Misogi

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Fat Cat
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Re: Misogi

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Bedlam 1946 wrote:am
qigong
Sun Bagua basic exercises x50 each
Sun Bagua x4 with one legged stance holding intermixed.
horsestance
shiko
slow pushups, leg raises
scissor position touch opposite hand and foot x50
ice water douse
pranayama

pm
qigong
standing forward bend, seated one leg forward bend , legs spread forward bend, cow pose, baddha konasana/forward bend
corpse pose with pranayama
In light on Yoga Iyengar states that corpse pose is one of the most difficult to master even though it is the simplest. This always stuck out to me as an important statement.
"Lying flat on the ground like a corpse...destroys fatigue and quiets the agitation of the mind."
"To tame Prana depends upon the nerves. Steady smooth fine and deep breathing without any jerky motions of the body soothes the nerves and calms the mind. The stresses of modern civilization are a strain on the nerves for which savasana (corpse pose) is the best antidote." -Light on Yoga.

Originally it appears that there few asanas. Krishnamachyra/Iyengar/Jois seem to have brought more gymnastic/athletic component to yoga and asanas were added. Are all these poses needed? Focusing on perfect alignment can be beneficial but at a certain point it prevents deeper levels of relaxation as the critical mind is always involving itself in the process. Is "feeling the stretch" and pushing it as important or beneficial as moving into a position and turning the mind into a receiver that observes the phenomena happening and thereby allowing the body to release levels of tension...

So with that in mind I did some "asanas" but didn't try to stretch. Just sat in them until I felt I hit my natural level of plasticity/relaxation in that position for the day. My tension levels dropped dramatically. I stayed lying on the ground after doing pranayama and slipped into a weird deep level of relaxation. It was like being asleep but awake simultaneously. When I snapped out of it I was so relaxed that I felt like going to sleep. I took 10 minutes to stand up. I don't think humans are built to cope with the modern stresses of society. Our sympathetic nervous system response is triggered constantly at low levels by bills, jerkbags, fucked up news, work and living situations and we can't run away or smash shit. I think this stuff just keeps adding up like microtraumas to a person's psyche. If we are under these constant stresses it seems reasonable to think that our range of parasympathetic nervous system response may decrease. Maybe something as simple as lying on the floor/breathing/relaxing ala Benson/yoga/meditation etc is a way to restore a person's range.

Here is a good article by Tom Bisio on qigong. http://www.internalartsinternational.co ... ern-times/


Here's a very good book on this subject: http://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Appro ... 396&sr=8-1 The author is very into CMA.

Here's a post I wrote on this subject.
Fat Cat wrote:Yes, training is like any other stressor: too much is bad and will overcome your body's coping mechanism. Let me re-drop some science:

1. From an evolutionary psychology point of view, there are many things which are stressors, i.e. environmental challenges which we need to adapt to. These can be things as disparate as traffic on the way home, to losing your job, to bills, to a fight with your wife. Stessors: "Our name is Legion. We are many."

2. Unfortunately, while there are myriad stressors, your body has ONE adaptive tool: the so-called fight-or-flight response. This response sacrifices long term health in favor of short term survival ("allostasis") by creating a series of rapid physiologic changes with catecholamine hormones, such as adrenaline or noradrenaline, to facilitate immediate physical reactions associated with a preparation for violent muscular action. This stress response is identical whether it's a lion about to eat you or the IRS knocking at your door.

3. Under normal circumstances, once the threat subsides, your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) returns the body to homeostasis, restoring balance.

4. Unfortunately, the degree and frequency of stress exposure in modern life is so great that it overwhelms the PNS, you have a body which is in a chronic state of stress response, which is referred to as allostatic load. At this point, long term health begins to be compromised and what develops is...

5. General Adaptation Syndrome (GAD). Alarm > Resistance > Exhaustion. Here is a model for GAD:

Image

At the exhaustion point, all of the body's resources are eventually depleted and the body is unable to maintain normal function. The initial autonomic nervous system symptoms may reappear (sweating, raised heart rate, HYPERTENSION, etc.). If stage three is extended, long-term damage may result, as the body's immune system becomes exhausted, and bodily functions become impaired, resulting in decompensation.

So what the fuck is all this? Make a mental matrix of all the things you do, including fun things like jiujitsu, which stress your body and mind on one side. On the other, list the mitigating activities you do to replenish yourself, such as sleep, proper diet, etc. If EACH of the stressors isn't addressed with a concomitant stress management tool like meditation, qigong, massage, etc. you will find yourself edging towards allostatic load and ultimately GAD.

