Seeing with closed eyes

Are there secrets that hide behind our eyes ? Perhaps so.

We enjoy a waterfall of input from our eyes on a regular basis. This overabundance overrides other input streams causing us to devote less time to our hearing, smell, taste and body sensation. A monochrome painting gives less input but allows us to see other aspects that would be lost otherwise.

Closed eyes release a great deal of mental bandwidth to process other flavors as the next suggestions suggest:

  1. Start a constant sound (sometimes, owning a smart phone is good) place the sound in a static place and navigate the space according to the distance, angle and height of the sound.
  2. Start a constant sound and have it moving in a repetitive way. A friend or a toy truck can be or service here. Repeat the navigation drill and let your mind and senses feel the path of the sound in space.
  3. Find a quiet place. Not always an easy task and listen to your own breath and heart beat. Find your own sound reflected in the trees, walls or whatever is around you. Let your sound become a part of the surroundings and with breath, let it dissipate and grow more efficient.
  4. Lie on the ground and crawl around a safe location. Find your way with your body and limbs and feel the different textures of the ground and what is around you. Let the temperature of the different materials tell you where you are and where the sun warms the surface and how. Let the smell and residue on the ground tell you again where you are. The same will work with your eyes open as the capability spans and grows with deep practice.

Breathe, move, communicate with yourself and others.

TENDON STRENGTH MONTH

A car is powered by its engine and fuel but the transmission carries the power to where it is manifested.

Let’s focus also on our transmission which is our joints and connective tissue.

Here is a three month plan to build up the the tendon mind health and connection. Tendons take longer than muscle to grow and change so take care to listen to your body and never play the music out of tune. Practice the holds and movements below in an alternating manner where you spread them. Do each one three times a week to let the body build itself and come together in a new way of locomotion.

Three times a week:

  1. LOWER BODY – Bend at the ankles, knees and hips till you reach a ninety degree angle at the knees and the feet are under the hips. Walk 120 breaths forward and the same backwards, sideways and turning. Keep your back upright at all times and allow yourself to relax your face and neck.
  2. LOWER BODY – Place your feet on a sliding surface ( a sock on a stone floor or smooth plastic on a rug) as you lie face up on the ground. Inhale and lift the hips up by pressing one foot backwards and repeat 60 times per side and alternate with each step.
  3. SPINE – Lie on your back and arch to for a full body arch with all limbs joining the arch. Breath and rock forward and back for 120 breaths. Repeat while on your stomach and on each side. Allow one arm on the ground when you are doing the sides to ease into the movement. Keep the arch alive instead of stiff and move from your breath.
  4. UPPER BODY – Hang on the bar and sway forward and back for 120 breaths. Avoid straining yourself in the beginning and build to a full 120 breath of swinging forward and back. Once you can do it in one go, advance to playing and swaying in different directions and heights. Swaying is much more taxing than static holds so progress with care.
  5. UPPER BODY – Hang on the parallel bars for a 120 breaths. Sway the body forward and back and again, take your time in getting to doing this in one set. Make sure your shoulders do not sag and on the other hand are not tense and your entire body moves as one.

Enjoy the movement.

rope strong

Strength makes life easier. We choose paths and follow them. Choose one that makes you strong in all your faculties and take your friends and loved ones with you.

The cost of being weak is heavier…

1.       Tie the rope to a tree trunk. Climb the rope from laying down prone and see who can do it faster among your pals. Use only your arms.

2.       Lay the rope flat on the ground and tie a kerchief at the middle. Start two people at pulling themselves at each end and see who gets to the middle faster. Try not to get a concussion and use just your arms.

3.       Tie the rope between two trees at shoulder height. Walk on your hands or fists between the trees with your legs walking on the rope. Use the rope as little as you can.

4.       Loop the rope around the waist, while on your hands and feet, and give the two ends to a partner. Pull them forward and maintain the rope around your waist by turning and twisting your hips and thighs.

5.       Tie the rope to a tree above head height. Sit down and climb the rope to a standing position and back. Use the body to create the best angle and mind your elbow angles as well to the best outcome of use of force vs use of structure.

