Menno P.

Menno P.

Kenzai Member

Since Friday I was off-track with the skilful movements and the evening stretches but the last 2 days were ok again. Will need to focus better to complete this program.
Hope you have all been doing better.

Even without todays lesson about vectors and angles of force the Pigeon clearly is an exercise where I see and feel progress! Have to admit that the first time I did that exercise I had trouble getting 1 foot in front of the other knee and only made small movement of the other leg towards the back wall. Now that leg is properly stretched and the hands moved to the level of the hips!
However the Wide Angle Forward Bend (evening stretch) is still a struggle with limited opening of the hips and the legs not flat on the floor. You can't have it all. 😏


For sure I felt my hamstrings and the muscles in my groins doing the skillful movements today and I think that was a result of yesterdays PNF stretches and the walk I did on a sunny afternoon.
The picture from this spot I have shown before. Today was again a real 'Dutch summer's day' with wind force 5 to 6, temperature of 18C and I was lucky to feel only a few drops of rain. But it was a great afternoon walk and lovely skies over the beach resort.

Don't think I got the right settings of the Strap Hamstring Stretch and for the Wide Angle Pose I could only widen the angle of the legs (that is not much anyway) 3 times.
Sure need do do them tomorrow again with the lesson open on my laptop next to me.

Taking a vacation, even when staying at home, is not good for my exercise routine.
I missed 2 session of skilful movements and evening stretches. Also I did not make my goal of daily posts ...
So with 2 more weeks vacation to go I will have to refocus from tomorrow to make this program a success!


At the moment it is difficult for me to see the changes in my flexibility. I still feel discomfort in the shoulders and hips with many exercises and off course the hamstrings are present in many cases.

The lord of the fishes made me laugh! I found it quite easy after making the twist ... until I realised I twisted the spine in the wrong direction! 😂

Not sure if I already told you but I have a 3 week vacation at home so today I was hiking and on the North Sea beach!


When I had dinner tonight I was thinking about Friday's lesson about Mindful Eating Sessions.
I come from a family of 4 kids and Mom always made up the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that is where the family was eating and having conversations about the day. Even at the age of 90 Mom would still make the table and love it when someone would join her.

In my apartment I have a dining table where I also do my work (work from home most of the time), fold my laundry, read the newspaper and do necessary repairs to equipment or furniture when required.

I don't have a table cloth but whenever it is time for a meal (lunch, breakfast or dinner) or sometimes even a snack I make place on the table, fold my laptop and make the table with a placemat and the necessary like tonights dinner of spicy fish filets and stir fried veggies with rice.
The good thing also is that for my Kenzai meal the plate only contains what I can have.

I have a habit of taking pictures of what I eat and not only in restaurants so here are some more of the past weeks at home.

Unfortunately that was what I felt last night. Since less then a year I suffer from eye-migraine which I had never even heard off. But after a brain scan and meeting the neurologist he assured me that the scan did not shown any defects of the brain and that I should accept it as one of the discomforts that comes with older age.

By the time I finished my work yesterday I had grow a bad headache (which was by far the worst I experienced so far) and went to bed with medicine instead of doing the skillful movements and evening stretches.
Just now completed them for today even though still feeling a bit light-headed.

Surprised myself with the performance of the Half Moon! I was a Dancer using the support of a chair!

Balance during Tree with the hands not touching each other is much better.
But I wonder if I will ever master the Half Moon.

To begin with I missed yesterdays skillful movements and evening stretches as I had unexpected visitors. Off course it is easy to blame them but it was also not really my day and therefore did not find the energy later at night.

Today's lesson made me think as my schooling and work as a navigator on merchant navy ships: stability of the vessel is also all about the center of gravity!
Which did not mean I still struggled with the Tree and Warrier III! Where was my center of gravity?
But as discussed in the previous lessons I laughed my imbalance away. :-)

Was the Saturday hike too much for me? Feeling sore legs 2 days later indicates it was but I enjoyed it so much!

Today was the first day doing the Sun Salutation without a guide remembering the steps! Funny how I feel happy about that little achievement. But the Tree and Warrier III were new challenges to be mastered.

Wide Angle Side Bend and Wide Angle Forward Bend were tough on the inside of my thighs!

Need to post a picture for the end of week 3 but having trouble with my camera app. :-(

Used my 5km morning walk as the warming up for todays strength training.
The side setup was tough and probably because of the empty stomach caused some dizziness.

After that a relaxing Sunday that my muscles enjoyed.


After the morning stretches and breakfast I took a train and bus to the city of Wageningen at the Rhine river in the center of the country. I had a great walk following the river and a side trail north following a forest stream.
Had lunch (Kenzai approved in my opinion) at the teahouse of the beautiful Doorweth Castle. I could see myself living there as a prince or even King!

After hiking for 27.5 kilometers I reached a bus station from where I had a bus and 2 trains that took me back home in just less then 2 hours. I left home with rain and arrived back home with rain but not a single drop during the hike!

Some time after dinner and a very relaxing oil bath I started my skillful movements and evening stretches.
Off course I could feel my body was tired bit was quite happy on the results.
With the table I managed to get my butt off the floor for the first time! :-)
Pigeon with the left leg forward is much better that right leg forward.
The troublesome stretch is the Hollow Spine on Chair. My shoulders are screaming after 30 seconds.

Finally I will upload some images of today's hike.
Have a great Sunday and strength exercise all!

Reach definitely makes me forget all embarrassment about what shape my body is in if I want to move forward.
Sure, the lesson is clear and I understand the need to tip the pelvis and increase the effect of hamstring stretches.
But I am afraid that my years of long days at a desk watching a computer screen not only prevented me from using the hamstring. It feels as if the nerve system does not even know/remember how to move/operate the pelvis.

If I want to move a part of my body the brain gives the correct signals to the muscles to make that move. If I want to tilt the pelvis it feels like my brain does not even know what muscles to operate.
Any advice how to train the body to tilt the pelvis and not the back as shown in the 'wrong' pictures?

Today, for the first time ever the south of the country reached temperatures of 40 C!
Yesterday the 75 year old high of 38.4 was already broken to a new high of 39.3 C!
I know for many of you these are not special temperatures but people in Europe are suffering.

To me it reminds me of India, Hong Kong and Southern China. All places where I have worked and lived.
Doing todays exercises in my apartment without airconditioning that I keep cool by having sunshades and curtains closed during the day. Fortunately I live 5 km from the beach on the 27th floor of an apartment building and in the evening and night it does cool down so I can ventilate and have no problem sleeping.

Had to review the details of the Triangle and the Crescent Moon as they did not feel very different.
Was happy about the progress I feel on the Yoga Squat and Seiza! :-)

End of Week 4





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