John M.

John M.

Kenzai Member

K Reach (3) DAY 8 – Raising my muscle consciousness to a new level

  • Sep 23rd, 2019 at 11:47PM

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Janet and I got back from our weeklong vacation in Vietnam on Sunday. It was a night flight, only five hours long, so we didn’t get a lot of sleep. We napped into the afternoon to catch up on sleep. Sunday evening we played squash to satisfy Janet’s alternative cardio for Chisel. The squash didn’t fit into my Reach program, but it is so much fun I couldn’t resist—and I skipped the prescribed muscle building. I did that this evening instead.

I have been religious about the morning stretches. They are so helpful, and they nicely complement the ones my physio has recommended I do daily. When I first get out of bed in the morning, I feel stiff around the waist. After half an hour or more of various stretches, I can get on with the day without discomfort in the lower back. I won’t do the Day 8 Skillful Movements tonight but will get to them tomorrow morning before going to work, and I’ll do the ones for Day 9 tomorrow evening.

I will do the 20 minutes of stretches before bed tonight. I remember them vividly from my previous two rounds of Reach. They hurt! They’re a tough way to finish the day. The Lesson said you should start off easy and slowly ease into them as your muscles get accustomed to the stretch and you can sink deeper. My recollection is easing did not describe the experience. Sinking deeper was hard and painful. Maybe I was overdoing it in my zeal to imitate the form super-flexible Thomas is able to achieve in the photos on the workout sheet.

Certainly, overdoing it describes my previous experience on my nemesis, Downward Dog, but today I made huge progress on that one. You can see the results in today’s photo, which I also posted as my End of Week 1 photo. I ditched my ego and took Ward’s advice to bend my knees. It took the load off my hard-to-stretch-without-lots-of-pain hamstrings, and lo and behold, I was able to keep my back flat and bend sharply at the pelvis. And it didn’t hurt. (Should no-pain-no-gain apply to yoga, too?) If anybody else out there is having the same problem with Downward Dog, try bending your knees. When I don’t bend them, my hamstrings hurt really bad, I don’t bend sharply at the hip, and my back arches out. When I do, voila, the pose is eminently doable—and doesn’t kill me.

Reach is meshing nicely with my discussions with my physio. I’ve learned a ton about all the interconnections between hip flexors and hamstrings and glutes and abs and the big long muscles that run the length of the back. Of course, I was vaguely aware of them before, but what we’re doing right now has raised my consciousness of them to a new level.

Tokyo, Monday, 23 September 2019, 23:43 UTC+9

 
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7 comments

Janet L.Janet L.Kenzai Member
over 2 years ago

Yep, you sure got that back straight! Everything earlier tonight, right?!


    Kevin G.Kevin G.Kenzai Member
    over 2 years ago

    Yes last night was my first introduction to the Evening Stretches and yes you're right they do hurt. So I guess this is the pattern set with morning exercises, skillful movements and evening stretches. I now see why people say this so tough!


      Susan B.Susan B.Kenzai Member
      over 2 years ago

      John, your comments are always helpful to read...confirming that each of us has favorite exercises as well as those we hate and the key is to keep at it on the tough ones, knowing that eventually, we'll see progress. it's great fun to be bystanders to the narrative you and Janet are creating. Sounds like you've got all the plans in place for the wedding.


        Silvia D.Silvia D.Kenzai Member
        over 2 years ago

        LOVE IT!...what a difference ...


          Kelly M.Kelly M.Kenzai Member
          over 2 years ago

          Thanks for the heads up on Downward Dog. i definitely struggle with that.
          Also, I agree on the morning stretches. It feels really great to get the body moving!


            Ward WillisWard WillisKenzai Member
            Head Trainerover 2 years ago

            Dude! Now that is a Downward Facing John! Woooooot.


              Kathleen C.Kathleen C.Kenzai Member
              over 2 years ago

              IT is really helpful to look at your pose and understand that the back is more important than the legs, one does not always know where to focus.


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