Taiji Day 253: Letting Go, Standing Up

During Eight Pieces of Silk this morning, I felt a whole series of muscles in my lower right back popping, and a whole big ball of stress let go.  This seems to have been the parallel muscle group to the ones that opened up a few days ago.  Wow.  So much easier now.  It wasn’t quite as deep a change as Day 251, but it was pretty good!  

One of the noticeable side-effects of the muscles of the lower back being stronger, is that the pelvic floor has come into play.  I’m a big guy.  I carry a lot of weight on my chest and stomach, rather like a cinder block resting on my belt buckle.  But as my back muscles have gotten stronger through this work, so has the wall of abdominal muscles that press that cinder block into my lower abdominal cavity.  And now that weight is starting to press down into my body, instead of hanging forward off my frame and falling.

And this means that the muscles of the pelvic floor are starting to be useful.  These muscle groups are attached to places that, as a culture, we’re not really comfortable talking about.  I’m going to leave that cultural taboo in place for now, and simply say that these muscles are now helping to tilt my pelvis so that it’s parallel to the floor.  When they’re engaged, and getting stronger, it’s easier to stand for long periods of time.  When they’re engaged, my posture improves.  When they’re engaged, I walk longer distances.  When they’re engaged, I sit better and… frankly… I eat better, or at least differently.

Don’t think, either, that these changes are confined to the lower end of the spine, either.  I’m working the upper end of the spine too, during Eight Pieces of Silk.  Two of the moves, like the Gaze from Side to Side,  and Bend the Bow to Shoot the Hawk, specifically work the upper spine and neck.  It’s weird to think of exercises that strengthen and improve your ability to move your head and shoulders around, but that’s what these are.  And the result is a gradually strengthening and re-framing of my awareness of my whole body.

What a nice discovery.

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