I have gone on long enough, but ask if you have any questions. All of this is drawn from evolutionary biology and is fairly well established. There are also methods directly designed to address this problem, such as the (Harvard School of Medicine Institute for Mind-Body Medicine) Dr. Herbert Benson method, called the relaxation response. You can reliably reduce hypertension without drugs.
From this thread: posting.php?mode=quote&f=2&p=611292

Just more food for thought.
Image
"Prepare your hearts as a fortress, for there will be no other." -Francisco Pizarro González

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:25 am

Re the asana, here is a translation of the oldest (?) extant hatha yoga text: http://www.swamij.com/hatha-yoga-pradipika.htm
Thanks Odin. I didn't know that the hatha yoga pradipika was on that site. I was searching for a online version of Patanjali's yoga sutras and that site came up. It has a lot of good info on it!

Thanks Soupbone, I appreciate the good words.
Fat Cat wrote: Here's a very good book on this subject: http://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Appro ... 396&sr=8-1 The author is very into CMA.

Here's a post I wrote on this subject.
Fat Cat wrote:Yes, training is like any other stressor: too much is bad and will overcome your body's coping mechanism. Let me re-drop some science:

1. From an evolutionary psychology point of view, there are many things which are stressors, i.e. environmental challenges which we need to adapt to. These can be things as disparate as traffic on the way home, to losing your job, to bills, to a fight with your wife. Stessors: "Our name is Legion. We are many."

2. Unfortunately, while there are myriad stressors, your body has ONE adaptive tool: the so-called fight-or-flight response. This response sacrifices long term health in favor of short term survival ("allostasis") by creating a series of rapid physiologic changes with catecholamine hormones, such as adrenaline or noradrenaline, to facilitate immediate physical reactions associated with a preparation for violent muscular action. This stress response is identical whether it's a lion about to eat you or the IRS knocking at your door.

3. Under normal circumstances, once the threat subsides, your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) returns the body to homeostasis, restoring balance.

4. Unfortunately, the degree and frequency of stress exposure in modern life is so great that it overwhelms the PNS, you have a body which is in a chronic state of stress response, which is referred to as allostatic load. At this point, long term health begins to be compromised and what develops is...

5. General Adaptation Syndrome (GAD). Alarm > Resistance > Exhaustion. Here is a model for GAD:

Image

At the exhaustion point, all of the body's resources are eventually depleted and the body is unable to maintain normal function. The initial autonomic nervous system symptoms may reappear (sweating, raised heart rate, HYPERTENSION, etc.). If stage three is extended, long-term damage may result, as the body's immune system becomes exhausted, and bodily functions become impaired, resulting in decompensation.

So what the fuck is all this? Make a mental matrix of all the things you do, including fun things like jiujitsu, which stress your body and mind on one side. On the other, list the mitigating activities you do to replenish yourself, such as sleep, proper diet, etc. If EACH of the stressors isn't addressed with a concomitant stress management tool like meditation, qigong, massage, etc. you will find yourself edging towards allostatic load and ultimately GAD.

I have gone on long enough, but ask if you have any questions. All of this is drawn from evolutionary biology and is fairly well established. There are also methods directly designed to address this problem, such as the (Harvard School of Medicine Institute for Mind-Body Medicine) Dr. Herbert Benson method, called the relaxation response. You can reliably reduce hypertension without drugs.
From this thread: posting.php?mode=quote&f=2&p=611292

Just more food for thought.
Thanks Fatcat...that is definitely nuggetworthy material! I have been in the exhaustion phase and it just sucked the life out of me. Little things became big, my capacity to deal with things decreased considerably. It feels like slowly suffocating in stressors. Things can compound quickly both physically and mentally/emotionally. I think that is where antidepressant drugs can be very helpful and possibly lifesaving. It's like putting a cast on one's emotions and mind so they can heal and in turn allow the body to heal.
I will check that book out. Thanks for posting the info.

am
qigong
pranayama. No retention except that which occurred naturally. Follow with just relaxing my body.
horsestance
Sun Bagua basic exercises x30 The stance holding and the bagua exercises felt like work today so I decided to take things easier and do some easy yoga. Iyengar's most recent book titled Light on Life has in the chapter a series for emotional stability. It is the only series in the book. This tells me that he thought it to be important. The series is easy and he recommends using a lot of bolsters etc. It is the following:
downward dog
standing forward bend
shirasana using ropes
viparita dandasana
a series of shoulder stands and the plow
setubandha sarvangasana
viparita karani in sarvangasana
seated forward bend
upavista konasana
baddhakonasana
supta virasana
viloma pranayama with interrupted exhalation sitting or lying down.
shavasana with chest elevated.

