Archive for August, 2012

Repeat after me …

August 14th, 2012 No comments

Every now and then, I repeat what I hear on television as I hear it and try to keep up with the speaker. It’s the same kind of thing a UN translator would do, except I do it in the same language as the speaker.¬†It’s kind of fun, and it might also be a good way of keeping that part of my brain working.

Just a thought.

My drug of choice …

August 4th, 2012 1 comment

pu-erh… is Pu-Erh tea. I drink a cup, and I become productive. I’m not antsy or nervous, just calmly productive. I just do what needs to be done.

Sure, it’s gotta be the caffeine, but it must be modulated¬†well-enough to clear the mental fuzz without driving me nuts, and there seems to be no crash or anxiety associated with it. In the evening, I have a cup of Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime (Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna!) or Chamomile tea, and I’m good. The ups and downs are mild enough to be unnoticed. I don’t do this every day, just when I’m out of whack either way: too up or too down.

I suppose that the more natural the source of the stimulant or relaxant, the less disruptive it may be to the system; and the more human intervention in the substance, such as the addition of chemical additives, the more disruptive the substance. This leads us to something worth pondering: if we ingest a natural substance that is safe to ingest (not a poisonous mushroom, for example), and it has an effect, is the desired effect the restoration of homeostasis?

In other words, if we’re all hyped-up, or if we’re logy, is it healthy to ingest a natural substance that (respectively) calms us down or wakes us up? I believe so, based on the assumption that we are beings of nature and natrual substances can help maintain and restore our natural functioning. But I think that this is necessary: we need to know our bodies well enough to know when we’re out of whack; to know when we’re too wired or too fuzzy. This comes with experience, paying attention, and a knowledge of where our baseline is when we’re healthy. Only then can we make an accurate assessment of when we’re not quite right. If we’re generally in a state of poor health, our knowledge of our baseline is skewed. So we need to get healthy first, then maintain and improve. Refine and Repeat.

(Of course, your mileage may vary, and I’m just Some Guy on the Internet.)

Time for another cuppa.

Categories: East meets West, modern life, nutrition Tags:

Stretching and relaxing

August 2nd, 2012 No comments

I can touch my toes now. With straight legs.

This is a bit of a big deal for me, having had stiff (or short) hamstrings since youth. However, in recent years, I’ve slowly stretched, bit by bit, until I could touch my toes with slightly bent legs. (yes, I know that stretching is the point, not toe-touching) But then I had a revelation: shift my weight slightly to my heels.

Why? I’ve found that I need to stretch with relaxed muscles. If I’m stretching something, it doesn’t make sense to tense it at the same time, so stretching the same stuff I’m using to hold myself up (by tensing) is counterproductive, isn’t it? Specifically, if I had my weight on the balls of my feet, I’d be using my calf muscles to hold me up more than I would if I had my weight towards my heels, so releasing the calf muscles should make them more flexible, or less resistant.

(While doing Zhan Zhuang, I found the role of the thighs and calves in the weight shift. It may be obvious to students of body mechanics, but not to schlubs like me.)

So. When touching my toes, I shift the weight more towards my heels, my calves relax, and the whole superficial back line (SBL) is relaxed just a bit more, and I can get a bit more length out of myself and get a better stretch. When the legs are straight, the entire SBL gets stretched, and not just the back, according to Myers (the author of Anatomy Trains).

More stretching? More stretching.


Categories: fitness Tags: