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zenLara

✦ Adamantium Legend ✦ ... not another cyborg story...

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22 hours ago, Waanie said:

Nice challenge :). What/Why are you doing with the ice for hands and feet? Is the idea to get all your blood to your centre?

 

Glad that your neck is fine again :).

Neck is not totally ok, but I can work from this place I'm now.

Ice for hands and feet is just a part of the Wim Hof method that I'm using to toughen up my system a bit, and to improve blood circulation, which in the case of my feet is terrible.

 

7 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

What does the yoga nidra meditation look like?

You lie down comfortably and follow the instructions, which are mainly: setting an intention about something you want to bring into your life, and then following a relaxation process that includes a body scan, observation of breathing, and visualisation, and then in this deep relaxed state you come back to your intention. The idea is to put your body and mind in a state where they are more receptive regarding the effect of that intention (they call it sankalpa).

It is supposed to have plenty of benefits (improve sleep, reduce stress and depression, better connection with yourself, clear mind, easier way to achieve what you want in your life, and what not), but I can't vouch for them. What I've noticed is that no other meditation or relaxation exercise makes me go this deep and feel so good, which is probably more a personal preference than a proven benefit. I've read that people that become experts in this type of meditation are able to use it to substitute sleep, claiming that 1 hour of yoga nidra equals 4 hours of regular sleep, but to be honest it seems quite unbelievable to me.

About the effect of the intentions you set, I'm not sure by now. When I used an affirmation such as "I'm free when I move" for a while, there was a clear peak in my physical activity and my motivation and energy to work on that during that period. Now I'm using something like "I'm present in the moment" and I'd say the effect is not as noticeable. I also used an affirmation about self-confidence and didn't seem to work. Either the first intention I used was influenced by some placebo effect, or these ones are not working so clearly because they target aspects of my life that are harder to change or run deeper, I wouldn't know.

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17 hours ago, zenLara said:

 About the effect of the intentions you set, I'm not sure by now. When I used an affirmation such as "I'm free when I move" for a while, there was a clear peak in my physical activity and my motivation and energy to work on that during that period. Now I'm using something like "I'm present in the moment" and I'd say the effect is not as noticeable. I also used an affirmation about self-confidence and didn't seem to work. Either the first intention I used was influenced by some placebo effect, or these ones are not working so clearly because they target aspects of my life that are harder to change or run deeper, I wouldn't know.

Interesting. Maybe it's easier to somehow visualize free movement, than being confident or present?

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6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Interesting. Maybe it's easier to somehow visualize free movement, than being confident or present?

The part on the visualization itself is not directly related to the intention you're setting. It's more like a sequence of images you try to picture in your mind, such as a candle, a tree, a boat, a river... But it's true that when setting an intention it's easier both to find words and to feel as more specific something that is an action, like being active, than something that is so vague as being self-confident, so that probably adds to the problem. Maybe I could experiment with more detailed intentions such as "I'm confident when I'm at my workplace", or "I'm present with my emotions", or "I always stop and think before giving an answer". Might be worth to give it a try to this last one, haha.

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Ah right I see. I like the rephrasings like "I always stop and think before giving an answer", maybe it will work better if it's at least clear in your head what it means. Or it was a coincidence when it did work. :P It still sounds like a worthwhile practice!

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Yesterday was a tough day for me at work. Shouldn't have been that hard if it weren't because of my anxious mind, and in the end it made me sleep like crap and to forget doing parts of my morning routine today. Almost noon when I realised I had not meditated or worked on my mobility minute.

My problem is I'm taking some things personally, things that my rational mind knows are not at all like my emotional mind is seeing them. That my ability to anticipate -negatively- is disproportionate is not helping either.

I'm so tired from the stress yesterday that the only thing I want to do is to go back to bed and sleep the whole day.

