Fit Is Not Healthy: A Shaolin Monk’s Guide To Exceptional Wellness — shifuyanlei

A great article about a balanced approach to fitness. I have always has a similar feeling to my fitness, trying to keep a balance of all the aspects related to health as opposed to heavily focusing on a single element of it.

Brought to you by a Shaolin Monk 🙂

In the age of social media, many people train for a body they perceive looks attractive to other people. When I was training at the Shaolin Temple, we didn’t even have a camera. Nothing was documented. We trained to conquer our mind and body and become the best we could in our chosen art form. Since […]

via Fit Is Not Healthy: A Shaolin Monk’s Guide To Exceptional Wellness — shifuyanlei

I am not a Robot

I think the most frustrating things I have had to deal with lately is the finding out that I have limits.

I have never been a fan of working within constraints, or even acknowledging them.. I have always generally just ignored them so that I could prove they were arbitrary things created by fear of failure, or some other rationalization. To find the constraints that are actually hard wired in to my system\environment and that I have very little control over is rather frustrating.

I know that rest is JUST as important as training. Rest allows the body to absorb the training and gives the mind a much needed break to process things. I guess, since I AM studying tai chi, I should think about it with the idea of yin and yang, one must have a similar amount of the two in order to achieve balance. Too much of one or the other will lead to an unstable structure and will eventually cause the system to fail.

So i guess that is why on an early rainy morning in san francisco I find found myself sleeping in and sitting on the couch writing :). Begrudgingly…. but only a little bit.

It can be difficult to interpret all the signals that are going on in the body\mind. For instance, as I sit here, there are two distinct voices in my head;

Voice 1: “Get up, practice! Dont be a lazy ass, you wont get ANYWHERE if you just sit here. There is too much for you to learn to have a rest day”

Voice 2: “Dude, just chill out. Wednesday and Friday are your rest days.”

But, those are just the aspects in my mind. There is also another level I am learning to listen to  in order to help me make these decisions. I am trying to listen to my body. Right now my body is telling me it is really enjoying time to be settled and relaxing on the couch. Its telling me I have been changing its structure a TON lately and it needs a breather.

Its not just laziness…it’s a feeling deep in my muscles and bones. Its mostly coming from the knees, hips and lower back. They are telling me they definitely need a break. So I am not going to push them. They are the pretty much the most important parts of my body and I should probably ease off them when they start to grumble and creak.

They will be ready to go after a bit of rest and my mind will enjoy wandering a bit and exploring some of the lessons that have been passed on through the week.

So, rest up body. Tomorrow we are going to work on those limits you seem to have.

Todays practice:

  • Nada-damn-thing!


Vacation Brain

Second day back of relaxing. Forced myself to sleep longer than normal, even though the animals were trying their best to get my lazy ass up. It was fan-damn-tastic.

Did some more consideration of what my schedule is going to look like in the future.

I am thinking that Wednesday and Friday nights are going to be my relaxing days. They are the most free for chilling and should be enough to let me decompress and relax a bit, just have to be sure to allow myself to not DO anything.

Sundays I am going to start to get hiking back in there as well. Nothing like some fresh air to clear the head, plus my dog wouldn’t hate me as much :).

During the weekday I am going to alternate my practice in the mornings between jogging(TBD), Hunyuan Qigong, and Tai chi practice (of varying intensity). I will include meditation when it feels right and shoot for about 30 minutes when I do it. During the days I will cycle off days with push-ups, pull ups and squats. I will alternate those three exercises during the week so some weeks I will do legs twice… Etc.

Writing it out makes it look like a lot… I may need to revisit it later and write it in a scheduled form so I can see it all together. The idea will be to keep the energy level up during the week but still get some good practice and exercise in allowing for deeper intensity while practicing.

I have advanced Tai Chi tonight, it will be my first class back and I am both excited and nervous. I really want to drive back in but I have a fear of burning out as well. I hope that I can find a routine that allows me to go as intense as I want to but still be able to rest… There is so much to learn, I just need to step back and accept that I can’t run as hot as I have been and not burn out.

Today’s Practice:

We had a light practice as we were all relatively low energy for the late class.

  • 1.5 hours Advanced Tai Chi (24 form x 2 and once through the 83)

The Brain, Unplugged

Ok. So it turns out I do need some down time.

I took the last 3 days off of anything Tai chi and went up to visit some friends. It was good to give my brain a rest. I realized I got kind of caught up in all the things I needed to learn and was trying to cram it all in to every possible crevice.

Unstructured time is important, I have to remind myself yet again,  keeps me sane and just gives my brain a break.  Going to make sure I fit more of that in going forward so I don’t burn myself out.

The rest of the week is going to be pretty laid back. Going to ease back in slowly so I don’t completely ruin the vacation  brain I still have going on. I will spend most of the week figuring out what the proper balance is to achieve the level of training I want,  as well as keeping myself some down time.

Today’s practice:
not a damn thing.

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