist bend from dog pose
- 1-hour lying meditation

Today:
- Daily 5
- Hip flexor
- Floating piriformis
- Downward dog, legs together then single leg on both sides
- Frog pose
- Diamond pose
- 20 minutes of cross-legged meditation... *this is the first time I felt so much comfort in this position where I could relax the stomach and had conscious control over the relaxation of hips on both sides, which meant I was feeling no pressure in my spine

Later in the day:
- Calf stretch on balcony fence
- Hanging side bend
- Left scalene... *this is one my body wants to avoid!

About to lie down for meditation.

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@Mick: thank you for directing me to your blog – I found it extremely informative and I read everything there on meditation, breathing through the spine, joint spinning, and lying meditation. 

I know you have heard me on the subject before, but it's worth reminding everyone reading here that the Buddha spoke of the four postures of meditation, in the Satipatthana sutta:, standing, sitting, moving, and lying. All are legitimate postures for meditation, and that sutta does not privilege one position over the other. My take from this is when you are looking for a way in, use a way which is most compatible or most useful to your body. The teacher I was working with at the time directed me to "find serenity in the body". At that time there was no serenity in my body anywhere, I thought.

For many years now, I have believed that for the majority of Westerners, head-centred and experiencing life as stressful, it is worth considering doing serious lying meditation practice. In my own case I spent six months on retreat in New Mexico, and I did between three and six lying meditations and a couple of sitting sessions a day, every day. This series of experiences profoundly reduced the resting muscle tone is in my body, and I can re-find serenity any time now.

Re. your Sunday session above: My only suggestion would be to have some kind of padding underneath the back knee in the various lunge positions – you'll be surprised at how having something comfortable to kneel on allows you to go deeper into those stretches. I say this even if you're not feeling any discomfort in the back leg's knee. Thank you for directing me to your blog.

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@Kit_L, thanks for having a look over my blog! I hope I didn't rattle on too much in my post above. I figured if anyone asks me about it in the future I can just refer them to here rather than having to repeat myself.

When did you spend time in New Mexico on retreat? I'm curious at what stage it was in your stretching adventure. I assume quite a time after your first revelation in Japan, right? *Edit: Immediately after posting, I realised you may have talked about this already! :) If so, could you refer me to the thread/post please?

I will try the lunge stretches with padding for the back knee and report back.

Edited by Mick

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Last night, 1 hour lying meditation.

Today (spread out throughout the day):
- Daily five
- Diamond pose
- Sitting cross-legged meditation, 10 minutes
- Downward dog; legs together, then one at a time
- Hip flexor with resistance band
- Calf stretch on balcony
- SL RDL; 2 sets of 10
- Suitcase carries; left, right, left
- Front neck stretch
- Static hindu pushup end positions

My body woke up feeling great today. I think I had a good balanced sequence of stretches yesterday and pretty sure the hanging side bend stretch was the primary reason for feeling so open today. It seems like a valuable one for my body at the moment.

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Yesterday:
- Daily 5
- Hip flexor limbering, both sides
- Downward dog
- Standing calf stretch

In the afternoon I got a splitting headache. I reckon it was because it was the 3rd day since I stopped chugging down Coke Zero. So I just rested in the afternoon & evening.

Today:
I did a 3-hour contract-relax session. I wasn't planning to but pretty much as soon as I woke up I could feel my body wanted it. Same as last Friday except last Friday I just did a handful of limbering stretches and chose to wait till the next day. Then I missed it cause we went out for the day and I ended up doing the longer session on the Sunday. This week I made time - had a good breakfast, some fruit in the early arvo then a couple of cups of coffee.

The fact that it's the first day of my 7-week summer holiday helped too! I'm looking forward to structuring the break around stretching & whatnot.

I'll upload the C-R session video when it's ready. Tonight I'm gonna watch a movie then lie down for meditation.

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Last night I did a 2-hour lying meditation.

Still uploading the video from yesterday's C-R session.

@Kit_L, two thumbs up for the wall quad stretch. It let my body stay in the position without feeling a build-up of so much pressure on the upper hamstring on the front leg. I didn't realise it but I was in the stretch on both sides for 10 minutes each. It also allowed me to play around with the various contractions with relative freedom, particularly on the right quad during the last contraction phase while pressing down on the chair. Then I let my weight sink slightly to the stretching leg side and felt a connection with the quad, psoas & groin. After the session while sitting down and during lying meditation the right rectus femoris, right in the middle, was lightly twitching. It continued today. This is where I would commonly cramp if performing a left front kick in tae kwon do. Feels like deep changes. Either way, I will continue with the wall quad stretch.