 

On a different note, some time ago I bought a couple of gelatin jars that have been hopelessly waiting for me to use them. Decided to give them a try after they reappeared in one of my decluttering moments and I've been taking it everyday in the morning for 2 weeks now. I can't be sure that what is happening is caused by it, but some things are changing. First of all, my hair has almost stopped falling out. I've been losing hair like forever, and I'm not talking about a little bit, but losing it by the handful, and for the past year it seemed to be worsening (my boyfriend always says he's surprised I'm not bald by now). I always thought it was because of my anxiety levels, but now I'm suspecting some nutrient defficiency, because while I'm still losing some, it is definitely not the same amount of hair, and it also seems to stay clean for a bit longer. Then, my dreams have suddenly become very intense, although not necessarily disturbing. Third, my guts are sooooo much better. Will need to test it for longer, but looks promising.

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On 10/11/2019 at 6:05 PM, zenLara said:

First of all, my hair has almost stopped falling out

Keep us updated on how this goes.  I have been losing hair a lot recently too, and Ghostess keeps joking that I am already half bald :D 

 

Boo on the work drama

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On 10/7/2019 at 1:12 PM, zenLara said:

Yoga nidra 5/7

WH breathing 8/7

Cold shower 7/7

Mobility 7/7

Breakfast 7/7

Icelandic 6/7

Music practice 8/7

Ice for hands and feet 2/7

Staying with feelings 6/7

Challenge seems to be going as expected. Adding icelandic to my morning routine was a wise choice because in the end discipline and schedule have done more than motivation.

Forgot about the ice baths for a while, but retook them this weekend. I think it would work better for me if I used music practice as a trigger, so the moment I finish and put away my flute I would go and fill the washbowl. In the end, every habit should be the trigger of the next one, except for the last one that happens at night.

Probably will upgrade mobility goal to 2 3* minutes a day since the first week went so well.

 

*Turned out I was counting my seconds so slowly that I was already doing 2 minutes. Using a clock from now on.

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Nice! I'm sure you mentioned this a long time ago, but can you remind me what you get out from the ice baths for the hands and feet? :) 

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46 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Nice! I'm sure you mentioned this a long time ago, but can you remind me what you get out from the ice baths for the hands and feet? :) 

Pain. Huge amounts of pain.

And better blood circulation. Apparently that too.

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Again I stopped reading, and apparently this time it is because I feel blocked about which books to read first, and have plenty of doubts about some of the books being worthy of the time invested. So I'll leave it to fate: I'll make a list, number each book and then let a number generator decide which one I'm reading.

I'm adding this to my 1-year goals, hoping I'll be able to finish the list in that time (19 books).

So, let's see... first book is going to be... number 2. Dawkins. Ok, let's go.

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On 10/12/2019 at 4:01 PM, WhiteGhost said:

Keep us updated on how this goes. 

2 mornings in a row where I've got up from bed and there were no hairs on my pillow. Today I washed my hair and also no hair in the towel after using it to dry it. Still, I usually use my fingers to untangle it after drying it, and there were some hairs in my hands afterwards as usual. Mixed results, but there's still hope.

Dreams continue to be intense, guts are behaving. Face black spots, that got reduced to the area of the sides of the nose after my switching to a more or less paleo diet, seem to be disappearing from there too, but it might be to soon to affirm it's because of the gelatin.

It's totally weird, considering I bought it to help me build more muscle, ha.

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Yesterday was a quite frustrating day at the gym. The main topic were abs, with some preparation exercises I could do, but followed by some ring inversions I could not even try :( 

The basic one was this:

Resultado de imagen de exercise straddle mount

That then had to develop to a full inverted hang still only on one ring.

It wasn't only that I couldn't even reach the first position, it's that I was the only one struggling with it, while the rest of the group was happily holding their inverted hang and pushing up and down to pike, to straddle, and back. Even more frustrating was that the trainer (the owner is again travelling, I miss him so much) spent her whole time helping improve people that could already do it, without even taking a glimpse to my corner. When I approached her to ask for some advice, she only got this for me: "keep trying, it will come".

