Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Improving Tennis as a chance to move toward enlightenment

I am writing a second book, this one of 108 ways to live a more fit,
awake and healthy life.

(link to book one, contents and eight sample chapters, above)

In it there are tips on eating in a different pattern
and a more healthy kind of food.

There are a progression of meditations and movement games,
all with the idea of "getting fit" with as little over effort,
and as much conscious and awakened effort as possible.

The main thrust of this new book, and the one
already written is:
we have two choices: Mindful Living or Mindless.
One is amazing. The other, no matter how well programmed,
eventually grows stale and turns our life in a pseudo-life.

I highly recommend reading the eight sample lessons,
and doing one a day
and then buying to book and for 108 days
spend the ten minutes trying out something "new and now"
in the worlds of
emotional learning,

So, the following tennis "games"
are just incidentally to improve your tennis,
and will surely be included as a chapter later in
this new Fitness as an Enlightenment Game
Here goes:

Get a couple of small rocks that weigh just a little more
than your tennis racket, and have the rocks different enough
in weight so that your brain notices which hand is holding the
heavier rock when you are holding both.

This isn't necessary to get started,
but will add a lot to the exercise (that isn't "exercise")
over the long run.

Stand as if to hit a right handed forehand.

Except make a backswing with both arms.
If you have the rocks, fine, use them the second
time through this.

Make your backswing with both arms,
and then make a forehand swing with your right arm
and a backhand swing with your left.

But more like this,
just swing the arms from your right side to your left
and gently
and paying attention to each arm,
it's weight and shape and place in space.

Come back, with both arms parallel,
and repeat this motion,
two more times, eyes closed to "feel" in
the "sense yourself" way
how you do this.

according to Moshe Feldenkrais:
unless we can do something at least three
ways, we are a slave,
so let's give ourselves seven variations of this
two armed swing.

1. As we swing the arms right to left,
we notice and deliberately shift our weight from right to left foot.
Coming back the weight shifts left to right foot.

2. As we swing the arms R to L,
we keep our weight on the back (R) foot the whole time.
Going and coming.

Wait, you might not know this, if you aren't in the Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel worlds.
Take a sweet rest between each variation. Stand easy, arms down. If you have the rocks, drop them. Close your eyes. Feel the "you-ness" of you in the moment.
Notice any changes in body ease or overall organization
in each rest.
The rests are for your brain and your soul and your fitness.
Take them.

3. As we swing the arms R to L,
we keep our weight on the front (L) foot the whole time.


4. As we swing the arms R to L,
we shift our weight in opposite directions:
to wit, we start with the weight on the front foot,
and as we swing to the L, we shift our weight to the back, R, foot.
And as we "come back" we shift our weight from the back, R, foot,
to the front, L, foot.


5. This gets a little complicated.
Read and "think" this in your mind.
"Thinking" as a practice,
rather than the mislabled babbling to either speech or "words in our head"
(monkey chatter as the meditators of a certain stripe call it),
thinking is sadly undeveloped.
start with the arms spread, L arm out to the L,
R arm back as if in the backswing of a forehand shot,
as you "swing" forward with the R hand,
swing "back" with the left hand.

One arm will chose to, and have to, go over the other.
Notice this.
For four times do whatever you picked.
and then the next four shift whatever arm is on top.

Notice: how are you shifting your weight
as you do this?

Are you tensing your jaw or your breathing,
or rushing through this?


This variation can be done
in all four of the above combinations of weight shift.


6. As we swing the arms R to L, in the beginning style,
and shifting weight "normally" R to L,
moving the chest in the opposite way.
Figure this out.
Go slow.
This is thinking without words.
Both arms go R to L,
the chest each way goes opposite the arms.

Do the weight shift as "normal" but have awareness of the weight
in each foot,
as well that you notice when the weight is 50-50.


7. Let the L arm do what it normally does in a forehand.
Bring your R arm back
and play with these eight variations:
4 variations of the weight shift:
(R to L, all R, all L, L to R)
as you make the right handed swing.

How does that make 8?

In each of the above,
do sometimes your chest the same way the
arm is moving,
sometimes opposite.


7b: Do a right handed forehand as easily
and smoothly as you can,
not particularly "thinking" about
how you are doing in,
but hugely AWAKE AND AWARE to the sensations from finger tips
to toes,
spine ribs pelvis and all else,
sense yourself as you make as easy a swing
and as aware a swing
and as pleasurable a swing

And, start the book, a segment a day,
link up above,

so give it a try
and then buy it after you get in the grove
and do 108 days of waking.

Good, 2.

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