I didn't have a lot of time today so I just did
downward dog, standing forward bend, viparita dandasana, plow, seated forward bend, forward bend with legs spread (upavista konasana), baddhakonasana (seated butterfly position), corpse pose. I didn't try fight into any positions. I just got into them the best I could and set my mind on the whole body at once (not fighting it if it left, just bringing it back gently). Only 2-3 minutes in each position.
ice water douse

pm
qigong
walk

I went to the cardiologist a month or month and a half ago because I could feel slight palpitations and I have a family history of heart problems. I was supposed to get back earlier but I had a lot of stuff come up, among them getting shingles and having my truck stolen in the same day. When I first went in my blood pressure was 125 or 130 over 75 or 80. I got an echo today and some blood work done (the blood work won't be done for a week or so). The echo showed my blood pounder is working well. My blood pressure this time was 102/66. I don't really know if that is a considerable drop but it seems like a pretty big change. I think the relaxation/pranayama, ice water dousing etc is working pretty well to help me with my stress levels.

Here is an interesting article on dousing: http://www.systemanorway.com/default.asp?iId=JLEIH
This idea of stress inoculation teaches the practitioner to counter “learned helplessness” with self-control. Research has shown that this technique is even more effective when the subject volunteers for the pain or in some way controls it, as we do in dousing. Research has also shown that continued, controlled exposure to stress in a safe environmens, teaches the body to become more effective at dispersing secreted stress chemicals (like adrenalin and cortisol) and with conditioning, the body learns to return to normal baseline chemical levels more quickly, thereby avoiding many of the chemicals injuries that can occur ranging from the jitters to full-fledged post traumatic stress disorders. For this reason, dousing becomes more effective every day as its cumulative effects are collected.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:08 am

am
qigong
letting my and body rest and recover a bit. Did the series of postures mentioned in my previous post followed by pranayama/relaxation in corpse pose. The series is mainly inversions and some seated positions. Inversions seem to be good for the mind, heart and emotions.
ice water douse

pm
qigong
seated asanas...janu sirasana (one leg straight forward one with heel toward crotch/opposite thigh), upavista konasana (legs out to angle, bend forward), baddha konasana (butterfly) done both with back erect and leaning forward, pachimottanasana (seated forward bend), followed by pranayama/relaxation in shavasana/corpse pose
walk
In the asanas I just go into them as well as I can comfortably and hold the position. No striving to go further or stretch more, just allowing things to relax as they will. The pranayama/relaxation ko'ed me. At one point I felt like I was floating and the hard ground felt like a soft bed. Each asana took between 3-5 minutes for probably a total of 25 minutes tops, but I came out of relaxation after an hour and 15 minutes. It felt like 10 minutes. It took another 10 minutes to get up. I felt like I got hit by a truck. Methinks my nervous system is in need of these breaks.

I really think that relaxation is a key component for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety or the like. I feel like these relaxations allow my nervous system to process deep seated things from my subconscious. Feelings pop up and fade off for no reason, images come up and pass on, often each of these type of things trigger my sympathetic nervous system to go but then I fade back into the parasympathetic system. One thing I notice is that as I relax more I often get a salivary response. I remember reading about this in some daoist book on meditation. I think the book called it "sweet dew" and stated it was a sign of meditation. The parasympathetic nervous system controls the salivary response ("digest and relax) so this makes sense. I also think that the "digest" function may also deal with emotional/mental things that a person needs to digest. I read a blurb about Benson's "breakout principle." It sounds like it goes something like this...work hard on something until you feel stuck then go do something else completely. Come back to the project later and see if your mind has some other way of seeing the project. I think this is the diagram Benson uses "STRUGGLE > RELEASE > BREAKOUT > IMPROVED "NEW NORMAL." Relaxation can promote that release in work/emotions/playing guitar/jiujitsu etc imo.

There is a lot going on when there is nothing happening.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Xian » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:24 am

Bedlam 1946 wrote:am
Inversions seem to be good for the mind, heart and emotions.

They are powerful activators of the parasympathetic nervous system. Being inverted increases blood pressure in the heart and throat area where blood-pressure sensors are located. In response to the increased pressure, the body increases parasympathetic/decreases sympathetic activity to attemt a decrease in blood pressure. Sirshasana/Headstand gives the greatest increase in heart/throat blood pressure and is the asana with greatest relaxation benefits IMO.
I really think that relaxation is a key component for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety or the like. I feel like these relaxations allow my nervous system to process deep seated things from my subconscious. Feelings pop up and fade off for no reason, images come up and pass on, often each of these type of things trigger my sympathetic nervous system to go but then I fade back into the parasympathetic system.


