Menno P.

Menno P.

Kenzai Member

When I read the question on Sunday almost immediately my habit of closing myself off and stopping to communicate when I experience difficulties came into my mind. But that is so general and applies to many situations like difficulties in relations and work as well as maintaining healthy eating and doing healthy exercises.

I thought it would be hard to come up with an example and make a concrete and specific action point.
Then yesterday I realised that actually on Monday I had already given an example.
In this program I started doing daily posts to keep track of my experience doing the stretches and movements. Then on Monday when it became too difficult with the Sun Salutation I quit the the exercises for the day, did not follow my evening diet and did not post.

In a previous program I had something similar and when I started getting reminders about posting en putting weekly pictures up I did quit the program altogether. That is what I realised yesterday and decided that this is not going to happen this time.

In December last year I had an all time high in body weight and suffered from bad health as a result.
I decided that should change. I already made great progress and have set my final goal even higher. There is still a lot of work to do but as I already improved my ability to walk long distance trails again that is helping me a lot.

So completing this program and feeling lighter as well as more flexible is what I need to do to make my bad health situation better!


The morning stretches are such a routine and relaxing way to start my day in contrast to the Sun Salutation and some of the evening stretches. But no matter how: I am determined to get to the end of this program and feel more flexible (then ever probably!).


Yesterday my schedule to do the skillful movements at the start of my lunch break caused a panic.
The Sun Salutation is a huge effort for me, in remembering what to do as well in doing the actual movements. It demotivated me probably as I was also under pressure of a conference call after lunch and I gave up for the rest of exercises the day. It was just not a good day in more aspects.

Today I planned the skillful movements and the evening stretches together at the start of the evening before dinner. With watching the movement on the details page in the phone app on the floor I was more or less able to mimic the Sun Salutation but it was far from a continuous movement (let alone skillful!) and the breathing was totally off.

The chair backbend is really hurting in my shoulders so I abandoned after 40 seconds.
On the cossack stretch I'm not able to fold down the left leg much ...
Feeling really old and unmovable! :-(
This is all going to take me a lot of practise in the weekes to come.


There is no way in my current physical condition to have my feet flat on the mat (grounded) and my hands as well. The best position that looks like a Downward Dog I will be on my toes and also the back and arms don't make a straight line. Re-reading the details I realise I should focus on keeping the back flat and I should bend knees and lift heels to achieve that.
For the Salamander Stretch I am happy to keep the starting position for the required time.


As I had a busy day I did not find time for the skillful movements until now early evening so decided to do them followed with the evening stretches.
Must say that I prefer doing the evening stretches later, after a shower/bath and 20-30 mins meditation , as body and mind are much more relaxed then to sit for these stretches.


The Yoga Squat and the Table were difficult exercises of the Skilful movements for me.
All the evening stretches were difficult. I had to stop the Hollow Spine after 30 seconds because of muscle pain in my shoulders. That was disappointing as earlier I thought that this pain was getting less while getting used to the exercises.
The Salamander Stretch and the Wide Angle Forward Bend for me means I am not getting much further than the starting positions.


Is it imagination or is my flexibility already improving?
Clearly the muscle pain in the shoulders is less and when I made the weekly picture that I forgot on Sunday the forward bend was lower.

But the biggest surprise of all was that I managed to do the Chaturanga!
I was able to keep my body off the floor for 3 breath's.


Definitely will need to practise here and buy a strap tomorrow for the first 2 stretches ...
When I sit on the mat I can barely keep my legs flat on the floor and the pelvis/back straight; let alone bend over.
Shocking how stiff and inflexible I am!


I have been brought up in a loving and social family and I am happy to recognise that as my beliefs to provide food, a basic house, medical care and education for everyone at acceptable cost. In many (western) countries it will be very difficult to provide jobs for everyone with the growing population so we need to search for a balance that every individual can have a job or other way to feel valuable.

We must take care of Mother Nature as our industrial revolution has already done so much damage to the planet that she can no longer take care of herself. The climate needs strong investments from all of us to stop global warning and save the planet for our children and grand children. All of us can contribute to that by the way we manage our (daily) travel or think about our high consumption of (durable) goods.

Finally my biggest believes are honesty, fairness and forgivingnes. That is how I live my life and do my work. It means I am entitled to make mistakes but I am not afraid to admit if I did and will do my best to be better next time.


Yekgxvbv51wumq0mxtzv

I used my 5km morning walk as the warming up for todays old fashioned strength-building workout. The crunches were difficult and tough for me.
Later in the day I went out for my favourite 13+ kilometer walk from my downtown apartment to the beach boulevard and back again. I did it in record time of 2 hours and 2 minutes.