Podcast 2 – Learning from other branches of movement

Topics –using the theme of healing from an injury or encounter shock

Learning from other fields of study:

Gymnastics, coordination and force, understanding leverage

Climbing – strength and structure awareness in hanging and moving,economy of motion

Dance – balance, lightness on feet, coordination, reading people and tempo

Circus – juggling, rope walking, riding on animals and moving objects

Teach your child to pay attention

Games and stories are the best way to teach the young and non walking dead.

Here are a few ways to bring your child more into the moment and show that paying attention pays.

VISUAL

  1. One more cat – Choose an animal like a cat or an object and see who calls it out faster and in greater amounts. You can have a cat counting contest or a broken pavement contest it matters only that we pay attention. Change what the object is from time to time as the seasons change (red leaf for example) and enjoy the extra awareness.
  2. What is missing – Take a scene that is well known to everyone and remove one part. See who finds out what it is first and how. For example – take away the favorite picture off the wall and see if it is noticed.
  3. Color blind – Things change color by season or man action. Note the changes the locals make in their yards and clothes, mark the changes in the leaves and trunk and mark the change in the skies and in the horizons.

AUDITORY

  1. Insects birds cats and dogs – Where you have insects making noises, you will not find birds, where you hear birds, you will not find cats and so on. Listen and predict what animals or people you will find about and learn a mighty lesson on rings of association.
  2. Echo lines – There is a distance beneath which no echo is heard by us. Guess and match who finds the line of the echo in different places and ranges. There is a lot to learn about the three dimensional nature of waves thus.
  3. The closing tap – A tune is made out of sound and silence. check who notices when the washing machine has ended its cycle, when do the birds finish their evening calls and gain the full range of the tune.

TACTILE

  1. The lost ant – Hide a small paper clip inside clothes and see when it is detected, Place a plastic bottle cap under the sheets and see who is the true princess or just place an acorn on the ground and see who chooses to step lightly 🙂 The appreciation to touch goes beyond the fingertips.
  2. The right key – Take objects that seem similar and close your eyes to pick the right one. It can be keys, clothes and anything that matches, your fingers and mind will connect past the oversight of the eyes and awaken even more.
  3. The tower – Take very light objects like disposable plastic cups or clean ear cleaning sticks and build towers with them.  aim to make them as gentle as possible to better understand the lightest touch.

For Gideon.

 

 

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.

 

Steps to have a better moving vessel

Posture today seems to be a silly word. We expect Captain America to stand tall but fail to recognize that it is a significant part we can improve in our health, movement and even self-worth. The way we hold ourselves transmits our image back to the nervous system and it is a free healthy way to improve inside and out.

Here are ten simple and easy movements to improve the posture.

  • The hard part is the consistency but that is where the true magic lies.
  1. Vacuum holds – Press your back to the wall or lie down, Exhale for a number of heart beats (start low and aim high) and hold while pulling the stomach in and up and creating a vacuum. Release slowly  and repeat three times a day. Allow for the heartbeat to normalize between each time.
  2. De Vinci wall press – lean your back to the wall with your feet between one to two steps away from the wall. Place your arms parallel to the ground and with an inhale press them straight backwards and raise your body straight forward. Hold for a breath and release on the exhale. Repeat thirty times and play with angles and distance from the wall to find the right angle for right now.
  3. Wall head swivels  – Stand a step away from a wall and place your hands one over the other on the top of your head. Touch the top of your hands  on the wall and circle in place, creating a revolving light neck bridge. Avoid leaning on the wall and simply allow the movement to ease tension out naturally. Perform ten turns in each direction.
  4. Wall bridge walking side to side – Stand a step away from the wall and facing away from it. Arch the entire spine and raise your arms to form a bridge on the wall. Use your breath as tempo and body shifts to walk side to side on the wall. Walk twenty double steps in each direction.
  5. Wall bridge walking down and up – Stand a step away from the wall and facing away from it. Arch the entire spine and raise your arms to form a bridge on the wall. Use your breath as tempo and body shifts to walk up and down on the wall and relax your hips, knees and ankles to spread the load evenly. Walk 20 double steps up and down and let the comfort of breath determine depth.
  6. Low walking – Keep your torso perpendicular to the ground and relax your hips, knees and ankles to lower yourself to half a full squat. Keep your hip bone in line with the spine instead of allowing it to hinge and walk by relaxing from leg to leg and letting the breath lead the tempo. Do sixty  double steps playing with direction and turn at will.
  7. L sit hold – Sit on your behind with your legs straight together. Inhale and raise yourself by pressing your fists downward at the sides of your hips and tensing the body as much as needed to maintain the body and legs in the air. Hold for sixty breaths.
  8. Air walking while hanging on a bar – hang on a bar or tree limb with palms facing forward (pull up position) Use your breath as tempo and walk in the air forward and back and twist your body to “walk” side to side. Let the body release the compression and build tissue health naturally while releasing tension. Do sixty double steps.
  9. Stomach to back rolls with all limbs in the air – Lie on your back or stomach and suspend all limbs and head in the air. Breathe and roll your body from front to back and allow the body to align and lead from the center outward. Play with where you start the motion to renew the natural ingenuity of the body. Do twenty turns in each direction but keep it from becoming a momentum movement.
  10. Sleeping with no pillows – Letting your spine rest when you rest – We are meant to keep the spine relaxed and pillows tend to bend the spine for hours a day. Lie down and find a position of comfort with a relaxed natural spine. Let go of excess.  Sleep well while you can 🙂

