Time passed, and as it did, I stopped meditating. Part of that was due to a come-to-realize moment aided by Krishnamurti's comment about mechanical meditation, i.e. the silent intoning of a mantra; part of it was because I found out that the teacher who'd given us the magic word was something of a fraud, and that kinda took the bloom off the rose. My personal magic sound was, in fact, the same as everybody else's "personal mantra" in our group. A stab to the soul, learning that.
And while I persisted in the asanas for a time, mostly as a precursor for my martial arts workout, those faded, too as life got in the way. You don't have to be a rubber band to do our style of silat. No kicking apples off the top of somebody's head.
As a result, I became less-mellow with stiffer muscles and joints. (Note: If you don't mind wading through the technical aspects of a study on meditation that ends up saying doing it does likely change how your mind works, check this out: Amygdala ...)
I was okay with the less-mellow part. And I knew the cure for the stiffness would be to do daily stretches or get back into yoga postures, but the breathing for asanas is pretty much the opposite of silat breathing, so that's something of a problem.
Still, those tight hamstrings needed something.
Enter the Sonicare™ electric toothbrush ...
Those of you who don't know, this device, run on a rechargeable battery, brushes your teeth for you. You push a button and move it the business end around in your mouth–keeping your lips closed so as not to spatter toothpaste hither and yon–and the oscillating brush scrubs away. It runs through a cycle, depending on the setting. Every thirty seconds, it beeps. On the "Clean and White" setting, you get three minutes at the top speed.
Okay, Steve, you got our attention. Pray explain, if you possibly can, how a toothbrush has squat to do with tight hamstring muscles? And keep it clean, will you? Sometimes my kid reads this blog ...
O ye of little faith ...
Crank up the Sonicare™ and at the same time, prop your left (or right, if you wish) foot onto the bathroom counter. Be careful with your balance, as you will be standing on the other foot and such a stance can be tricky. If you do this and fall down and break something, that's your lookout, I warned you, don't blame me.
As the brush drones and does its thing, lean onto the propped up foot and feel the stretch in your hamstring muscles. You don't want to try to put your head on your knee, just a mild tug, less than comfortable, but not into major pain. Keeping your spine as straight as you can is also a good idea. Relax into the muscles and go deeper as tension permits.
Halfway through the cycle–three beeps–switch legs, and repeat. (Note: You'll, uh, want to move the propped foot down first ...)
When the brush stops, you are done. Foot down, spit, rinse, and presto! cleaner teeth and looser legs.
I mean, you are just standing there and it's not rocket science to move the toothbrush around, so you could do something else, and a minute and a half on each side is better than nothing.
Over the last week I have been doing this and already I am more flexible. Maybe even a bit more mellow, being as a result, you know, less of a tight-ass ...