In my own experience, sitting meditation allowed me (well, forced me) to process negative thought patterns, which in time lead to greater and profound relaxation.
Pure relaxation/pranayama (I did yoga nidra relaxation and 10:40:20 pranayama) practices lead to immediate relaxation, but didn't do much for the underlying emotional problems that caused my daily tension and distress. So while I felt good immediately after a session, I still felt like shit throughout the day and it didn't improve my condition over time.
There is a lot going on when there is nothing happening.
So true.
It is interesting following your progress. I'm glad that you are improving.
There is a vast difference between treating effects and adjusting the causes.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Soupbone » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:40 pm

Bedlam 1946 wrote: I really think that relaxation is a key component for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety or the like. I feel like these relaxations allow my nervous system to process deep seated things from my subconscious. Feelings pop up and fade off for no reason, images come up and pass on, often each of these type of things trigger my sympathetic nervous system to go but then I fade back into the parasympathetic system. Relaxation can promote that release in work/emotions/playing guitar/jiujitsu etc imo.

There is a lot going on when there is nothing happening.
^This +1.

I am a therapist in an outpatient practice.

All of my clients who have PTSD or any of the anxiety disorders will undergo periods of meditation and relaxation training with me and I suggest that they pick a practice and do it daily as a part of homework. The ones who do this begin to improve at a steady rate, and the ones who don't do this usually don't see much improvement.

Good stuff as always. Absolutely love the banjo story.

Oss.

Soup
I just started a blog called The Happy Grappler. Check it out at http://happygrappler.blogspot.com

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:15 am

I am a therapist in an outpatient practice.

All of my clients who have PTSD or any of the anxiety disorders will undergo periods of meditation and relaxation training with me and I suggest that they pick a practice and do it daily as a part of homework. The ones who do this begin to improve at a steady rate, and the ones who don't do this usually don't see much improvement.
That's very cool Soupbone. PTSD is tricky. I've wondered if a person ever overcomes the neurological pathways that are created with traumatic experiences or if the friction on the pathways becomes less from doing relaxation work or the like. It's good to hear that people progress at a steady state when they do they work.
In my own experience, sitting meditation allowed me (well, forced me) to process negative thought patterns, which in time lead to greater and profound relaxation.
Pure relaxation/pranayama (I did yoga nidra relaxation and 10:40:20 pranayama) practices lead to immediate relaxation, but didn't do much for the underlying emotional problems that caused my daily tension and distress. So while I felt good immediately after a session, I still felt like shit throughout the day and it didn't improve my condition over time.
Thanks for the info on inversions Xian. My experience of sitting/relaxation is exactly the opposite. I did sitting meditation twice daily for a long time and while it helped at first I eventually became stuck. I became more and more agitated and stopped the practice. I was thinking about this today and fell asleep. I had a dream that I was running on the edge of a skyscraper. When I woke up I felt tense. I was laying there thinking about the dream and realized that this is how my sitting meditation practice was. It was concentration but it wasn't relaxation. I think that my system has been in a perpetual state of sympathetic response for years and years and relaxation helps to reset this. Adding concentration and sitting for someone who is already hyper-vigilant wasn't the right thing to do. So through force of will I continued the sitting practice but forcing things rarely ends well. Relaxation has allowed me to really feel the state of parasympathetic response which allows me to better feel when I am slipping into sympathetic response. This contrast is allowing me to better mediate my states. I do think I will use sitting again and in fact I've begun using a series of sitting postures to lightly start with this. With all that being said, I think I might be part heyoka and have to do things backwards so I can't recommend doing things the way I've done them for anyone. ](*,) We all have to find our own way.

am
qigong
I used Iyengar's series I mentioned before. I don't particularly like some of the postures so if I use this again I will modify things. The general ideas seem to be inversions followed by sitting postures, pranayama and relaxation.
ice water douse

pm
sun bagua basic exercises x20
sun bagua form x3 Legs are still recovering but I wanted to practice again. Kept it very light.
sitting postures followed by pranayama and relaxation.

