Been dipping my toes in Chi Gong. Being an absolute newbie at it, my thoughts about it are to be taken with a pinch of salt. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m a newbie. All I know is a single static pose that I practice whenever I’m in trouble with a unexplained twinge that I can’t fix on my own, with my usual movement practice.
It’s called the 3 circle pose and I will not be posting pictures or videos of my version of it because like I said earlier… I’m an absolute newbie. Google it. Or ask someone who knows about it well enough to teach you.
But, even my newbie, infrequent practice seems to help me, so I’m compelled to write about it.
I’ve got a few theories about why it works. I’m putting them out in no particular order in order to clarify them further and discuss if possible.
Holding a static pose for a prolonged duration, in an anyone manner
– changes the lines of tension in your myofascial slings from your default areas to ones that you’re not used to.
– this change forces you to develop more body awareness (proprioception)
– the sustained hold relies on muscle tension in the beginning, as the muscle fatigues, it starts passing on that load to the fascia and tendons
– progressive loading is what strengthens the musculoskeletal system. Normally the fascia and tendons do not get loaded enough for them to progress in strength. Holding a static position (in the right way) will fix that short coming.
– the tremors towards the end of the session, where the body flickers in and out of a pose will provide that elastic , rubber band type stretch on the fascia, ligaments and tendons that will trigger them to lay down new tissue to meet a future demand of that sort.
– the rhythmic stretch that comes as the muscle approaches failure will also provide the push and pull for the extra cellular fluid to get in and out of the connective tissue and nourish it. Imagine the ebb and flow of a river through land according to seasons.
– the muscle develops the cellular machinery for sustained effort. More mitochondria, more capillaries, more stores of calcium, ATP to fuel contraction and relaxation, more fuel stores like creatine, auxiliary oxygen supply like myoglobin, all the enzymes and substrates required for smooth functioning
– it’ll teach you to become more efficient with your posture, by eliminating energy guzzling lines of tension. Those lines of tension you might not pick up in day to day life, but during a sustained hold they’ll show up and you can explore subtle changes in the alignment of your body to learn how to modify those lines of tension
– you’ll learn to arrange lines of tension symetrically. This in turn will let you offload unnecessarily overloaded limbs, joints and regions of spine
– the constant scanning of the lines of tension up and down the entire length and breadth of your body will occupy your thoughts will enough to turn this practice into meditation. Every time your mind wanders, a new line of tension will appear and it’ll pull your attention back. I find this sort of attention training very effective.
– focusing on the pressure in the soles of your feet will also improve your gait and foot architecture, even when you’re not holding the pose
– the tremors help pump lymph out of chronically unerperfused regions of the myofascial system
-the endorphin release that comes from a sustained effort helps, no doubt
-since it is a static hold, it has virtually no way of causing injury.
-I’ll be focusing on the physical practice at the moment and progress to the mental benefits as I learn to hold the pose and get into it easier and earlier
-pre fatiguing the legs is an effective technique , I think to get to the tremor stage earlier.