Did you remember the off switch?

This is another one that falls into the apparently huge category of ‘things I think I know but need regular reminders of.’

Whenever you train you leave an echo of your movements in your nervous system,  and the more intense the training the stronger the impression it leaves.  Of course the echo will be quieter than the effort that created it, so easy to overlook, but it is still there.

My reminder came during a handstand session. I was in the habit of going straight from my handstand to work on my not very good shoulder mobility.  My version of a good handstand requires a high level of tension,  and I was working against the residual tension during my mobility drills. Effectively I was locking in immobility and pain.

Fortunately I enjoy occasional flashes of common sense, and remembered to hit the off switch after each handstand.

In application this meant standing straight,  paying attention to the sensations of residual tension in my body, and using some simple breathing and attention to return to my body to a quieter more neutral state.

The result more mobility,  a better handstand line,  more pleasure in the movement and clearer balance.

Luo often talks about the need to 'reset the machine. and there are lots of methods to practice your off switch. You can find them in various qigong, yoga, meditation, and autogenic schools (and of course you will find some in my books!). 

Whatever the methods you choose it is important is that you practice them enough so that they are available quickly when you need them.

To paraphrase Timothy Leary,  ‘Turn off,  tune in, drop through’

 

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