Someone posted an article about how yoga can mess a person's body up in the training forum a while ago. I found an interview with the guy in the ny times article. Here it is: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eden-g-fr ... 02465.html

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Re: Misogi

Post by odin » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:56 pm

what's your view on the idea in some yoga circles that inversions should only be practiced if you're following a sattvic diet? My gut reaction is that it's a load of bollocks, but I'm open to other points of view...
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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:10 pm

B-O-L-L-O-C-K-S. Yoga people come up with some crazy ideas to protect their assumptions/beliefs or psuedo-spiritual view of themselves.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Holland Oates » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:03 pm

Free divers: I recently read an article in Outside magazine and a well known diver was commenting on a rash of blackouts the day before to paraphrase". . . they tried to force it. You have to listen to your body." I took this and applied it to my lifting and throwing and it has worked well (when I remember to do it.)

PTSD: I've dealt with this over time. Nothing combat related but from two deadly force situations as a police officer. This was 12 or 13 years ago and I still have some minor issues. So time helps but the initial peer support, counseling, and approaching the issue aggressively reaped the best results. Dedicated meditation wasn't a tool I used specifically but I could see how some of the things I did i.e. running, openly discussing it with my wife, quiet rumination, etc, would correlate. Col. Grossman's book On Killing and Tony Blauer's mental training tapes and emails were also a great help.

Good log. Keep up the good work.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:26 pm

Sat
am
qigong
series of asanas
pranayama
ice water douse

pm
qigong
another series of asanas, all seated postures
pranayama/relaxation
walk

Sun
am
series of inversion and seated postures
relaxation/pranayama
walk

Here are some things I find useful when I walk.
1. Check posture. Crown pulled slightly up so that spine floats on pelvis. Shoulders sit on frame. Scan for tension. Be aware of it.
2. Breathing. As some people suggested on another thread, breathing with the steps. I tend to find my natural rhythm and stay there until it changes. For example starting at 5 steps per inhale and 5 per exhale. Be aware of trying of the mindset of trying to take in a lot of air which ends up causing tension. When I do that I slow the rate of breath a bit. I think that is fear creeping in. Fear that the body won't get enough o2. Sometimes I do extended breath holds on the inhale or exhale and see how many steps I get without hurrying. This isn't conducive to a relaxing walk though. I think it causes a bit of adrenalin to drop. Right now I'm not doing this. It is more force of will work vs self soothing work. Using any method depends on what ends I'm looking for.
3. Vision: Pick a spot in the distance. Usually a good place has strong contrast, is static and has no emotional/mental stimulation (though I do find deep meditation staring at the trouser hams of a well built woman). Keep vision on the object. Things in the peripheral vision become less distracting. I try to relax and allow the image to reflect in my mind rather than strain to see it with hungry eyes. This seems to allow my senses to come into an evenness. As someone who has hyper-vigilance I notice that my visual sense can override my other senses. For years I thought my sense of smell just didn't really work. After a while of doing stuff like this my sense of smell came back. I note that when my senses become even my mind begins sensing instead of thinking. I enjoy things around me much more in this state. After a while there isn't a need to pick an object in the distance, I just start seeing more through peripheral vision and then it can shift across things without interrupting the mindset. Naturally the mind will move to the things it needs to in order to navigate safely. This really helps with hyper-vigilance. It seems like my mind thinks it needs to watch everything to protect me. Doing this allows the body intelligence to come back and for me to trust it.
4. Slow down. When I start my way back to my home I sometimes start thinking about what I'm going to do when I get back. I start walking a little quicker, leaning forward, body frame shifts. If I slow down slightly it slows my mind.
5. Just walk.

Walking has been a boon for my head. If I find myself getting stuck in some frame of mind or triggering, walking physically changes my surroundings and gives me motion. That feeling of motion helps counter the inertia in my mind. Bicycling and skateboarding around do the same thing.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:36 pm

Ed Zachary wrote:Free divers: I recently read an article in Outside magazine and a well known diver was commenting on a rash of blackouts the day before to paraphrase". . . they tried to force it. You have to listen to your body." I took this and applied it to my lifting and throwing and it has worked well (when I remember to do it.)

PTSD: I've dealt with this over time. Nothing combat related but from two deadly force situations as a police officer. This was 12 or 13 years ago and I still have some minor issues. So time helps but the initial peer support, counseling, and approaching the issue aggressively reaped the best results. Dedicated meditation wasn't a tool I used specifically but I could see how some of the things I did i.e. running, openly discussing it with my wife, quiet rumination, etc, would correlate. Col. Grossman's book On Killing and Tony Blauer's mental training tapes and emails were also a great help.