Awareness makes us graceful

I like power. We all do, but power is not the answer against a blade or a verbal attack. One must work consistently on control and thus create a measure of awareness which guides the power and creates the final outcome. Power in impact can reach a point of diminishing return, Grace does not.

Here is a challenge (people like challenges)

Do this straight for 30 days

  1. Hold a cup of water in your hand with water filling it and almost overflowing. Sit down on your behind and get up 10 times with no contact of arms to the ground and with no spilling of water.
  2. find a stout round roll like a metal bottle or an actual wood log and stand on it. Teach yourself to walk on the log and take 10 steps forward and 1o back.  Make sure you have a way to dis-log safely before you start walking. Falling hard is hard.
  3. Reach a handstand with your legs resting lightly on a wall. Breathe and move to free stand and note how your body balances and overbalances itself. Focus on your breathing and maintain the hold for 120 breaths. (If this is hard physically, divide it to smaller parts)

The simple stuff is key to reaching grace.

Do this and reap the benefits or better yet, enjoy the work.

Training while under the weather

Illness and weakness makes us all aware of our mortality. It is no reason to stop improving and understanding ourselves. It is a reason to adept and learn with a differnet focus. Our health and ability will improve much by giving these methods a chance so we may stay mortal, a bit longer.

  1. Full body pulse: feel your own pulse at the side of the neck or anywhere else. Use pressing your fingers to the skin and your own focus to spread the awareness to your own pulse to a greater and greater area of the body. In time, you will feel a grand pulse throughout your entire system. There is a great affect of integration in that and a helping hand in letting the body heal itself.
  2. Full contact awareness: lie down and pay attention to every bit of you that is touching anything other than the air. Note the bed covers or earth, note the fabric of your clothes as they touch your skin and how they move as you breathe and shift. Contact awareness will help you be gentle with yourself and allow a greater harmony within.
  3. Noise awareness: We drink a cup of tea or that terrible substance called coffee. We take the cup from the table, we place it back on it and seldom listen to the noise we are making. Aim to create zero levels of noise in your movement and contact. This will take the focus from the action and bring it back to you. A deeper level of that is listening to the body inner noises. The tendons and stomach and the bones if you reach them. Listening both outside and inside will create a level of smoothness that will help a lot in letting things mend.You will also strike much better.
  4. Body breath awareness: lie down on your back and just relax your musles by tensing them and letting of on the exhale. Go through the entire body including the toes. Exhale and wait for the body to breathe at this relaxed state. This will help using less and less excess in your breathing and through that, in any other tasking. Less excess equals more energy for good movement and growth.
  5. Digital awareness: Relax your body and start moving your fingers one by one. Use your breath to lead motion and work with care to move each joint with freedom from mirror movement in other joints of the hand. Work your hands together and reach greater control by paying attention to what your nervous system is telling you. This will allow you to release more excess and direct your energy to where you want it. Especially if you have less than normal at the moment.

You are, what you make of yourself.

Make it a good one.