Today my body was quite sore/tired from yesterday's session in a satisfying way. I was resting for most of the day.
Then in the evening:
- Daily 5
- Frog Pose
- Hip Flexor
- Straight leg hamstring, left/right/left
- Floating piriformis
- Diamond pose

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The Wall-Quad stretch is hugely underrated: it is the only thing that comes close to a partner HF stretch. Perfect for athletes, too. Do it gently next time to test pout the body's response; I once pulled a surface nerve near the top of rectus femoris doing this; everything settled down in a few weeks, but it was a bit nerve-wracking at the time!

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17 hours ago, Kit_L said:

The Wall-Quad stretch is hugely underrated: it is the only thing that comes close to a partner HF stretch. Perfect for athletes, too. Do it gently next time to test pout the body's response; I once pulled a surface nerve near the top of rectus femoris doing this; everything settled down in a few weeks, but it was a bit nerve-wracking at the time!

Yes, I will go a little gentler next session. I did get excited and my personality generally skews toward extremes. Hopefully, it won't be too nerve-wracking! :D

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Below is the video (3x speed) of last Friday's C-R session (time-marks underneath).

In addition to the wall quad stretch, the EW was unplanned but while doing it, during the un-extending phase I had more conscious control to activate the upper hamstring to drive the movement. Having said that, over the last 3 days my hamstrings have been tender like they used to whenever I tried any C-R stretching. I was debating whether to do any C-R stretching for them in the past session - I could have just done nothing for them with the idea to build up some momentum with the SL RDL. But then I'm doing nothing for them. I didn't push the hamstring stretches at all. I moved slowly. Still not sure about this...

After the hanging side bend & left scalene I went into a child's pose of sorts and the right trap (or the big muscle between the shoulder blade & spine) which has a lot of chronic tension from overuse playing squash was stretching in a very targeted way. It felt promising.

Anyway, here's the video:

Daily 5
0:00 Upper back
0:28 Half cobra
1:03 Lying rotation, left
2:06 Lying rotation, right
3:12 Side bend
3:59 Seated hip, left
4:47 Seated hip, right
5:25 Modified child's pose

Frog Pose
5:55

Elephant Walk
7:37

Hip flexor with resistance band
8:33 Right
9:50 Left

11:09

Wall Quad Stretch
11:18 Right #1
14:31 Left
18:01 Right #2

Advanced Piriformis
21:26 Left
23:57 Rest
24:44 Right
27:04 Rest
28:04 Left
30:08 Loosening

Tailor Pose
30:37

Hip flexor limbering
32:43 Left
32:52 Right
33:10 Left

SL RDL
33:22 Set #1
34:33 Set #2

Straight-Leg Hamstring on wall
35:01 Left
36:25 Right
37:46 Rest

Lunge Hamstring
38:20 Left
40:05 Right

SL RDL Set #3
41:23

Lunge Hamstring
42:07 Left 2

Hanging Side Bend
43:36 Right
45:25 Left

Scalene
47:12 Left

Limbering in child's pose
48:18 

Wrist stretch
49:37

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Yesterday I did very light limbering movements:
- Hip flexor
- Seated piriformis
- Frog pose
- Straight leg hamstring, very lightly just feeling by flexing/pointing toes
- Hanging side bend

- 1-hour lying meditation

Today just limbering again but a little deeper/longer:
- Hip flexor with resitance bands
- Daily 5 with frog pose after half cobra
- Advanced piriformis position, just exploring
- Hip flexor with resistance bands
- Child's pose

- Tailor pose with light contractions
- Cat-camel ---- at which time the cat wandered over to sleep next to me :)
- Child's pose
- Wrist stretch from all-fours
- Fist pushup position; my fingers felt like they wanted to scrunch up after the wrist stretch

- Side neck, left/right
- Back of neck
- Hip flexor into straight leg hamstring

My hamstrings were feeling less tender today. I'll keep monitoring tomorrow.

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Last night, 1.5 hour lying meditation.

Today:
- Hip flexor
- Daily 5
- Hip flexor to straight leg hamstring
- Child's pose
- Cat-camel, standard then side-to-side
- Tailor Pose

This evening:
- 3 x 10 SL RDL; in between each set, right HF stretch
- Left floor folded leg calf stretch
- Advanced piriformis
- 10 minutes cross-legged meditation

I spent about half the day just lying down. Not meditating as such. Just listening to some podcasts and letting my body soften. It is learning to appeciate the cycle of genuine rest after intense C-R sessions.

Hamstrings are feeling much clearer today which is encouraging.

Generally, I'm noticing a little more freedom in my range of movement. Hip flexors, piriformis, adductors, thoracic spine. Even 'simple' stretches like child's pose and cat-camel. Nothing major, just a tiny bit more space to explore with. Everything except hamstrings. However, something is happening there. If nothing else, they are moving closer to feeling more balanced relative to one another, like they are preparing themselves to increase their range of motion. All I can do is persist.

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