<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob Ashmore:
<B>Sorry, I actually had to work at work yesterday and so was not able to get back here to complete my posting.
That particular silliness is over now and I can continue.
Funny you should mention Hula Hands...
That's one of the things I was going to talk about.
OK. Belly dancing.
One of the ladies at our Saturday morning class is a belly dancer. She has an incredible amount of flexibility and coordination and I have often envied her ability to move in ways that I would have thought the human body was not capable of doing.
My instructor made mention of the stiffness that I carry in my body from having so much hard muscle mass (under a thicker layer of body fat than I care to have, but that's a different issue). He mentioned that this lady would be able to loosen me up if I'd listen to her.
So she began to take ten minutes each week to teach me different stretches and exercises that belly dancers use to get and stay limber.
She started out showing me various stretches which allowed me to loosen up parts of my body that I didn't even think could move.
After I gained some flexibility from these stretches she began to teach me some belly dancing moves.
She started out showing me what she called "Crescent Moons" with my hips. This consists of standing in very much what looks like empty stance, toe down, and moving only the hip muscles around the hip joint.
When the ladies do it, it looks very relaxed, loose and (dare I say it?) sexy.
When I do it...
Let's just say I'm learning and we'll leave it at that.
However after a time I began to get some accumen in this movement. At least to the point where if you look at what I'm doing it has started to look like a Crescent Moon and not me trying to struggle my way out of a gunny sack...
At first I just went back and forth with each hip in, funnily enough, crescent moon shaped arcs, first up and around and then down and around. I would do these a bunch of times each day, equally in both directions, equally up then down, with each hip seperately.
Once I was doing that in at least a reasonable facsimile of what she wanted, she then taught me to do the same thing, only with both feet firmly planted on the ground. The big difference was that instead of using crescent moon shapes for each hip, I did the same motion but completed a circle with each hip. First going in one direction, then the other. Both hips moving at once.
At first this was the same total disaster that doing the Crescent Moons was. I looked like I was trying to wiggle out of that gunny sack again, only this time it was my whole body and not just one hip. I had a heck of a time isolating just my hips and the surrounding muscles and at first I got some very funny looks when I tried to do this.
Eventually, after much practice and a lot of Chi Kung to relax, I started to be able to do this silly thing.
Once I started to use only the hip area in this endeavor I began to feel a real looseness in my waist, hips and legs.
This "hip wiggling", as I've since begun to call it, has shown me the light on just how intensly stiff my hips were. I mean, it took me over a month just to be able to do the simplest version of this.
I do believe that anyone in the world would call that stiff.
From this loosening of my hips, waist, and upper legs, I have since found out how much darned EASIER it is to do TCC.
I can now use my waist as I described before on this thread to fire muscles that had previously been nearly frozen around my hip joints, which enables me to move much more freely and easily.
I have connected with muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints that I didn't even know I had and use them all together to move more correctly than I ever have before.
It's opened my eyes to a lot of what I didn't understand before in terms of hip, waist and leg coordination, which is quickly becoming whole body integration as I work on figuring all of this out.
I have since started working on loosening my shoulders and chest using the same method, Crescent Moons, with my shoulders joints instead of my hips.
Also have learned the Hula Hands that Yslim mentioned above and now my arms are beginning to articulate more clearly than I have been able to do in the past.
The major side effect of this, beyond becoming more proficient at TCC, is that I can now dance fairly well.
I've always been told that when I dance I looked very "stiff". Well...
I did and now I know why.
This has been a big eye opener for me.
One thing has lead to another with this progression for me. I began just trying to work out the meaning of the fourth essential, and ended up doing belly dances.
I think you have just discover a lost hunting treasure map with a partial operating instruction, without realizing it. This treasure is the "KUA"
If you can connecting it with your reeling silk hula hand you're talking about and soak it all in a bath of 'fang song' until you are so "relax" and "empty" and see what happen...
Wonders of Taiji realized? Maybe,
Sorry got to go find my magic wand...Practice