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In The Zone

Discussion in 'Spiritual and Mental Well Being' started by BurtMeister3000, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    Have you ever had days where everything seems to go your way, you seem to exert little to no effort to accomplish your goals, where you read your opponent and are on the ball. You may have heard people say they are "in the zone", when everything just seems to go right for them and they can't seem to miss. This is a state of mind and body, a unification of the two where you don't have to muscle your way, you are relaxed and your body just seems to cooperate with your will. The good news is this can be recreated at will, but may require a little patience.

    The exercise which I'm about to describe is useful for more than just physical activity, I have found it a source of strength in dark times, when there are pressures from exams, job interviews or whatever the external interference or turbulence you experience, it will give you balance and a new source of strength and courage if you practice the four basic principles. This is an exercise that I discovered from my Aikido practice, specifically Aikido with mind body coordinated (Shin shin toitsu do).


    The Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body.

    1) Keep One Point
    2) Relax Completely
    3) Keep Weight Underside
    4) Extend Ki

    1) Keep One Point - Refers to the lower abdomen, specifically an area approximately two to four inches below the navel and a few inches within. This area roughly corresponds to the physical centre of gravity, so by settling your mind there you can be sure to be balanced in whatever activities you engage. It is difficult to maintain this point at first, but with practice, your connection to your centre can become more concrete. Relaxed, easy breathing from this point can help gather ones focus.

    2) Relax Completely is self explanatory, to "reach" into the centre, one needs to be completely relaxed and one cannot be fluid and responsive or on the ball if you are tense.

    3) Keep Weight Underside - This again is very similar to relaxing completely, it simply puts that your weight should be down, relaxed and sunk into your trunk, not kept tight and locked in your chest like a body builder on show, or Frankenstein's monster rigid and top heavy. It ensures well balanced, relaxed motion that isn't overcommitted and may change direction like the wind.

    4) Extend Ki - Ki refers to energy, problems always occur when trying to describe this as how do you best describe energy? Here they refer to the energy of the universe, of life if you will. All they mean here is being relaxed enough, with your weigh down and your mind present, letting this energy flow through your body unimpeded by tension or your mind.

    These are the four basic principles, not one of them may be missing, if you have one then you have them all, so if your struggling with one, try a slightly different approach, try one of the others and you may have more success.

    In Aikido they had several tests to ensure this unification, one of which was called "the unbendable arm". This was a slightly curved arm from which all techniques are performed, the arm itself is relaxed, but the analogy they use is like a fire hose with high pressure water gushing through it is extremely strong and extremely difficult to bend.

    The following link may clarify further.

    http://villaricaaikido.com/Shinshin.php
     
  2. PapaNino

    PapaNino Member

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    Thanks for the link. My dojo, part of a cultural program, dissolved years ago and I haven't found a fitting place to study since. I miss training with others.

    I remember how my sensei would needle me when I would come to study after having been at the gym and focusing on upper body. It took me far too long to make the connection that strength didn't lie in any particular muscle group but in balance and fluidity around the core.
     
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  3. Mebs

    Mebs Active Member

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    I hear I know a place where you can grow that ;)
     
  4. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    I came across this vid. Mentions some similar exercises, but suggests focusing on the chest. Worth a watch! Little boring to begin though.

     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    MrSpock likes this.