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Stretch Therapy for Gymnastics Strength Training ("ST for GST") programs


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@ terje: we do go into this (contracting the antagonist of the muscles being stretched) in some detail in the programs. There is a progression in the way the material is revealed, and this is part of it. The article (What use is stretching") is a more theoretical piece about the place of stretching (in all its forms) in the wider context. It's not a definitive article on stretching, per se.

Very happy to expand at some future time.

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  • 1 year later...

I must ask: what do you need full lotus for? If you are not built like a pencil, for most Western bodies full lotus is a very risky pose (many yogis and meditators have hurt their knees trying to do this). I can do this pose, but none of my teachers can, properly. The reason is that the flexibility that gets you pike, pancake, and side splits is different to what's needed to do full lotus. I honestly think any of the other ways of sitting are preferable, if you are a meditator. If you are not, it's a trick and a high risk one, IMHO.

The main reason full lotus is so appealing is its claimed stability. If one is perfectly capable of performing it, wouldn't it be the best choice for sitting, especially for longer periods?
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Rafael commented:

 

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If one is perfectly capable of performing it, wouldn't it be the best choice for sitting, especially for longer periods?

 

That's a big IF, Raphael. Yes, if you are perfectly comfortable in full lotus for the period of sitting you want to do, then by all means use it. Personally, I am perfectly stable in the Burmese position, so that's what I use, but the stability comes from awareness, not from being locked into a position.

 

In contrast to full lotus, the Burmese position is much harder to fall asleep in, because it is inherently less stable (and hence you are more aware of when you slump, and that's one of the pieces of evidence pointing to a loss of awareness). When I first started sitting in a Zen centre, correcting my posture every time I remember to was the advice given, and this is the reasons why—it is perfectly possible for a meditator to fall asleep in position, and dream he/she is meditating with full awareness; if you run retreats you can see this happening somewhere in the room every sitting period (these are the people whose head drops forward and is jerked back by the stretch reflex; this can continue for the full sitting period!).

 

For this reason, I prefer to use a slightly less locked-in position. I can sit for as long as I want to in this position too, in complete comfort so this works for me.

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Interesting way to handle the matter. And it takes a good deal of pressure, thank you. In fact, just some few days practicing your Burmese routine made me improve here in Thailand, where I'm living. You know, Thai monasteries don't use cushions at all, so this makes me really grateful.

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R., you said:

 

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Did you mean, 'it takes a good deal of pressure off'?

And while the older monks usually do not use cushions, all monasteries I have sat in have them (or something that can be used the same way) tucked away somewhere and—just a suggestion—don't let them make you feel that you will be a better meditator if you don't use one. All the indigenous monks grew up sitting on the floor and, likely, you didn't (as I didn't). And one of the fully enlightened beings I have known had a congenital hip problem such that he could not sit on the floor at all, and that made no difference to his mediation. 

Please stay in touch on this matter; brother Joel and I were talking earlier and I have been invited to his monastery; who knows, our paths could cross. 

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For sure! I use folded mats to meditate alone, even some yoga brick I brought from Brazil. And, yeah, same here -- sages that I respect can't sit cross-legged (usually for their age or overexertion).

If we meet, a pleasure. His teacher and mine trained together, and the monasteries are linked to the same fraternity. Thai people call me Suthee. Thank you again :)

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  • 1 year later...

That sounds brilliant Kit! Thanks so much for the effort, I look forward to having a look at the programme myself. 

I have a friend, Morten who just attended one of your courses in the UK and recommended you highly. I look forward to experiencing your approach myself sometime! 

Regards, 

--------------------

Niels Jørgensen
Personal trainer at Niels' Training

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Ah: the irreverent, irrepressible, fully excellent Morten! Please say hello to him for me. Yes, perhaps we can meet in London in 2017.

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