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Congestion (follow up)

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Congestion (follow up)

Postby flutemaker on Tue May 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Meido wrote:
partofit22 wrote:I've noticed what I want to call "congestion" of some sort to the north/northeast of the navel, which feels to me is the location where I'm holding onto my stress, which in turn impacts the rest especially posture and breathing because my body seems to want to surround and protect that spot instead of release it- Sounds crazy, I know- Just something I've noticed ..


Not sure about your particular situation from a distance, of course. But folks tend to hold psycho-physical tension in and around the solar plexus. Perhaps that is what you're experiencing?

If your breathing is habitually shallow and centered in the chest, you should practice diaphragmatic breathing (i.e. "belly breathing") a few minutes a day. This is not Zen breathing per se, but just normal, relaxed breathing that many of us nevertheless tend to lose as we leave childhood. If one does not at least breath naturally in this manner, zazen can not progress.

The book contains an exercise for this, as well as for more cultivated breathing used in Rinzai practice. But if you search for belly breathing on YouTube, you'll find dozens of videos teaching simple exercises for the basic belly breathing that you can do.

There are massage and other methods to release this congestion as well, but not something I could effectively give here. The general rule though is that the solar plexus should be soft, even concave. If you insert your fingers into that spot and feel discomfort or "armoring" present, then it would be helpful to go to a good massage person who can help you release it. This also will release tension in the mid-back.

~ Meido


Firstly, one may want to identify the places where one feels various emotional states physically. Like anxiety fear happiness sadness etc. One may try to remember various past situations involving strong emotional response. And pay good attention to where specifically each of them is physically perceived in the body. Unless this is more or less clearly seen one has to continue practice in this manner.

Consequently, one has to figure out whether or not the congestion feeling has exactly the same location as one of the bodily centers thus identified.

As working directly on this level would be highly problematic nonetheless various indirect approaches are possible.

When cold, but the only thing you have is a pair of wool socks, or a cup of hot tea, you start to work with what is at hand. Even if you need to warm up your hands, wearing woolen socks may gradually, though slowly, help.
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue May 09, 2017 5:53 pm

Teresa,

Over-use of caffeine (even one coffee, for some people) can cause a "holding" in that area, which will also effect the breathing (make it feel not-very-smooth).

If you drink coffee, you could experimentally go completely off of it for a week or so. If this makes a difference, then you may be one of those people who is extra-sensitive to caffeine, and should perhaps eschew it forevermore if it interferes with other things you value.

A yoga class could be a great situation in which to explore "holdings", etc., in the body if the situation is not just "caffeine". Certain exercises and certain strengthenings could help very much, or could completely dissolve any discomforts. There will probably also be additional positive effects as well! Maybe you already have such a practice?

best, :Namaste:

--Joe
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby Meido on Tue May 09, 2017 6:04 pm

I catch Flutemaker's meaning here.

It is certainly true that the body can store trauma of many kinds, so in some cases of habitual tension various treatment methods are indeed useful e.g. some styles of bodywork, self-massage, movement, some types of yoga as Joe mentions, etc.

~ Meido
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Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby flutemaker on Tue May 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Meido wrote:I catch Flutemaker's meaning here.

It is certainly true that the body can store trauma of many kinds, so in some cases of habitual tension various treatment methods are indeed useful e.g. some styles of bodywork, self-massage, movement, some types of yoga as Joe mentions, etc.

~ Meido

Thank you for joining the topic.

Having just returned home, when still outside, it was my intention to post here something along the lines of,

-- "please ask Meido if our body indeed "wants to surround and protect" certain space around the spot affected by physical injury, either one-time or periodic, whether or not any serious trauma, or injury, regardless of it being on a subtle or gross energetic level can be fully cured, and whether or not, especially in old age, injuries, traumas, blockage caused by impurities, tend to accumulate".

Yes, Joe, a yoga class could be great, but I very much doubt it would be properly led.

Yoga aims at restoring the "original state" of the integrity, wholeness and cleanness of many various systems making this our "body", on many levels of "subtlety", so that subsequently "breath circulation" can be established fully in each of these.

Let's look at the blood circulation system. Lack of integrity (interconnectedness broken) -- one dies. Lack of cleanness (the system clogged) -- one dies. All these are critical. But not all of the systems are like that. Sometimes, just partially functioning fragments of various systems can still support our life, and then the work of establishing "connections" until the system is completely whole, purifying it until it can "conduct the current", and finally mastering the "breath control" (doesn't mean just physical breath, maybe we can compare it to the system of various "electric currents") has to be done.