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I'll try to find exercises for you tomorrow (please remind me in case I forget!) but for now I'll just say that it's extremely normal to struggle with this. In fact, for most people their first unassisted invert is a huge milestone, be it pole or aerial! So please keep in mind that you're training with some very strong people. And even for strong people inverts are a struggle before they learn the technique. While I highly question the teacher's methods - at least I will agree in the sentiment that it will come. :) 

 

I don't know how you were instructed, but one thing to keep in mind is that there are progressions. Tuck invert + bent arm is the easiest, then straight legs + bent arms, followed by straight arms and tuck and lastly straight arms and straight legs. This is a progression that can take a very long time, years even! There are many supporting exercises, but for all progressions the most effective method is negatives. Get into the position in any way, be it by kicking, jumping, putting one leg on the hoop before tipping back, or with a partner assist, then lower down as slowly as you can. This will both build strength and teach you the mechanics of the move. It doesn't have to be on a hoop (or do you do it on gymnastics rings, I couldn't quite tell?) but you can do it on a bar outside, or even a pole - the mechanics is very similar. Floor exercises can help too, but unfortunately only to a certain degree as a lot of the move has more to do with mechanics than strength.

 

Anyways, I'll get back to you, in the meantime don't despair! :) It's not an easy move, but it's a lot of fun once you'll get the hang of it. Which is just a question of time and practice.

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

In fact, for most people their first unassisted invert is a huge milestone, be it pole or aerial! So please keep in mind that you're training with some very strong people. And even for strong people inverts are a struggle before they learn the technique

Well, this already makes me feel better. Everybody seem to be doing it so easily, and I was there feeling like an idiot trying to get up on my ring (we're using a ring, not a hoop). 

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

I don't know how you were instructed, but one thing to keep in mind is that there are progressions

We used floor progressions, mainly variations of the L-sit, assisted (a partner slightly holding your heels), and then we practiced it over boxes trying to swing backwards and forwards. We also did the plow pose with a partner putting weight on our feet when coming back to a laying position. But then, no progressions in the ring, "just do this". 

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

Tuck invert + bent arm is the easiest

I don't think I can even do that one. It's like my brain doesn't understand which muscles should I use to get my legs over my head.

 

1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

but you can do it on a bar outside

I definitely not trust my home bar for this, and I'm still undecided regarding the bar in the park, because of all those hundreds of windows looking at it :/

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Decided to go outside and take a walk in the countryside despite the menacing dark clouds. It ended up being a very nice time, and the drizzle only made it more enjoyable. Wandered around the fields for about 1 hour, scared a couple of does, and run part of my way back to the car, about 10 minutes. I haven't run in about 3 months, so I'm pretty happy with my sensations.

 

One of the goals for my music practice was that I would try to work on an etude for a couple of weeks, 3-4 if it is a very difficult one, and past this time, I would record it and upload it somewhere no matter if it was not perfect. This was to avoid the problem of never finishing anything, since the combination of the lack of a deadline and my perfectionism make me drag on each etude for months. Now, two weeks have elapsed, and the etude is more or less ready, but I keep thinking I can still improve some areas, only to delay the uploading, when if I'm objective I'll admit that those areas will improve, but later, when I have worked on those aspects with some other materials. As is always said: practice today, wait 6 months for improvement to arrive. I'll try not to sabotage my own goals and will upload it tomorrow.

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On 10/19/2019 at 3:46 PM, zenLara said:

Well, this already makes me feel better. Everybody seem to be doing it so easily, and I was there feeling like an idiot trying to get up on my ring (we're using a ring, not a hoop). 

You should definitely not feel like an idiot! The teacher should've been helping you. How high were the rings? I'd suggest keeping it the ring at about head height, that way you can try hop into it, or get a bit of extra momentum by swinging your leg. It's also fine to put a foot on the ring on the hoop, and then push with the foot to tip your hips backward. To begin with of course. 

 

On 10/19/2019 at 3:46 PM, zenLara said:

I don't think I can even do that one. It's like my brain doesn't understand which muscles should I use to get my legs over my head.

