Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Zen of Z?

At 6am this morning, it's still dark, but from my hotel room, i can hear the sounds of the ocean, geese migrating, and seals calling out to each other.

In the dark, but happily much warmer room than back in the UK, i'm up and moving slowly into the Z r and i phase drills. Many of the i phase moves are newish variants on the r phase - they require attention of me right now, focus; while some of the r phase drills i feel i'm getting, in my body. There is a rhythm to them.

The thing is, it's interesting to have this time, to take these moments and be able to listen, listen, listen within the form of the movement - not having to worry first thing about pushing my body to deal with weight, reps or cycles but most particularly on form. There's something really cool about that kinda micro "ah ha" when something zones in. There are parallels in other movements, whether yoga or a swing or whatever when all the elements connect. It reminds me of playing with a band, and you're all jamming but totally in the zone, and there's the big finish together. Bam. it locks in.

There is a difference here from say holding a yoga posture in perfect balance: there is a constant balance between effort of holding oneself in balance - working those muscles - and maintaining form. In these z movements, there is far less emphasis on balance - indeed, hold a chair if that helps maintain tall spine - and focus on feeling the movement. Speeds become a way of exploring awareness rather than weight.

Anyway, there, in the dark, getting some things; having to focus and explore and figure out others, it was nice just to have that time for my self. if i can carry that calm into the rest of my day, wouldn't that be a nice thing, too?

Hope you will find a way to make some space for yourself today, too.


Hannah said...

R-phasing for me, is still balancing within an external locus of control. The holding on to something other than my innate and its accompanying balance, enables me to emphasize my balance.

Holding onto a right-sized chair helps my effort remain secure and prepared. Then I can receive help with focus.

To get the and into zone, I do need a rhythm. To zone in balance, listening is the antecedent for me. It doesquiet me down with my breathes. I can listen, I just can't aware the focus.

I can maintain my length. My tall spine. The reaching, up with relaxed shoulders, through neutral, and gently pulling my spine by the nape of my neck into crown can get me focused on feeling. I can own the movement and I like that, when I am not tight. It is contentment.

I think I am still exploring and working weight and therefore can only relax in Z when my exploration uses my own constant balance. I vacillate help/self-help.

But I'm still continuing to work outside myself, replacing a lack of awareness by using a detached sensory system; Fight or I flight. Both lead me from my effort and I wind up exploring that which I already know.

Varying my rate with discernment in the drills can pull that internal locus inward, and I do enjoy vacillating the slow, standard, and fast. When I do get a sense of high awareness, it is just from that I already know.

I would like to own the R-Phase drills, so I don't work them as drills. Besides being able to modify Z-templates, is there another way to accentuate a template to increase awareness, and therefore constant balance? Six days a week?

Franz Snideman said...

Great post MC! I agree that taking the time to just listen to your body while moving is rare but essential. I sometimes will just focus on doing one to three shoulder circles as slow as I can. What a difference it makes, not only in movement quality but in "calming" the sympathetic nervous system.

Hope you are well!

mc said...

Thanks for posting folks.
And franz, yes, remarkable and all too rare to slow it down. eye opening.
best to you...


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