Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recognizing tension?

In this post, I pose a question I have been dealing with lately when practicing stance (also in reaction to Rick at Wujifa's post here)...How does one recognize tension?

In Rick's blog post on the so-called "Post Turtle", it is mentioned that our friend the poor turtle cannot get down, did not get on top of the post by its own will, and can only see in the direction it has been turned. A part of me wants to believe that the turtle may always be set back down on the ground in the future (or at least set in the right direction) by a kind soul, or in the case of the student, a teacher who has already mapped the ground before him.

In very much the same way, I have a tendency to see only in the direction that I have been placed...relying too much on corrections from an instructor (medicines to find the feeling) and not thinking enough on my own...

As I write this post, I realize that we are all aiming to get certain "feelings" in the it were, that act as a GPS towards internal strength. The teacher shows the student the right feeling through various tools (1,2,3,4 1,2,3,4!) and adjustments and must receive further refinements again and again towards the right path in order to progress...Given the right tools, the student can work with whats given and play with different adjustments until that feeling is found again...what makes it stronger and what makes it weaker...

I am always amazed when my teacher tells me to release tension in certain areas that I hadn't even realized were tense...The belly, the lower back, the outside of legs, etc.! I originally intended to write this post wondering how to recognize tension in the body...But I might have stumbled upon the answer already: Playing around (ie: what can I release tension from all over the body?) until I find that burn in the legs and connection in the back (all the while holding true to the tools I have already learned...1234, 1234)!

Funny how things work out...


  1. Curiousity... Funny how daoists talk about noticing how a child breaths... I also like noticing how children learn... That is before the more rigid aspects of learning of how to earn "a grade" at school is discovered... LOL

  2. It's interesting how we get so stuck in that "grade earning" student mentality where everything must be correct and understood right away, which when utilized in stance/IMA training, is very detrimental and can lead to "dead post" standing. Thank you for pointing towards curiousity, Rick, it is something I also have problems with when practicing as I forget to relax (not forcing relaxation!) and keep that "playful" curious mentality...


  3. So I could say "Aho I'm curious... How does one do that?"

    or "I'm curious how does someone forget to relax, could you tell me more about that?"

    Then "that makes me curious, how would one notice this now... How easy it is to have keys to re-discovering how one returns to relaxing even more now, right?"

    I like silly things like this... Forgive me for playing around with this silly stuff... ;^p