Locking up after holding postures

5 replies [Last post]
Cameron Burnett
Last: 5 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 7 Aug 2011

Perhaps the answer to this is different depending on what you're doing so I thought I'd post it in the general section.

If I stand for a long time or hold a posture for a long time I generally feel fine but eventually dwindle away. At that point if it's been a while since moving I lock up any muscles I've been using in a painful cramp, even if while standing they generally feel quite relaxed. For example I just did San Ti for about 20 mins on one leg and I can hardly move my left arm as its not used to anything like that. It was absolutely fine until the moment I stopped.

I note that when Bruce trained with Wang Shu Jin he fell many times and had to be picked up so I'm thinking it's not all bad.

Thoughts?

Dan Kleiman
dan.kleiman@brooklinetaichi.org's picture
Last: 28 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Hi Cameron, Having just gone

Hi Cameron,

Having just gone through a period of building up my standing practice to much longer than I ever had before, I have a couple of thoughts.

First, I definitely encountered some of this along the way. Early on (in a Hold the Ball or Embrace the Tree) posture, I would get some pretty rough aching and soreness in my neck on one side. As it kept up, I ended up spreading out the stands, so I would stand for 3 or 5 days in one week, including rest days in between. That definitely got rid of the muscles soreness, without compromising the cumulative building of chi from consistent practice.

When I started the project of building up my time (20 minutes to 2 hours in 100 days), I decided to add a minute each day. I also set a baseline that I could comfortably achieve.

Sounds like you make a big jump to 20 minutes (not easy with San Ti at all!)?

While I knew there would be physical adjustments, I had become familiar with internal resistance and nervous system burnout in previous practice periods, so I promised myself that if I ever ran into an "energetic wall" with the practice, I would back off. Fortunately, between rest days and the one-minute increments, this never happened!

Let me know if that makes sense. I'd be curious to hear how shorter sessions feel for you.
Dan

Cameron Burnett
Last: 5 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
I feel more tension towards

I feel more tension towards the beginning and as I let go, open, lengthen, I feel less tension and especially less loading on the legs to the point where eventually it feels pretty good. In that sense its deceptive as I could go from feeling good, then move, and my muscles clamp down and be sore for hours at the flick of a switch.

Would you say that it's related to nervous system burnout that causes this? How would you explain what's happening physically?

Dan Kleiman
dan.kleiman@brooklinetaichi.org's picture
Last: 28 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 22 Sep 2010
I think "nervous system

I think "nervous system burnout" is a big shutdown that would keep you from practicing at all...

Given that you're having such strong after-effects of practicing, something in the practice method needs to change (even if you go through pleasant sensations while you practice). Without seeing what you're doing, much more than that is hard to say.

However, I would run the "less is more" experiment and find a standing time that doesn't produce the muscle lockdown you're describing. 1 minute? 5 minutes? That will be your baseline and you can gradually build from there. That's the water method approach. ;-)

Cameron Burnett
Last: 5 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Thanks Dan. I did 5 minutes

Thanks Dan. I did 5 minutes per leg and it was fine. Only had the normal muscle fatigue while doing it and nothing abnormal afterwards. Will go from there as you suggested.

Dan Kleiman
dan.kleiman@brooklinetaichi.org's picture
Last: 28 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Cool! Let us know how it

Cool! Let us know how it goes. I was shocked how, adding a minute a day didn't feel like much on any given day, but after 3 weeks, there I was +20 minutes. That kept happening....slow and steady!

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