You hardly will find any of the specifics of this in any of the books. Rather, something similar to "what is this?" or "who am I" has to be persistently practiced directed into our very body, either in whole, or to a certain part. Like, "how is that my hands move?" What exactly is going on when "I" am "moving" it? One has to investigate with no less energy, effort and persistence than if that would be a question of one's life and death. In fact -- this is this very question.

Generally, a yoga class would do little harm if improperly taught, but it can really have little benefit. If the leader is not "clear-eyed", and thus diagnoses your problem improperly -- the wrong means of treatment would be prescribed. When you yourself, however, is just a little bit closer to seeing how the whole system works "from inside", the errors related to what can and what cannot be done would be less probable.

Enough said, and as Meido has repeatedly noted, a forum is not the right place to go deeper into specifics. But my general considerations, as I hope, are more or less clearly put here above. Say, I give you the exact location of my flute finger-holes, their diameter, shape, etc. etc. Will you be able to build and fine-tune your own instrument based solely on these measurements, without your own mastery of the art of proper breathing into it? To build -- yes. To fine-tune -- no. Be careful to not apply external shape of bodily postures in "yoga" in the same manner as using someone other's measurements to build your own flute. You'll have a different source -- a different cane of bamboo to start with.
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 10, 2017 12:15 am

I think that in some cases -- many cases -- physical yoga, even removed from the original religious context, would be OK for sufferers of trauma, injury, or habitual holdings. Well, I've seen it to be true.

The teacher hopes that physical conditioning can heal many minor and major complaints. So does the student. ;-)

I'd say, too, that, very probably!!, a yoga class would not even be quite necessary, and I'd make bold to suggest that a "Pilates" class, or something similar, would do enormous good for many people. Or, even some other sort of general, physical conditioning program (isometrics; stretching; posture improvement).

But I think that a class with quite conscious and careful stretching, slow movement, and full breathing might be best for quickest alleviation of old injuries, holdings, and tension. I say quickest!, because I really believe that other things too could help. Even, for example, hard physical work!

People in the "old days" (not long ago... and still, today... ) kept fit by working, not by "working-out". ;)

Yet, we all know how specialized attention and specific exercise -- or suites of exercise -- can work wonders when we have specific ailments or specific goals in mind (to master a martial art, etc.).

--Joe
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby partofit22 on Wed May 10, 2017 5:23 am

Protecting, holding, armoring, all seem correct to me- But while I can locate the general area, I cannot pinpoint an exact location- The sensation is north/north east of the navel, which is also where I sense the congestion-

During my first massage, decades ago, while my back was being worked I felt "a sensation" in the general area mentioned above- And I asked the masseuse about it but she said she never heard of such a thing-

Some time ago Meido shared a technique in another thread (abdominal self massage?) which was helpful in conjuction with deep breathing- But I have to admit something is holding me back from continuing that practice- Perhaps my lack of knowledge about the vagus nerve which has now gotten into the act big time and my unwillingness to potentially make matters worse- Ive scheduled a massage with a woman who is also a registered nurse-

flutemaker, its been a long time since I sat with a clear/clean heart/mind- Definitely many stored traumas- I used to be able to "release"- And to be clear, I don't see release as a constant/permanent thing but temporary- in some ways see it as something I would seek but more of something to be worked at-

Joe, I enjoy coffee- :) And working in tbe yard-
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 10, 2017 12:23 pm

Men's-intuition tells me
that Laughter Yoga
can be the key
to free the belly,
north or north-east
of vague vagus
or Vegas
locales.

A good long sob inspired by a good sob-story could help, too. But, it can be good to follow the long crying with a long session of laughing uncontrollably, quite out of your head.

(it might just happen regardless).

You may come out of this like a soft warm
little newborn, with nothing on your mind.

Well, this is a start. A Purification. Physical. It's thorough.

Say "Goodbye" to tangles, knots, split-ends, and snotty congestion.

--Joe

p.s. Laughter-Yoga club near you?; try, see: http://laughteryoga.org/start-free-laughter-clubs/

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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby flutemaker on Wed May 10, 2017 6:23 pm

partofit22 wrote:And to be clear, I don't see release as a constant/permanent thing but temporary- in some ways see it as something I would seek but more of something to be worked at-

I would like to share an illustration, a demonstration, and a curiosity.

An illustration.

