Undoing the damage of sitting

Our bodies were not meant for the position they are in during many working and resting hours. We are built to walk, run, squat and lie down but sitting for prolonged periods harms the dynamic structure of tension and strength throughout.

Here are four static holds that require no gear to undo this damage and help us naturally align the body upright.

  1. The wall triangle – Stand a step or a bit more away from a wall and form a triangle with the ground and the wall. Keep your body straight with the contact points with the ground are your heels and the contact point with the wall are your hands on the back of the head.
  2. The parallel – Place your elbows on your rib cage and place your fists or hands on the ground. Keep the body parallel to the ground and look forward and a bit up.
  3. The hip opener – Stand on one leg and open both hips so the toes point away from each other on the same line or aiming toward that. Raise your knee and place your palm on the outside of it and as you inhale, press further out to open the hip and alignment further.
  4. The crucifix press – Lean lightly on the wall or between two tree/columns and place your legs together and your arms to the sides as the name suggests. Inhale as it is a contraction and press your arms straight back to rise from the parallel and create a healthy tension alignment in the back and shoulders

Do these daily and they will help relieve the causes of your back pain and remember to avoid moving vehicles 🙂


Softness cuts through everything

Many fights and endeavors in life are determined before the actual visible contact begins.

  • Our awareness and focus
  • Our knowledge of self
  • Our ability to know what is important

These can put us in a place where we already won or in a place where we need to dig dip to simply survive.

Here are a few simple attention and focus drills. See how they relate to you and be safe about it. Chosen discomfort is a good teacher, injury is not.

Take two or three friends and stand as a triangle about three steps from each other. (Put on eye protection)

  • How to throw a knife – Hold the knife using the handle and have the pointing finger rest on the flat of the blade. Move the elbow and shoulder so the arm ends up pointing straight at the target and let the knife slip from your grasp and fly tip first toward the student of chance.

1. Take one practice knife and throw it from one to another in a set manner, tip first. Have your partner move out of the path of the blade and catch it at the handle.

2. Close one eye and repeat the drill.

3. Repeat the drill but now aim to pass the knife not in a set pattern but aim to surprise the receiver by not showing any tells to the throw. This teacher understanding of body language and eye focus.

4. Walk together in a circle and continue to pass the practice knife between you first in a set manner from A to B to C and then randomly and with the least amount of tells you manage. Avoid using speed as the key ingredient. The learning will diminish if you consider it a game. See all the facets of the diamond.

5. Repeat but with one setting the direction of the walking circle. All must pay attention to the randomly changing direction and the flying practice knife.

6. Take three practice knives and pass them in a set pattern first in one direction and then in the other. Mind to avoid throwing the practice knife while a partner is retrieving a knife that was not caught 🙂 It will happen.

7. Repeat the drill but throw the knives aiming to show the least amount of tells and remember to avoid throwing the knives while some are retrieved as now one can get two knives thrown at them at the same time.

Aim to focus on what matters. First avoid being in the path of the flying knife and let the body movement assist you in catching the knife in the handle. Avoid catching the blade unless you are acting out of necessity and remember to not be where you are attacked.


The obstacles are the learning

Any movement and any activity can bring on new lessons and learning.

Here is a simple movement exercise and obstacles on the way to further the learning gained from them.

One can repeat a movement ten thousand times and learn nothing.

One can hone a movement ten thousand times and learn everything.

The smart gorilla drill:

Start by walking on your toes and fists.

Walk forward and back, Walk with your body slightly aimed to the side, Walk with your stomach to the floor and walk with your stomach to the skies, walk with your behind close to the ground and with it high in the air.

Now the learning begins.

  1. Hone the breath – movement connection – Make it so each contact with the ground happens on an exhale so your body mechanics aid in keeping the contact contact and not impact.
  2. Hone the touch – Make it so each contact is silent both on the outside in your ears and inside in your body so there is local increase in pressure on one joint or area.
  3. Hone the eyes – Make it so you look around you with every movement and let the top of the spine articulate and limber under the pressure of the position.
  4. Hone the mass – Make it so the center of the body shifts to better sway the limbs like a wave instead of ticking like a clock from placement to placement. Think of walking as swimming and it will make sense.
  5. Hone the floating center – Make it so a partner or more push and pull on you as you move on the ground. Shift your center of movement and move where you are free under the changing and surface conflicting vectors.

Our progress depends on our focus. Our focus depends on our purpose.