We have great beaches on the North Sea coast in the Netherlands but we miss the real summer weather. As shown on the picture today was 18-19 C and strong winds. Great to walk but not for a day in the middle of summer where you want to get a tan!


Zzlnthqgj9n5v5ofikhx

Today no morning walk as I planned a 17 km hike in the countryside, stage 7 of a long distance trail I am following.
I've uploaded a picture of a typical Dutch windmill that I passed by.

I'm really having problem with the Chaturanga.
If I start lowering myself from the 'push-up' position I just don't have the power in my arms to keep myself above the mat.


Reach D5

After a few days of morning stretches and skillful movements my shoulders indicate I have been doing exercises I am not used to. Also I have difficulties with the seated trunk exercises as I am not really able to fully stretch the legs and sit stable.
The downward dog is also difficult: first of all to come into the position and then I cannot find a position to have the feet flat on the ground and the knees not bent.
But as we are doing these exercise to improve our flexibility I hope doing as best as possible today is enough.


Hi All,
My name is Menno, I'm from the Netherlands and starting this Reach program from my home in The Hague.
That is the city where our government is but also the International Peace Court where you may have heard of.
I work as a functional consultant in software implementation projects and currently finishing a Brazilian project from home by preparing an online handover to a global support team. I have no new project yet but if one comes up it is very well possible that I need to travel for it.

Already for many years I know that my flexibility is limited. Now I am living a more healthy life again with proper food and lots of hiking and cycling I did choose Reach to improve my general flexibility.
I think success will be in many area's but I also hope that the expected improvement in the 'Standing forward bend' that I just uploaded as starting picture will show the results of doing Reach.

When asked for an indulge I will probably try to skip it as I don't think I need it with the motivation for the program. But if I take it I will definitely follow the rules.
Apart from my overweight that I am seriously working on and making good progress I have no limitations in following the program. I am very motivated to make this program success in the next phase of improving my health.

I hope we have a lot of interaction and exchange of experiences in doing the different stretches.
So far I have been doing good since day 1. My daily practice is to go for a 5km walk before breakfast and now I am doing the morning stretches before going out.


First evening stretches

Tonight I uploaded the end of week 1 picture and decided to change to the Wide Angle Legs after completing the evening stretches.

First I hope I can continue the timing of the exercises as I have in mind. The morning stretches before my daily 5km walk and breakfast. The skilful movements at lunch break and the evening stretches after I am prepared to relax for the evening, preferably after a shower or bath. Living alone and working from home comes in handy this time so I can really dedicate that time.

I will not complain too much about all those exercises I can barely do as that is the reason why I am doing Reach!
But will see what advise I can get by describing how I experience the tough ones, for example the Seiza. If I take that position my butt stays well free from my feet and it is very uncomfortable after barely 5 breaths with my feet hurting (as I can barely stretch them) against the floor (yoga mat of wood).

With both Seated One Leg bends I am unable to stretch the leg fully and reach with my hand just below the knee. Should I use a strap around the foot as explained in the details to get a better position/grip?


Reach and my beliefs

For once it looks like I am doing a Kenzai Program from home which means I am Reaching from The Hague in The Netherlands. Not counting a 3 day business trip to Poitiers, France on May 26-29.
I learned about Kenzai about 2 years ago from my good friend and colleague Joy who now lives with her husband and one year old boy in Santiago de Chile. I really hope to visit them later this year.
I rarely watch tv apart from an occasional sports event and no series at all. I prefer to read (books on my iPad) which usually means fiction to relax and make the (travel) time pass. I am currently reading book 3 of 4 from 'The Stormlight Archive' by Brandon Sanderson. When I was younger I loved the books about King Arthur and the Knights or books like The Hobbit. For me the Stormlight Archive is a masterpiece that fits into this category.

I have been brought up in a loving and social family and I am happy to recognise that as my beliefs to provide food, a basic house, medical care and education for everyone at acceptable cost. In many (western) countries it will be very difficult to provide jobs for everyone with the growing population so we need to search for a balance that every individual can have a job or other way to feel valuable.

We must take care of Mother Nature as our industrial revolution has already done so much damage to the planet that she can no longer take care of herself. The climate needs strong investments from all of us to stop global warning and save the planet for our children and grand children. All of us can contribute to that by the way we manage our (daily) travel or think about our high consumption of (durable) goods.

Finally my biggest believes are honesty, fairness and forgivingnes. That is how I live my life and do my work. It means I am entitled to make mistakes but I am not afraid to admit if I did and will do my best to be better next time.


End of Week 4

U1fwyjtnrdtht4jr1fx7

Current

Membership
Membership

Completed

Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body

Kenzai Run
Kenzai Run

Kenzai Mind
Kenzai Mind

Reboot
Reboot

Kenzai Reach
Kenzai Reach

Kenzai Silver
Kenzai Silver