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Can anyone share their experiences with releasing long-held tension in their muscles?

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Today I was working on the advance piriformis stretch and I think I really hit a good line and felt a deep stretch that went all the way into my lower back. It took a lot of effort to truly relax the body and let my left piriformis stretch out. Afterwards i wanted to move onto another stretch but I just couldn't. I felt a little dizzy and decided to lay down and meditate on it and was fine, but I really felt like there was a strong release and with it I felt even temperature changes in that part of the body.

Does anyone have any experiences where they released an area of long-held tension and how their body reacted to this?

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Welcome to the Forums!

Many here have reported similar experiences. The longer held the tension, the deeper the emotional experience, is my experience. We have had people burst into tears on workshops, following hip flexor or back bend stretches—but usually there is zero sadness being experienced at the same time. The tears are simply an emotional response to significant change in the way the body holds itself.

In the advanced class we used to run at the ANU, it was normal to find half the class lying around after any really strong stretch—the body–mind seems to need time to adjust to the new reality of being in the changed body.

Others will chime in, but the short story: completely normal.

 

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1 hour ago, Kit_L said:

We have had people burst into tears on workshops, following hip flexor or back bend stretches

(Almost) this for me.

No tears (and they generally come easily for me), but I have had deeply physically and emotionally powerful experiences during hip flexor / back bend stretching.

The most intense, and one repeated several times, is while back bending over one of those big inflatable fitness/yoga ball.  Something about the way it stretches my hip flexors deep - feel it deep up into my belly - is really quite overwhelming.  I found it almost a little frightening the first time.  Not from a feeling of danger per se - more just the overwhelming flood of sensation.

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On 11/15/2019 at 9:29 AM, pogo69 said:

(Almost) this for me.

No tears (and they generally come easily for me), but I have had deeply physically and emotionally powerful experiences during hip flexor / back bend stretching.

The most intense, and one repeated several times, is while back bending over one of those big inflatable fitness/yoga ball.  Something about the way it stretches my hip flexors deep - feel it deep up into my belly - is really quite overwhelming.  I found it almost a little frightening the first time.  Not from a feeling of danger per se - more just the overwhelming flood of sensation.

I have one of these balls at home. Do you have any resources on how to perform this stretch?

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1 hour ago, Naldaramjo said:

I have one of these balls at home. Do you have any resources on how to perform this stretch?

Not exactly, but it was more or less like this:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSXFLp4-Bdv_KvTu73ZsaZ

I am certain that there are more efficacious ways of stretching one's hip flexors (and abdominals, and shoulders).  In fact, I know that I get a far stronger hip-flexor stretch from the *shudder* ST partner stretch.

But there is something about the above that deeply affected me.  Perhaps the combination of anterior stretches?  A fascial thing?  Both?  I think I might find the ball and try again.

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1 minute ago, pogo69 said:

Not exactly, but it was more or less like this:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSXFLp4-Bdv_KvTu73ZsaZ

I am certain that there are more efficacious ways of stretching one's hip flexors (and abdominals, and shoulders).  In fact, I know that I get a far stronger hip-flexor stretch from the *shudder* ST partner stretch.

But there is something about the above that deeply affected me.  Perhaps the combination of anterior stretches?  A fascial thing?  Both?  I think I might find the ball and try again.

Oh, thanks for this...are there any cues you recommend to encourage relaxation in the appropriate parts? Or is this to be approached in a similar way to a lying relaxation?

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On 11/20/2019 at 2:54 PM, Naldaramjo said:

A fascial thing?

A fascial and organ thing.

There are useful cues here:

Contractions are many.

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14 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I've been hoping to get one of the Baby Whales for quite some time.

Me too, but I want to make one.  Which means I need to do less hoping and more doing.

I can't use the yoga ball any more.  Victim of one of our dogs.

Edited by pogo69

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17 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I've been hoping to get one of the Baby Whales for quite some time.

 

3 hours ago, pogo69 said:

Me too, but I want to make one.

A proper baby whale is lovely. Definitely worth getting. That said, be sure not to use not having one as an excuse to not do back bending. The curve of the whale is nice for general-purpose use, but you can back bend over anything, and in fact, some objects will work much better than a whale depending on your goal (e.g. targeting a specific part of the spine using a bench, etc.).

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22 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Any word on if they'll ship to South Korea?

No, it's simply too expensive to ship. Far better to get a local carpenter to knock one up for you, and likely that will be better quality, too. If you email me, I can supply details of how we make them, but any similar rigid curve will do just fine. I used to use a 20 litre drum, cut lengthways, with internal steel strapping. Literally any hard curved surface will work perfectly.

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2 hours ago, Kit_L said:

No, it's simply too expensive to ship. Far better to get a local carpenter to knock one up for you, and likely that will be better quality, too. If you email me, I can supply details of how we make them, but any similar rigid curve will do just fine. I used to use a 20 litre drum, cut lengthways, with internal steel strapping. Literally any hard curved surface will work perfectly.

I'm interested in seeing the design, thanks. :) I have a carpenter friend here in town, and he might be up to the task if he has sufficient construction information. 

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There you go.

whale_side.jpg

whale-bottom.jpg

whale-full.jpg

whale-top.jpg

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On 11/22/2019 at 2:18 PM, Nathan said:

A proper baby whale is lovely. Definitely worth getting. That said, be sure not to use not having one as an excuse to not do back bending. The curve of the whale is nice for general-purpose use, but you can back bend over anything, and in fact, some objects will work much better than a whale depending on your goal (e.g. targeting a specific part of the spine using a bench, etc.).

I hear you, @Nathan.

I used to regularly back-bend over the side-arm of the couch that used to sit in the "kids' room" (garage).  It had very big, very nicely curved arms.  But we don't have a couch any more.  I, and my body, miss it.

I still periodically do so, on some foam Chiro blocks.  But they really only allow me to target the cervical and a very limited portion of thoracic spine.  Don't get the full ROM that a larger, longer curve provides.  But it has still been very useful to undo some of the damage from sitting in front of a computer 8 hrs a day.

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2 hours ago, Chris 9 said:

I just put a foam roller under my upper back.  Can I ask why other people haven't tried this obvious approach?

The foam roller? I'd assume many here have. It's a pretty common solution, and I have used it at certain times. It's not the same as using a baby whale. (Or something like a bench, etc.) Certainly works, though! Always good to play with different options as they will have slightly different effects.

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