My first post here. I'd like to ask help for my problem. I know beginners stiffness and learning to be soft is a question often asked. But I have never found a thread concerning exactly my problem. Also the teachers and students I've been working with have been friendly and listened to me...but somehow I feel I'm missing something 'cause I still feel very lonely and confuced with my problem.
So here it comes...hands up, if as a beginner, you felt that doing the form was torture for you? I've done different martial arts, some harder, some softer. I found TCC about 3 years ago, but changed school two times (Yang all the time), and had long breaks in between. But in no other art, has the solo practice of form got me so jammed, feeling so stiff and unhealthy after training. It's frustrating because I sometimes don't know should I bravely continue, face the problems...and believe that they will be gone...or admit that I have some bodily issues that aren't going to go away by simply training. I need faith.
It doesn't necessarily take more than practicing 2-5min of cloud hands or doing the opening move that I already feel how my forehead is getting tense, pulling my eyebrowns down, having a weird kind of pressure feeling all over my head (especially temple), feeling stiff around neck, having a feeling of the muscles around my spine and chest pressing everything together, making breathing and standing pretty hard while the lower back also being very tense.
Now this doesn't happen at all when practicing tuishou & applications with a partner. Also never happened in any other art I've done. Same problem when I'm doing other solo exercices like Qi Gong...but over 10 years ago when training Choy Lee Fut, I never had the problem with their Qi Gong exercises...many times I try to explain my feelings to other practitioners...they kinda say they get me...but leaving me feeling that they haven't actually gone through what I've been going. I'd feel happier and more motivated if somebody said "Dude, been there done that...it'll go away by just doing it!" or something...
I have a lot of bodily issues when walking, standing in everyday life. Kinda the same places of my body remind me of themselves, but after practicing TCC...they get monstrious. I didn't practice at all for three weeks, I was tired, busy and finishing a school. Now that I have time again I did some cloud hands and the first part of Yang form. Kinda felt good after it, because I always get excited when I have a connection to my body (any kind, also negative it seems), but also my forehead afterwards and right now, typing this message is reminding me that somethings wrong...I also fear that having such tensions in the upper body, neck and head leads to less oxygen and blood flowing to brain...only a theory but one that worries me.
I find TCC an excellent fighting art and the form absolutely beautiful. I love the idea of calming my mind while doing it regularly and the bodily sensations practicing it might produce. These are the reasons that I really wouldn't want to give up, a thought coming to me mind more often than I'd wish.
What to do? I know I'm a very stressed person, working on it...and stressed mind = tension, the way I see it. I must have some alignement issues preventing my body from being relaxed. I do try to pay attention to having my face, shoulders etc relaxed and finding the "sitting" posture and getting the movement to flow from my center. I do have some short moments when practicing the form that it's all fine, everything flows and moves in harmony (I guess), without any noticable tension. These moments are very very short, usually leading to these tension problems again. Should I simply meditate? Is my mind the issue here?
The days that I don't practice, are the days I feel less tension and then I'm more active doing the regular things in life (friends, music I like to produce etc), makes this issue difficult because on those days I fear practicing, kinda like being afraid that the rest of the day is all bodily tension...which then of course also affects my wellbeing. I do feel that there's some progress when I actively train, but often I feel confuced that am I really doing progress..how should I say, one step forward...and more then few steps back sometimes.
I eat pretty healthy, a vegetarian diet and don't drink heavily etc. I'm pretty flexible coming from other arts and I'm satisfied with my aerobic and muscular endurance. I've gone to professionals (osteopaths etc), without any significant help. I understand that it is very difficult for you people to give me help, without seeing my posture etc...but I felt like asking this isn't going to do harm anyway so here I am.
I'm open for suggestions,
and very grateful for any comments,
thank you for listening.