That's absolutely fine. I just wanted to mention it in case you're trying to do it with straight arms which is much, much harder.

 

This video series breaks down the hip movement. On rings it's easier to get into it in a sort of froggy tuck, so you'd make a diamond shape with your legs  before extending into a straddle.

 

 

Here are more exercises, especially the ones at the 7 minute mark are useful. The whole video is a bitch to get through though! At least for my shitty endurance. :P 

 

 

If you can find a pole, or a sturdy piece of furniture to grab onto, or a book case where you can wedge your hands underneath the flag exercises in the middle of the video are great

 

 

Hope this helps. :) 

 

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47 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

I'd suggest keeping it the ring at about head height

I think it was maybe a bit too low, then.

First vid seems useful, probably will help me to understand which things need to move, because I was at a total loss.

Second vid looks great, I'll give it a try as soon as I can and check whether I die or not. The exercise on minute 7 was indeed one of those we practiced, only that we did it with our legs together, and then we also did it to the sides to end up doing backward rolls.

I guess I could find a way to practice those flags. Ohmygod the last ones! I'll probably stay on the first two options :D 

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to look up all this for me <3

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18 minutes ago, zenLara said:

I think it was maybe a bit too low, then.

Well maybe, you'll have to play around with it. :) For me it's the most comfortable because I can have a pretty straight body while being able to lock in my arms initially, rather than having to start with a pull-up. Having to bend my knees makes it feel awkward for some reason, but that might just be me.

 

20 minutes ago, zenLara said:

 Second vid looks great, I'll give it a try as soon as I can and check whether I die or not. The exercise on minute 7 was indeed one of those we practiced, only that we did it with our legs together, and then we also did it to the sides to end up doing backward rolls.

The one thing it doesn't show is the timing aspect, of when to tip and when to straighten the arms. But it's at least something to do in your home. :) 

 

21 minutes ago, zenLara said:

 I guess I could find a way to practice those flags. Ohmygod the last ones! I'll probably stay on the first two options :D 

Oh yeah, it's super hard!! :D 

 

22 minutes ago, zenLara said:

Thank you very much for taking the time to look up all this for me <3

No problem! Thanks for making me play around on my rings. :lol:

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It took more courage than I expected but I uploaded the etude to soundcloud as a public track. The recording itself was already a challenge, since my mind started to bomb me with thoughts about "now this has to sound perfect", "no mistakes allowed now", and all that shit, and that made playing more difficult since it constantly reduced my focus and generated some anxiety. Of course it wasn't going to sound perfect, because one of the rules for this was to avoid perfectionism and to force myself to accept a good result instead of getting stuck over the same half page for a year, since perfection never arrives. Still, it was quite a fight.

I let my boyfriend listen to it, and while he considered the result wasn't bad, he pointed out some problems that I hadn't even considered, so it was a bit frustrating. He also disliked the quality of the recording because for convenience I decided to record it with my phone instead of using the recorder and he says it's a bit sloppy.

 

Then, zenhabits suggested today that I go through something uncomfortable to prove myself I can stay with the discomfort, and since my mobility habit is the opposite of uncomfortable, I thought I could share my etude link here and then try to stay with the feelings caused by my action without letting my mind go wild with all kind of self-destructive thoughts about the recording.

 

In case you actually want to listen to it, a warning for non musicians: it is not a piece of music, but an exercise, so don't expect to listen to something beautiful. Think of it as an abs workout, rather than an acrobat's exhibition.

Berbiguier 1

 

Ok, it has taken me more than 10 minutes to click submit reply, but it's done.

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In a supreme effort to feel definitely uncomfortable today, I decided to write an e-mail to BigGuy, with the intention of retaking my lessons now that economy is less tight. My intention was to write the message (uncomfortable enough, to be honest) and let it rest a bit until I got courage enough to send it, but I accidentaly pressed the send button when I was about to save it as a draft and now it's done. My brain mmediately switched to an excited/frightened mood.

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