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Thread: the secret to flexibility

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  1. #1
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    Jul 2018
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    the secret to flexibility

    I was wondering if anyone knows the secret to flexibility - I have done yoga 2 hours a day 7 days a week and my hamstrings never gained any flexibility and my hips never opened -- I switched to yin yoga 2 hours a day 7 days a week with the same results ---- the more I stretch the tighter I get -- if I take a couple of weeks off it becomes less painful to straighten my leg ----

    am I doing too much ?

    do I need recovery time ?

    what's the secret ? --- I have gotten absolutely nowhere over several years

    I can't even get into a descent pu bu stance - my hips aren't open and my hamstrings aren't flexible at all

    I would just like to do my taiji forms better - I cannot get into basic stances or do any of the kicks properly

  2. #2
    I'm by no means a teacher but I've had some experiences similar to yours and been helped by some teachers with good suggestions. I still have so-so hamstrings but my hips are good now. So here's a possible recipe you might test if you feel like it. If not, no worries.

    It really sounds like you're overdoing it.

    Stop the yoga altogether.

    Take 1 or 2 complete rest days per week. How much depends on your age and health level. If you feel compelled to do something every day, do at most standing meditation in a high stance on day 7.

    Use some of the time you are saving from quitting the yoga to work on your stances in isolation and let them lead toward the flexibility you need for the stances. The stances themselves will be your teachers. Start as high as you need to be to be comfortable. Use a mirror, feeling, a friend to get the alignment right for that height. Relax in the stance. Sink with lower body, rise with upper body, make the joints springy. Stand, hold, relax, do small movements at times if you need to. But spend a lot of time in each stance. Keep your attention in the body and not in thinking. Make it peaceful. Enjoy the reward as nourishing feelings flow from the lower spine or other places into the rest of the body. Over the course of weeks or months, as your body signals to you that it can, sink a bit more deeply into each stance, gradually increasing the amount of openness.

    Let it develop slowly.

    This is in addition your your ordinary taiji, cardio and strength training. But perhaps look and see if you tend to overdo that as well and neglect recovery. This stance training can be good during recovery time from other training. Adjust if necessary. Your call.

    This is a recipe that makes sense to me and especially for someone my age (no spring chicken).

    Anyhow good luck, whatever you decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by pokomkno3 View Post
    I was wondering if anyone knows the secret to flexibility - I have done yoga 2 hours a day 7 days a week and my hamstrings never gained any flexibility and my hips never opened -- I switched to yin yoga 2 hours a day 7 days a week with the same results ---- the more I stretch the tighter I get -- if I take a couple of weeks off it becomes less painful to straighten my leg ----

    am I doing too much ?

    do I need recovery time ?

    what's the secret ? --- I have gotten absolutely nowhere over several years

    I can't even get into a descent pu bu stance - my hips aren't open and my hamstrings aren't flexible at all

    I would just like to do my taiji forms better - I cannot get into basic stances or do any of the kicks properly

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Sonoran desert
    Posts
    51
    I will try what you say - I usually only spend 3 minutes in each stance -- I can't quit yoga though - I need to do more of it -- I'm not really doing any right now -- I tend to get away from it sometimes because I don't like pain - yoga is very difficult and painful - it's not something I enjoy, but I want the benefits that come from the practice

    if all else fails I always have Bagua circle walking - I love walking the circle - I am always doing a lot of that. it keeps me sane in the most difficult of times

    lots of bagua chi kung -- circle - straight line - standing - life is not big enough for bagua - life is also not big enough for yoga - and then theres tai chi
    Last edited by pokomkno3; 05-15-2020 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Sonoran desert
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    Quote Originally Posted by rett2 View Post
    I'm by no means a teacher but I've had some experiences similar to yours and been helped by some teachers with good suggestions. I still have so-so hamstrings but my hips are good now. So here's a possible recipe you might test if you feel like it. If not, no worries.

    It really sounds like you're overdoing it.

    Stop the yoga altogether.

    Take 1 or 2 complete rest days per week. How much depends on your age and health level. If you feel compelled to do something every day, do at most standing meditation in a high stance on day 7.

    Use some of the time you are saving from quitting the yoga to work on your stances in isolation and let them lead toward the flexibility you need for the stances. The stances themselves will be your teachers. Start as high as you need to be to be comfortable. Use a mirror, feeling, a friend to get the alignment right for that height. Relax in the stance. Sink with lower body, rise with upper body, make the joints springy. Stand, hold, relax, do small movements at times if you need to. But spend a lot of time in each stance. Keep your attention in the body and not in thinking. Make it peaceful. Enjoy the reward as nourishing feelings flow from the lower spine or other places into the rest of the body. Over the course of weeks or months, as your body signals to you that it can, sink a bit more deeply into each stance, gradually increasing the amount of openness.

    Let it develop slowly.

    This is in addition your your ordinary taiji, cardio and strength training. But perhaps look and see if you tend to overdo that as well and neglect recovery. This stance training can be good during recovery time from other training. Adjust if necessary. Your call.

    This is a recipe that makes sense to me and especially for someone my age (no spring chicken).

    Anyhow good luck, whatever you decide.
    How long do you recommend spending in each stance ?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pokomkno3 View Post
    How long do you recommend spending in each stance ?
    I'd take the amount of time you have for stance training, divide it by the number of stances, and then trade some time between them based on how easy or hard different stances are. You can spend less time in more stressful stances, because this method is about avoid pain, get gain slow and enjoy. It's good to have a fairly easy home-base stance that you can relax in for upwards of 10-15 minutes. Others can be quite a lot shorter. But that's just a way to get an idea. When actually practicing you'll probably feel which things need more or less work.
    Last edited by rett2; 02-02-2021 at 04:51 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2018
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    Sonoran desert
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    okay thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Where ever I Am; today, West Virginia, US of A, NA, N of EUdMexico
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    Flexibility Is A Mountain Climb:Establish Anchor Points EMJ

    20 one minute, Stretch-then-Hold-Stretch-at-Leaving, is making a sword-heat-cool-heat let it cool stronger.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    Constant stretching is looseness that cannot hold anything. Stretch. Hold. Wait. When done, stretch more. You now established an anchor point. Going beyond at the end gives play in your rope for shortening. But you shorten longer than when you started. You are now more flexible.

    If class instruction says stretch-reach-extend go-for it grab out there reach, you have an instructor. But stretching is not Flexibility, it's stretched-ish. improving reach during exercise seems deceptive and temporary. Muscles are like memory foam and return to original length or we might stretch ourselves out. Make the joints more pliable--impossible as joints are connections and themselves are not really anything.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    Focus stretches at the end of bones. Massage pelvis-hip and top of knee. Behind knee. Below knee. behind ankles--Achilles tendon. Heel-all around and where toes meet foot. manually move these places gently not hurting much. do it; then stop--establish a return point for your muscles that is beyond when you started.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    Flexibility is pliability coupled with strength.-Stages. No 2 hour stretch sessions. That equals one stretch to your body. Do multiple short sessions throughout the day and you will see flexibility.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    I No_Know
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