Anvil or Hammer


Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on February 2, 2007

I’ve been a little slow in getting this post out.

I did half, or I think half of the Tai Chi DVD last night. It has six exercises, I did three, but I think the three I did were very basic and are built upon in the next three so they may take longer. I don’t recall if I mentioned this but this particular DVD is seated positions only, it appears to be part of a larger collection that a person can buy. It’s what the library had so I thought I would give it a try. I hope to do some standing stuff another time.The first exercise was the longest, at least 5 minutes and I think approaching 10 minutes in one position.
The excercise begins in the half lotus seated position (I had trouble finding an image on the web but follow the link and look at the lower of the two pictures). I found that my hips are tight enough that I had real trouble achieving and holding this position. So my first mission is to try to do the half lotus every night for 5 to 10 minutes to try and improve my hip mobility. For the first exercise you hold your hands up like you are holding a ball in front of you at arms length but not with arms locked out. Then you sit for a while ( a few minutes) like this. After a while you begin to rotate your hands, only your hands, slowly. Another few minutes pass and you are done. While doing the exercises you use yoga type breathing, deep belly breaths through the nose.
The next pose is the same seated position but you rest your palms on your knees. Then with fairly straight arms you raise your hands to eye level and lower them. Do this for several minutes. At this point in the DVD he must have been rushed because he cuts the exercise off at four minutes and tells you that you would expect to go longer in your own training.
The last exercise I checked out  starts in the half lotus again. This time you bend your arms at the elbows and hold your palms facing each other just above your lap, a little less than shoulders width apart. Now sit. He ends this at two minutes and tells you to do at least five minutes when you do it on your own.

So far I’m surprised by the similarities to yoga. I think Tai Chi would make a good complement to yoga but neither is really substitutable for the other. Of course, I haven’t done much of either so I could be wrong. I am  hoping to finish the DVD this weekend. I’d like to work on the half lotus and lotus positions. I may try to throw in some of the other stuff. For some reason I see it as a good thing to be able to be just stock still for 10 or 20 minutes but it’s much harder than it should be for most of us.

It’s Groundhog day and Phil didn’t see his shadow so that means an early spring which means outdoor training WooHoo!! In my ramblings across the net I came across a blog entry that interested me. David Seah who writes a lot about efficiency and web stuff has a concept for Groundhog Day Resolution. The basic argument is that New Year’s is a horrible day for resolutions but today is more conducive. He then uses dates where the month and day match (today is 2/2/07 so the next is 03/03/07) to check his progress on these resolutions. I think it’s brilliant.
My Groundhog day resolution is to maintain the diet control I started this week. I made a commitment to not eat based on craving or desire but on a schedule. If I find I am truly hungry (stomach discomfort) that is an exception. Otherwise, no snacking between the gym and dinner or after dinner or between any of my other regularly scheduled meals. So far it is going well, it took me a few days to acclimate. I spent about three days just craving food more and more. I’m getting better now. I’m down for 265 at the beginning of the week to 261.2 this morning (I always weigh myself at the same time, having followed roughly the same routine up to that point).