Has anyone noticed how water, in the present times tend to be accumulated in innumerable tightly closed containers, like plastic 5 to 20 Lt. bottles, or smaller ones, various food and drinks preserved for years of shelf-life? This water has been excluded, removed, from the natural cycle of exchange in the nature (as it used to be centuries ago). This is an illustration of how the "aging" and "accumulation" work together. The aging of the body is similar to this aging of the world. To free up the "locked", "enclosed" resources -- so that they can re-join the cycles of bodily exchanges -- yet another way to illustrate that at which yoga is aiming. From temporary "releases" to a more stable "freeing up".
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby flutemaker on Wed May 10, 2017 6:32 pm

A demonstration.

May I ask anyone to please sit in their usual comfortable posture (like, for zazen) and stretch their arms in the opposite directions (straight to the right and to the left) until there is a feeling of a "string", like a bowstring, very tightly held, between the tips of the fingers of your left hand and the tips of the fingers of your right hand.

May I ask then to pay good attention to how exactly the feeling of "tightness" of the string is changing as you move along it? Is it constant? Is the string uninterrupted (continuous)? Is the feeling "fragmented"? If so, where exactly are the "gaps" (where this "tightness feeling" is missing, so that there is "no feeling"). Specifically, when passing through your chest, is there a gap?

If anyone please responds, honestly, to the best of their ability to investigate the feeling, I would continue with this one.

Meanwhile, speaking of the "congestion" in the OP in terms of "freeing up the locked/enclosed" the task is to find the right (though "indirect") means to first "approach", and "touch", and then, ideally, "open up" the enclosure ("reconnect with the rest")", and eventually free it up naturally.

Speaking of the "congestion" in the OP in terms of "fragmented string" the task is to find the right "string" (to be precise, sort of a spiderweb of strings) "drill through", and "clean up", the "fragmented" route, and then, again, "reconnect with the rest of the system".

This is yet again just very general considerations.
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby flutemaker on Wed May 10, 2017 6:58 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:I think that in some cases -- many cases -- physical yoga, even removed from the original religious context, would be OK for sufferers of trauma, injury, or habitual holdings. Well, I've seen it to be true.

This is not about "religious context" (what's that?) but rather just common sense and the right effort. Conscious and careful stretching is of little value when consciously performing wrong things, carefully persisting in this undertaking.

Now I will post a couple of pictures, would you please provide detailed instructions (and how would they change based on the situation in the OP)?
c.jpg

a.jpg

desert_woodworker wrote:Even, for example, hard physical work!

Thoroughly disagree. The right way to heal the consequences of a severe physical (or of any other kind) trauma is by means of hard physical work?

Going further, for young people, and healthy, hard physical work, like unloading manually a truck of bricks, or working 10 hours in a coal mine, is what you'd recommend to improve their physical, emotional and energetic shape?
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 10, 2017 8:53 pm

hi, FM,

These probably won't be the most satisfactory replies you could wish for, but they are my own genuinely.

flutemaker wrote:This is not about "religious context" (what's that?) but rather just common sense and the right effort. Conscious and careful stretching is of little value when consciously performing wrong things, carefully persisting in this undertaking.

Yeah, can't comment on your prejudice that something is performed "wrong". Seems like a personal problem or joke you hold.

flutemaker wrote:Now I will post a couple of pictures, would you please provide detailed instructions (and how would they change based on the situation in the OP)?

There's even less reason to comment by remote for yoga-class details than for Zen-Buddhist practice details. That is, Yoga classes are ubiquitous in most cities. In both cases of practice, the detailed instruction I would have and give for all interested is, "See a teacher". Or, see several teachers, and then concentrate on practice with one of them.

flutemaker wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Even, for example, hard physical work!

Thoroughly disagree. The right way to heal the consequences of a severe physical (or of any other kind) trauma is by means of hard physical work?

I write, "Even". That means, there will be some benefit. I don't say "right" way, but you do! We could hope you'd adjust your optics, please (or attitude... ). And if there's a "right way" in anything under discussion here for you, I hope you find it. I mean, truly.

desert_woodworker wrote:Going further, for young people, and healthy, hard physical work, like unloading manually a truck of bricks, or working 10 hours in a coal mine, is what you'd recommend to improve their physical, emotional and energetic shape?

Yow... what did you have for breakfast?

(I can't say I have anything against work, no).

Here, I'll "re-sharpen" an "old saw", and phrase it instead this way anew (or reverse it, and see if it cuts the other way, like a Japanese ryoba or dozuki): "If you can get it, it's good work".

