For the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a massive increase of tension held in my body. For example, I feel a lot of tension in my shoulders and lower back. I guess the strain of being a computer worker is finally starting to take its toll on me.
More recently, I have been feeling some nerve like tension/pain in my right elbow. My right hand is my “mouse hand”, so I am assuming there is some relation there. I try to be ergonomically correct in my posture, but something just isn’t right. I’m getting more and more of these weird nerve-like pains in my body. I’m still pretty young, yet my wife makes fun of me calling me an “old man” due to all my pains and cracking joints.
What’s different in my routine? Since the workshop in March, I have cut back dramatically on doing my evening zhan zhuang sessions. At first, it was because I was tired and sore from the workshop, but over time, I just became tired and chose to do other things with my time. Additionally, some of my training emphasis has shifted and I’m not as relaxed (mentally and physically) as I used to be.
Last night, I went back to my old routine of doing sitting meditation and then some standing zhan zhuang while listening to my Liquid Mind channel on Pandora. After the 30 min session, I felt great! One of the craziest thing was during the universal post posture, I felt a surge of tingling in my right elbow. The surge was like a weird alternating current of pain and openness. I am assuming it’s just my energy trying to break through some of the blockage. The same was true for the tension in my shoulders, I could feel something tingling in those main tension spots.
After the zhan zhuang, I did the first 5 or so movements of the Yang long form as slowly as I could muster. While doing the form, my goal was to be effortless, move without tension.
Over time, I am realizing the benefits of relaxation. I know, this sounds completely strange and should be obvious, but how many of us can truly say we are relaxed? When I was younger, I did not really value the benefit of relaxation, but as I grow older with more things weighing on my mind and body, I can feel the benefits. After all, isn’t the goal of martial arts to maximize one’s energy? How can this be done with a weak body?