Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feeling the Sides Drop

Sometime over the last couple weeks, while standing, I felt my "sides drop". Anatomically this could mean I felt my Obliques let go, stop holding, relax. I wasn't thinking about or imagining or visualizing doing this. It just happened! The result was a feeling of lengthening on both sides.

In a recent Wujifa class, while doing the secret leaf-raking training (well, ok, practicing side to side using the slight resistance of the rake to help me notice the feeling of connection), I received external validation of when I was holding or lengthening the sides. Nice!

What's interesting to me is that along with this side-drop feeling came the feeling of weight sliding down my quads and into and slightly through the knee which feels like the knees sliding forward.

I remember, maybe a year or more ago, observing (data) that the knees sliding forward is more about intention than actual physical sliding forward. Now, I feel the knees "sliding forward" and the feeling is completely different from what I "achieved" using imagination/intention.

One of the corrections I routinely received in class was to "drop" the elbows. As with the knees, I previously noted (data) that "drop the elbows" is about the imagined/visualized/intention of the elbows hanging. However, I never experienced a real kinesthetic feeling of the elbows dropping, that is, until now. This elbow-dropping-feeling just "naturally" showed up one day.

What is most exciting for me is that I can now distinguish two feelings: holding and relaxing.
Holding elbows up or dropping elbows.
Holding sides up or dropping sides.
Pulling knees back and up into the thigh or sliding down and forward.

I also notice that these component feelings suggest or point to a single whole body feeling, however, I'm not able to get my mind around the whole as easy as the components at this time.

So after a long period where "nothing" (that I could notice) was happening, then BOOM! a perceived "big jump".

I was reminded that plateaus are gestation periods where new neural pathways are being formed. Practicing and not noticing subtle shifts and growths is like planting a seed and watering and watering and watering, not seeing any growth, trusting that there is growth until one day, BOOM! noticing a sprout!

During the plateau time, I wasn't able to notice the level at which changes were occurring. What I notice surely points to the level of my noticing ability which too, is wonderful to notice!!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool stuff Mike, I find I always benefit from your posts! I've also been working on side-to-side and the lengthening on the weighted side has been one point I need to play with. It's funny how everyone cheats in different ways in order to avoid the heaviness and the lengthening of the sides seems to be a consistent one...keeping the hips level, relaxing the belly, back all the while remembering to close the inguinal crease...fun stuff!

    I'll be writing a bit about side-to-side practice in my next post...hopefully we'll be able to bounce off more training notes/experiences then!

    Happy training!