--Joe
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby flutemaker on Wed May 10, 2017 10:05 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Seems like a personal problem

My personal problem is my feeling uncomfortable where some people position themselves as the forum's supreme authority for some unknown for me reason and behave accordingly.
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby macdougdoug on Wed May 10, 2017 10:23 pm

MODERATION : This won't do guys, some extra editing is in order.
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 10, 2017 11:36 pm

FM,

Just a note:

flutemaker wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Seems like a personal problem

My personal problem is my feeling uncomfortable where some people position themselves as the forum's supreme authority for some unknown for me reason and behave accordingly.

Doug is right. Thanks, Doug.

Yes, FM, it's alright that you know it all, and tell it all. I don't know why you behave that way either, but I do not mind it, not one little bit. As for "comfort", well, that's personal, and no one else can provide it, nor value it as much or in the same way as another may.

I, for one, only write what I know, and have good confidence about. No warranty or guarantee is implied nor extended. Readers, "caveat emptor". Everyone's free, as I see it, to provide better -- supplanting or supplementary -- information anytime, whether tailored or not to any particular question, assertion, or member. Let it stand on its own.

Let the forum operate for 'em all.

:Namaste:,

--Joe

p.s. (I've posted the following several times already, but let it not be just implicit here. Thus),

DISCLAIMER: "The information provided is knowledge- and experienced-based only
and should not be construed as a medical diagnosis or be used in place of
a medical treatment or exam. Always consult a medical doctor regarding any
medical concerns or conditions."

Play it safe, everyone.
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby partofit22 on Thu May 11, 2017 1:23 am

flutemaker wrote:
partofit22 wrote:And to be clear, I don't see release as a constant/permanent thing but temporary- in some ways see it as something I would seek but more of something to be worked at-

I would like to share an illustration, a demonstration, and a curiosity.

An illustration.

Has anyone noticed how water, in the present times tend to be accumulated in innumerable tightly closed containers, like plastic 5 to 20 Lt. bottles, or smaller ones, various food and drinks preserved for years of shelf-life? This water has been excluded, removed, from the natural cycle of exchange in the nature (as it used to be centuries ago). This is an illustration of how the "aging" and "accumulation" work together. The aging of the body is similar to this aging of the world. To free up the "locked", "enclosed" resources -- so that they can re-join the cycles of bodily exchanges -- yet another way to illustrate that at which yoga is aiming. From temporary "releases" to a more stable "freeing up".


I don't know exactly when people began to store water- But even stored water at some point will flow and it also moves about even when contained- But the point being, I think, is that present day water is contained for much longer and perhaps even under a bit of pressure- And not to mention cut off from the main body of water from where it was sourced-

After the massage today there was some release but not all- It was nice and relaxing- It appears some of my issue is build and deep tissue issues, some of which are difficult to reach- I was shown some stretches, similar to what I already do-
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby partofit22 on Thu May 11, 2017 1:36 am

flutemaker wrote:A demonstration.

May I ask anyone to please sit in their usual comfortable posture (like, for zazen) and stretch their arms in the opposite directions (straight to the right and to the left) until there is a feeling of a "string", like a bowstring, very tightly held, between the tips of the fingers of your left hand and the tips of the fingers of your right hand.

May I ask then to pay good attention to how exactly the feeling of "tightness" of the string is changing as you move along it? Is it constant? Is the string uninterrupted (continuous)? Is the feeling "fragmented"? If so, where exactly are the "gaps" (where this "tightness feeling" is missing, so that there is "no feeling"). Specifically, when passing through your chest, is there a gap?

If anyone please responds, honestly, to the best of their ability to investigate the feeling, I would continue with this one.

Meanwhile, speaking of the "congestion" in the OP in terms of "freeing up the locked/enclosed" the task is to find the right (though "indirect") means to first "approach", and "touch", and then, ideally, "open up" the enclosure ("reconnect with the rest")", and eventually free it up naturally.

Speaking of the "congestion" in the OP in terms of "fragmented string" the task is to find the right "string" (to be precise, sort of a spiderweb of strings) "drill through", and "clean up", the "fragmented" route, and then, again, "reconnect with the rest of the system".

This is yet again just very general considerations.