Good log. Keep up the good work.
Thanks EZ! It is hard to listen to the body when we can push it further through force of will. I'm still trying to walk that razor's edge of force of will/not pussing out and listening to my body. I think the things you mention, running etc is meditation. Sitting down quietly doesn't make meditation imo. Just the creation of outward form. I think meditation happens naturally when a person has the desire to move through something to a better mental space. Just my opinion though. Thanks for sharing what helped you. I definitely appreciate it. I'll check out the Grossman and Blauer info.
Cheers!

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Re: Misogi

Post by odin » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:42 am

nice write up of the walking. It's almost identical to what I do, (when I get time), and some good pointers in there too, especially re the vision - not really explored that aspect much yet.
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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:50 am

Thanks Odin, much appreciated.

Monday
am
qigong
Sun Bagua basic exercises x50
Sun Bagua form x5
shiko
wall push
uddiyana x6
ice water douse
low horse stance 1:30

pm
qigong
asana. Just sitting in posture not striving for any result. As I sit I can feel my body shift in tension as a storyline comes up. Certain emotions come up. I just sit with the feeling, no trying to change it or be somewhere else. There are only a handful of emotions and visceral feelings that accompany the emotions but there are a myriad of storylines. I'm working not to get stuck in the storylines if that makes any sense. It seems to help smooth my headspace out.
Eventually I start pranayama in some postures then stop it and let my breathing be as I sit. Then corpse pose/relaxation.
Walk.

Tues
am
qigong
Sun Bagua basic exercises x50
Sun Bagua form x4
short set of asanas-pranayama-relaxation
ice water douse

pm
qigong
asana-pranayama relaxation
walk
The pm qigong set I do is from Tom Bisio. He calls it the 5 element set or something like that. It has an exercise for each of the 5 major organs in tcm, 3 exercises for the upper middle and lower part of the torso and 4 standing exercises. Today I noticed that as I switched through the first five exercises storylines/emotions/visceral feelings that correspond to 3 of the organs came up as each exercise was done. I thought that was pretty interesting. I wasn't looking for that to happen.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Thu May 03, 2012 12:33 am

I've been out of town. Went to Denver to see Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel play. One of the better shows I've seen in years.

Basically kept up with most of what I've been doing but didn't do the Bagua form. Got in some long hikes, some relaxing by a stream and lots of beer drinking with friends.
Today
am
qigong
warm ups inspired by a post Xian made in his log on one of Sonnon's warmups.
Sun Bagua Basics x30
ice water douse

pm
asana-pranayama-relaxation
Swimming...did some warm up laps and then swam the length of the pool underwater on one breath. First few times I didn't make it. Then I did a light breath up and made it with little strain. Then did about 10-15 lengths each on one breath (rest in between each length). Then instead of swimming along the bottom (takes more energy) I just swam on one breath the length of the pool at the top of the water (about 4-5 more lengths).
Then I swam half lengths on one breath but did it continuous for 2 laps.
Things to note:
1. breath holds feel more natural and easy in water but are more dangerous due to the possibility of blacking out. That they feel more natural in water may be due to the inherent relaxation that occurs due to the buoyancy of the body in the water.
2. Go slow to make the distance. Trying hard to make the distance creates more tension and uses o2. Relax. Try to keep the mind where the body is. This gets difficult because at the first sign of lack of o2 the mind automatically starts searching and trying to figure out if the distance can be made or if quitting is necessary. This uses up o2. Look at the distance beforehand. Try it carefully at first so the body can know it can make it and the mind can shut down. When I do this I can just keep my mind focused right where I'm at, preventing my mind from searching for the end (staying with the discomfort instead of searching for an exit). A certain degree of self trust has to build up. Trust that I can ignore the self pity mind that wants to quit right off, but listen to the calm mind that says it's time to surface.
3. Be aware of the tension that creeps in toward the end of the length. I have to stay calm to prevent trying to use too much strength to get to the end more quickly. The fraction of time I gain from using lots of strength isn't worth the o2 used up.
4. Careful of the superego/critical mind trying to push too far or not far enough given different circumstances.
5. Play at it.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Fri May 04, 2012 2:29 am

am
qigong
Sun Bagua basics and form
asana-pranayama-relaxation

pm
qigong
asana series:
Image
Image
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I cycled through each of these five or so times followed by
slow pushups
slow heels together squats.
swim

Let's examine Marilyn's form.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Not too shabby.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sat May 05, 2012 1:08 am

