Tag Archives: Deep Tension

Eliminating Tension – 3 Elements of Freedom

21 Feb

In daily life, we gather tensions, injuries, and fear’s. These are all stored in our body and psyche, and usually are interlinked. When we have/ or hold our physical tension, it typically means we are also holding some kind of psychological tension. In fact,  the root of many forms of tension is when we start to hold our breath. This activates our various hormones, raises our blood pressure, basically our body thinks this event is important, and so for a number of reasons your body believe’s subconsciously that this tension will protect it, that it will serves you. However, the opposite is actually true.

Over time your body starts to become stiffer, more inflexible, less responsive and less free.

Systema is about freedom and the ability to release these past tensions and learn how to move without tension is paramount.

So how do we unwind these tensions and release them?

The answer, unfortunately, is time and pain.

It takes time to remove what took years to accumulate.. (or alternatively you could go for a Systema Massage:  https://thomashogarth.com/2013/04/20/systema-in-moscow-stick-massage-video-session/which works directly on this deep tension.)

However if you want to work on these tensions at home, here are a the basic steps:

  • Awareness – If you don’t feel it at all, or have trouble identifying where you are tense, then you can’t do anything about it.

Thus the first step is to become more aware of yourself, your body and your internal state.

The most basic way to begin feeling your tensions, is in a position where your muscles are not under strain. The best way to get started is by laying down on your back. Then doing breathing, and tension/relaxation exercises. Simply, breathing in tensing a body part, then breathing out and relaxing it. You can then progress into sitting, kneeling, standing and then walking while tensing and relaxing different body parts. For more information on this, check out: Let Every Breath by Vladimir Vasiliev

  • Understanding– after you’ve identified some tensions and still feel them persistently, or when you find a way to relax them, they come back soon after, it could mean a few things:

The tension could be structural, i.e the wrong muscles are tight and strong and the right muscles are relaxed and weak. This could be a result of your daily activities or environment, i.e you sit a lot, you mattress is two soft/too hard, you exercise with bad form etc. In general, your body needs to have the right muscular balance to be free of tension, and to feel light and mobile. The best way to attain a strong, relaxed body is; the core exercises with breathing; Pushup, Squat, Leg Raise and Situp, then adding in other bodyweight exercises.

The tension could be more deeply psychological, Why not spend a training session working with one tense part of your body, i.e shoulders, legs, hips etc.. this session could be a combination of stretching, breathing, bodyweight exercises, use of a stick, weapon etc. The goal being to free up and to understand that tension, why it is there and to release it. This is a deep process, but will be extremely valuable, to becoming more free, relaxed and soft.

-The tension could be a medical issue; digestion, hormonal imbalance etc.  If you find some areas are consistently tense or in pain, I’d recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional.

  • Removing – Lastly, there are some tensions where massage, and use of sticks/whip/other weapons is required/or speeds up the process with releasing tension.

Since this is a larger topic, I’ll talk about this in another post. However , just to re-emphasize the first point, hands down the best way to become aware, to understand and learn to work with your tension, is by having a Systema massage. So, go find a certified Systema massage practitioner in your area!

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Ryabko Systema Massage – Video Lesson – Alexander Moscow 2013

28 May

At each Moscow seminar each instructor shows his own interpretation and ideas of an aspect of Systema, with Michael being the main teacher.

At the end of the internal work seminar Alexander or Sasha, showed us the correct method for Systema massage. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the demonstration:

If you have any questions; comment or send me an email: thomas.hogarth@hotmail.co.uk

Ryabko Systema Massage

15 Jul

I’ve been intending to write this for a while. While i was in Russia this year i experienced this special massage given by Andre at the Systema school. Words can not even describe it. It was the most painful thing i have ever experienced, and since i was 13 have done various combat sports, but nothing touched me at the level this did. It was a physical and emotional adventure, a rollercoaster of various massages with small sticks, whips and swords.

(To none Systema people this will sound strange but trust me when i say this is effective on a very personal level, you face your fears directly, as the body holds the fear from childhood and life in the spine and deep muscles, making it a very emotional experience)

What happens:

I started out standing and sitting on a vibrating platform, to relax surface tension.

Then, the lady that was translating and helping said “one rule: you have to keep breathing”

Then i sat down on a massage chair, with my head through the hole, leaning foward. Firstly Andre pasted some massage oil on me, and then with small wooden sticks, began to press them either side of my spine in to the muscles, at first easy and working up and down my spine, then even more strongly. Aferwards they were slid up and down the spinal muscles. I then laid down and the lady took over.  This seemed like a very long session with different types of sticks sometimes being pressed onto the bone, sometimes onto the side muscles and connective tissue, After this treatment with the spine, shoulder, neck, head and hip muscles, They took out the Russia crowd control whips and began the standard Systema massage, with 2 types of whips. After this i was fairly, emotionally worn out, and it finished with a sword massage (difficult to describe), This whole massage was about 1 hour, and by the end some of my muscles had difficulty moving, my shoulders were low and my whole back was straighter. I felt it directly – that something had fundamentely changed. It still feels the same to this day, my back, body and more importantly mypsche structure was corrected to a degree that changed my personality and feeling. It was profound.

Some french guys that were in Moscow around the time i was, their video of the massage and thoughts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFuaoEpO_aQ

Other People talking about the massage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT78PTmvEAg

I highly recommend you go to Russia to experience this or go to a seminar where one of the massage guys will be there.