This will take time, like any other kind of investigation- I've not got the knowledge, confidence or willingness to work from the inside out so will begin from the outer edges and work inward- And speaking of work, I recall an exercise I think Nonin shared where one tightens target muscles as much as possible and then relax them, working from the head to the feet- Also, yes, I do have several "bow strings" and they are stubborn ..
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby partofit22 on Thu May 11, 2017 1:42 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Men's-intuition tells me
that Laughter Yoga
can be the key
to free the belly,
north or north-east
of vague vagus
or Vegas
locales.

A good long sob inspired by a good sob-story could help, too. But, it can be good to follow the long crying with a long session of laughing uncontrollably, quite out of your head.

(it might just happen regardless).

You may come out of this like a soft warm
little newborn, with nothing on your mind.

Well, this is a start. A Purification. Physical. It's thorough.

Say "Goodbye" to tangles, knots, split-ends, and snotty congestion.

--Joe

p.s. Laughter-Yoga club near you?; try, see: http://laughteryoga.org/start-free-laughter-clubs/

LYI_logo.png


As a rule, I think, movement improves every one of us just as much as sitting still and taking a rest- The key is not to quit-

There is no laughter yoga group near by- But plenty of stuff strikes me funny .. :)

Once in a while I do sit down and have a good cry- :) And I also laugh so hard that I cry-
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu May 11, 2017 1:46 am

Go safely and comfortably, Teresa.

My Dad and I were surf-fishermen in New Jersey. In early 1960s days, we found some sealed cans of drinking water which washed up on the beach at Sandy Hook from days of World War II (dates were still legible on the cans). The sea had not corroded the cans. Kudos to the US Military, for using good materials! We took the cans of water home, after fishing. I drank some, so did the Old Man. Still here to tell about it... . :lol2:

I have no superstitions about stored water.
Neither should ANYONE who drinks water from underground aquifers with hydrologic median ages like 100,000 years. :tee:

There's water in galactic nebulae which is 13-plus billion years old (say).

Amber sometimes contains drops of water, which fell during rains while the sap ran from Pine trees in prehistoric times. The water is pure, shown by spectroscopy. No superstitions there, either. Multi-million-year-old liquid water, differing not at all from "modern" -water. Why am I not surprised!? (err-r, because I am not superstitious? No. Actually, I won't say why. But, yes, that's part of it). And mostly because I have no reason to be superstitious. Nature has been, and continues to be, good to me. Tho', DAO DE JING says, "Nature treats Humanity like Straw Dogs" (fascicle 6, I think, in Bynner's transl.).

--Joe / slake your thirst confidently /stay hydrated / "It's like a DESERT out there" (here... ). /
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu May 11, 2017 1:53 am

p., T.,

partofit22 wrote:Once in a while I do sit down and have a good cry- :) And I also laugh so hard that I cry-

Bless the arisings of True Nature; tho' I'm not a good Ambassador for her / him / it. Apologies... .

It's just that we're acquainted, me and he/she/it. I think we all are... . And more and more, I hope.

--Joe
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Re: Congestion (follow up)

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu May 11, 2017 3:57 pm

Umm, I'd say that two other good things for freeing the belly-area of knots of some kinds are the following, which I know about by practice:

The form, in the Yang-family style tai chi form called "Wave Hands Like Clouds" (sometimes given as "Play Hands Like Clouds"). For this special purpose of treating the belly to some extra "working" or therapy, one can extend the number of repetitions of the movements in this form some number of times. So, instead of the three movements included in this form in the usual performance of the forms, one can keep going and do six, nine, etc. Or, ...suspend the performance of all the 40-some forms of the short-form, and perform only "Wave Hands Like Clouds" for an indefinite interval of practice, until you feel "done";

Another excellent treatment for the belly area is slow prostrations, such as taught by the late Ch'an master, Ven. Sheng Yen, and by Guo Gu, and by me. One is ever in control when one does the prostrations s-l-o-w-l-y, and does not fall under gravity, but is always using muscles to lower oneself slowly to the ground, and then raise oneself, slowly, and with smooth control. The belly is massaged on the way down, and on the way up, in a special way which is of particular lasting and growing benefit to meditators who value a very smooth breath in meditation, and throughout the day. But it also dissolves knots or asymmetries in the belly and spine. This prostration exercise must be learned from a teacher who also practices it, and then it can be practiced very helpfully. The legs, too, of course become strengthened, and very steady and relaxed.

--Joe

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is knowledge- and experienced-based only
and should not be construed as a medical diagnosis or be used in place of
a medical treatment or exam. Always consult a medical doctor regarding any
medical concerns or conditions.
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