Who Killed Laura Palmer?
am
ice water douse
Asanas
1. Pashimottanasana
2. Vrikshasana;
3. Utthita Trikonasana;
4. Parivritta Trikonasana;
5. Utthita Parsvakonasana;
6. Parivritta Parsvakonasana;
7. Virabhadrasana I;
8. Virabhadrasana II;
9. Shavasana;
10. Ardha Chandrasana;
11. Parsvottanasana;
12. Parighasana;
13. Utkatasana;
9. Shavasana;
14. Virasana;
15. Jathara Parivartanasna;
9. Shavasana

pm.
Same asana series as in the morning.
The idea of having so many shavansana repetitions is to keep taking my neurology closer to zero point. Asanas are performed as comfortably as possibly with the least amount of effort.
Swim.
Did a couple laps crawl and breaststroke.
Then I relaxed and used as little effort as possible to get across the length on one breath (deadman float/breaststroke).
I kept trying to go slower and slower each length and still make it with little to no strain and no breath up. My body temperature and pulse rate dropped while doing this. It was very relaxing.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Xian » Sat May 05, 2012 9:16 am

Your training is looking good - I don't see so many inversions in your asana series. I thought they were supposed to be the core of your routine?
Have you considered taking up freediving in a more formal way? Looking at your training and ideas it seems that you could benefit and be benefited from it.

Stig Severinsen has mentioned that alternate nostril breathing/Nadi Shodan has mystical effects, and I've been told by my teachers that it is the most important pranayama to practice. Stig told a story in class of how a complete newcomer to freediving did a 7 min(!) breathold after performing it. And I have found this persons blog where he tell of the incident: http://yogareport.org/page/7/ - and if you read on he begins to experiment with freediving training and shares his experiences with it. Thought it might interest you.

Edit: Another reason breatholds feel easier and more natural probably has something to do with the mammalian diving reflex: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammalian_diving_reflex
There is a vast difference between treating effects and adjusting the causes.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sun May 06, 2012 3:37 am

Thanks Xian! That is a great blog post on Stig's book and awesome that the blogger hit 7 minutes without much strain. When I strain I think I get dumps of stress hormones in my body. I am working to naturally increase my retentions instead of force them. I am going to look at the ratio that Stig has in the book and may give nadi shodan a shot. I haven't used it in a few weeks and have just focused on breathing as slowly as possible without causing upset in the breathing by going to slow.

Definitely the mammalian diving reflex account for some of it. I also think that being face down helps vs face up. The reason behind my thinking this is that when face up the abdomen is exposed and a person is vulnerable. Animals often put their bellies close to the ground or bend their torso/spine which decreases the surface area of the abdomen that can be attacked (cats arch their backs when roiled and this decreases abdomen surface that can be attacked...or they get really low to the ground). Dead man float is belly down and this may contribute to the relaxation. In addition most forward bending seems to elicit relaxation.

I don't have a core of my program. I needed more inversions last week and it helped balance out my mental state. As I shift, I shift my work. I got the series yesterday and today from Viktor Boyko (who I think adapted it from Iyengar's book). Yesterday is more yang while the second day is more yin (forward bends headstands, halasanana etc). The first day is more standing but Boyko advocates using shavasana (or a sitting posture, I like siddhasana)to relax between chunks of asanas to balance things out. Just testing some ideas out. Learning how I can balance "Ha" and "Tha." I've curtailed my qigong for now because it began to feel like I was a slave to it. That's when discipline changes to self slavery. I like the sets but I need a break for now. I may be back to it tomorrow though. Who knows.

If I had access and the $$'s for freediving classes I would give it a shot. I'm in the desert for the time being and there aren't any classes around me. I'm content playing, after all..."Play is the beginning of knowledge."

am
Sun Bagua Basics
Joint Mobility (see Xian's log)
Pashimottanasana;
Virasana - twice;
Siddhasana;
Jathara Parivartanasana;
Bhudjangasana,
Trianga Mukha Ekapada Pashimottanasana;
Ardha Matsiyendrasana, sitting on the leg;
The same - sitting on the floor;
Marichyasana;
Paripurna Navasana - 3x
Ardha Navasana - 3x
Purvottanasana;
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana;
Sirshasana -
Sarvangasana - up to 3-5 minutes.
Halasana- up to 5 minutes.
Jathara Parivartanasana;
Shavasana -

Took a rest and later did Sun Bagua form.
swim. breast stroke, crawl, then did lengths on a single breath (no breath up). Today I was able to hit 1.5 lengths without strain. The keys for me are to keep my mind with my body (refrain from grasping for getting to the end/stay in the discomfort), relax, use relaxation to shut things down (pratyahara), and don't be in a hurry.

Here is a chapter from Boyko's book
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44537171/V-Bo ... -Chapter-9
His whole book was available on realyoga.ru in english up until a week ago. The site changed and the book is not available in english anymore (I've been trying to read it again through google translator but that can be rough).

Abide in-between. No escape.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Tue May 08, 2012 1:51 am

Sunday
am
joint mobility
asanas (same as may 04) > sitting > relaxation
ice water douse

pm
sun bagua

Monday
am
nadi shodan pranayama > relaxation
asanas (same as May 05)

pm
Sun Bagua
one legged standing
shiko
pushup position holds
walk

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sat May 19, 2012 8:46 pm

Was out for the last week and a half working on a commercial and a music video.
The first shoot I worked five days with the last two days being 16.5 and 24.5 hour days with call at 4am. The rest of the days were all between 12-16 hours in general. The weird thing is that I watched everyone wilt on set as the hours dragged on. I felt fine and had to drive the DP back to his hotel because he was too tired to drive. He asked me what I do to be able to keep working with the same intensity level as the hours wore on. I told him I didn't rightly know. I suspect it comes from pranayama, relaxing into asanas, and ice water baths but who knows. Things that I noted:
1. as time went on I felt like the fatigue started to create physical tension. Whenever I had to stand and block a door I just relaxed as much tension out as possible. These short "breaks" helped out.
2. Getting caught up in shit talking and politics wastes energy. By avoiding it, I was able to have more endurance/work capacity.
3. The less I take personally the less energy I waste.
4. Commiserating with pussies makes me feel like a pussy.

After the final day of work my body got very tight and sore. I had no problems until then. I spent an hour relaxing into some asanas plus some ice water dousing and my soreness/tightness decreased to almost zero (did that yesterday). I also rolled my ankle on the last day but as long as I don't cut hard it doesn't hurt much.

Today, I skateboarded 6-7 miles to get home today after a night of debauchery and a couple hours sleep. I'magonnatakeiteasytonight. I should be back on a normal schedule for a while.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Wed May 23, 2012 4:38 am

yesterday
ice douse
joint mobility
pranayama
yoga asanas
relaxation

swim
walk
drink too much

today
pranayama
yoga asanas/relaxation

skateboard

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Thu May 24, 2012 1:18 am

am
asanas/pranayama/relaxation/meditation
ice water douse
skateboard to do errands

pm
"Professor Attila's Five Pound Dumb Bell Exercises" http://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/Attila/db01.htm
walk

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Fri May 25, 2012 3:36 am

am
asana/pranayama/relaxation/meditation
ice water douse

pm
bagua
walk

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Sat May 26, 2012 3:37 am

am
asana/pranayama/relaxation
ice water douse

pm
bagua
asana/pranayama/relaxation
skateboard

pm breathing was simplified. abdomen is relaxed as much as possible in all positions. breathing is shallow and very relaxed. light effort is either on the inhale or the exhale not both...one side is passive. Pauses may happen naturally.
I use minimal effort in asanas. I don't try to stretch. I don't think stretching is the point. Patanjali says nothing about stretching. He says that asanas should be steady, stable, motionless (and relaxed).

"2.46 The posture (asana) for Yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and motionless, as well as comfortable, and this is the third of the eight rungs of Yoga." This idea is much closer to standing qigong practice or even sitting meditation than it is to many modern yoga practices. Take a steady, stable and motionless position, sink into the position and allow the body do what it needs to do naturally. It is simply setting the parameters that are conducive to allowing the body/mind to come to homeostasis.

"2.47 The means of perfecting the posture is that of relaxing or loosening of effort, and allowing attention to merge with endlessness, or the infinite." This is in contrast to the willful/forcing practice of yoga. Once asana is done in this manner for a while it is easy and natural to come to the breath, from the breath to withdraw of the senses and concentration. Then to meditation etc. Patanjali sets out the parameters to naturally come to a meditative state.

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Re: Misogi

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Tue May 29, 2012 10:37 am

Sat
am
yoga
dumbell series
ice water douse.

Sun
am
yoga
ice water douse

Monday
am
yoga
ice water douse.

Some fuck wanted to talk shit and play grabass tonight. I Valley drop, mounted and arm barred the guy. I let him up, he talked more shit about "I could have fucked you up by grabbing your balls but I let you off easy." I let him test his hypothesis again. Behold the power of the scientific method.

Question:
Can you grab my balls when I own you and curtail the beating?
Hypothesis:
You can grab my balls and fuck my shit up.
Test:
I clinch, valley drop, mount, hit a triangle mount and figure four arm bar. He rips my shirt.
Analysis:
He loses

So, I'm a dickhead. Somethings yoga can't fix.

Oh well, hopefully back on the mat shortly. Apparently, my shoulder is ready.

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