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#1 2007-08-29 16:16:11

udo.jeromin
Member
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 72

exercise routine?

...somewhat taking up the "Keeping fit" thread...

What do you do to exercise (before/after/besides practising shakuhachi):
any recommendations for simple, straight forward exercises, in particular,
to relax arms, shoulders, neck?

Cheers, udo.

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#2 2007-08-29 16:51:45

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: exercise routine?

A good general one, the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), especially after arising in the morning, but good anytime:

       http://www.santosha.com/asanas/suryanamaskar.html


Specific to the hands and arms:

       http://www.handfootcare.com/hands_musicians.htm

       

eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#3 2007-08-29 21:44:45

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: exercise routine?

udo.jeromin wrote:

What do you do to exercise (before/after/besides practising shakuhachi):
any recommendations for simple, straight forward exercises, in particular,
to relax arms, shoulders, neck?

Cheers, udo.

Hi Udo, Great questions. I know a few shakuhachi players who had surgery to alleviate their hand problems. I do a lot of work at the work bench beside playing the flute all day when tuning. I make it a point to use my arms and hands in different positions so as to avoid Repetitive Stress Injury -RSI.

My favorite warm up routine involves circling the hands, shoulders and neck. I start out by gently shaking my hands out before I do anything. Just drop your arms by your side and shake gently but enough to feel like you are waking them up. Shake for as long as it feels good. I like to shake for about 30 seconds Afterwards, I make a fist on each hand and rotating them opposite of each other directly (if one is clock-wise, go counter on the other). I like to extend my arms directly in front of me as i do this. I repeat and alternate this shaking and rotating combination 2 or 3 times. Next, I do shoulder rotations. I start by rotating them forward for 4 30 second sets with about 10 seconds rest in between to let the blood flow. You should rotate the opposite direction after repeating the sets.  I end with a few light neck rolls both clock wise and counter. Do it as long as it feels good. Sometimes I don't roll but drop the head to the four facings - front back, right and left. Let the head hang for about 30 seconds each facing.

Always approach warm ups gently. I also recommend Yoga as Edo san pointed out. Again, as with any physical activity, it's important to make sure you are working safely. If a beginner jumps into an advanced Yoga class, she/he can get hurt.

Hope this helps

Namaste, Perry


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#4 2007-08-30 09:50:55

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: exercise routine?

edosan wrote:

A good general one, the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), especially after arising in the morning, but good anytime:

       http://www.santosha.com/asanas/suryanamaskar.html

There are plenty of yoga tutorials for almost every posture on youtube. Here's one for the sun salutation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuvfHTaf … mp;search=

Coincidentally, I just started doing yoga again after not doing it for 20 years. Kind of a life situation, but maybe it goes along with shakuhachi somehow.

More directly related to shakuhachi, I'm not all that surprised that you mention arms, shoulder and neck, and not the hands that carpal tunnel tends to be a problem with. It's not just a relaxation issue. Although the positioning for shakuhachi is easier on the body, particularly the hands, than transverse flute, holding a shakuhachi is very stressful to certain back muscles. So the problem is partly, maybe mostly, a strength issue. You can be totally relaxed but still stand. That's because you have enough muscle tone to keep your muscles active while you're relaxing. What you need to work on is developing the strength to play shakuhachi while you're relaxed. While sun salution, that includes the plank and downward facing dog postures, are both really good for strengthening your back, think about what the best way to build strength is. Is it to continue the exercise despite the pain? No, it's to take breaks. Lots of reps (or isometric sessions) spread out over a period of time can be more beneficial than forcing the same number of reps (or holding a posture for a long time) all at once. So, consider dividing your practice time into many short sessions with breaks in between. The relaxation excercises and yoga are very good suggestions, but of immediate importantance, and you wouldn't have asked the question if it wasn't an issue,  is to avoid injury. IMO, the best way to do that is to take lots of little breaks. Try to do the relaxation exercises and yoga too, they'll help, but it's probably not reasonable to expect immediate results from them. You don't build muscle overnight.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#5 2007-08-30 15:46:42

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: exercise routine?

The simple answer to your question is that shakuhachi reflects the condition (physically and mentally) of the player. Anything you do to keep yourself in shape will help your shakuhachi playing.

I run, bike, swim, jump rope, yoga and do strength training. Not enough though! Working on that.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#6 2009-01-31 07:59:12

james_4114
Member
Registered: 2009-01-31
Posts: 3

Re: exercise routine?

try this one before taking up shakuhachi......


Sasa Buki Breath Exercise
Here is my method for getting started on playing the shakuhachi. I call it Sasa Buki (breath of Bamboo Leaf). It will guide the beginner into developing the neccessary skills required to play and appreciate shakuhachi at the fundamental level. IMHO, playing with Sasa Buki in mind is the best way to practice. Half of playing shakuhachi is listening. Sasa Buki will introduce the beginner to the essence of shakuhachi - the shifting tone colors.

Let's start.

The first thing that is required is to shape your lips properly. This is called the embouchure. Make a gentle smile with your lips. This pullss them against your teeth, which is ideal. Then blow the air stream with a gentle release. Think of blowing an tiny pinpoint airsteam, one that is round and not splayed or flat.

Next, Visualize the shape of a bamboo leaf, thin on the ends and gradually getting fat in the middle.



It's best to try your first note without covering any holes.

When you're comfortable, take the deepest breath you can hold in your lungs. In Yoga, it would be a three part breath - fill the abdomen, chest and throat. Then put your embouchure directly onto the center of the utaguchi for centering and pull back to create a gap of about a 1/4 inch form the embouchure openning to the center of the utaguchi (leting the back of the flute rest on the area under your lower lip and above the chin). Now, release your pinpoint air stream onto the utaguchi.

After a trial and error period, you will have produce a sound. You will have discovered that aiming the air stream perfectly creates the sound. The idea is to split the air stream in half on the utaguchi, half going into the flute, half going over the edge to the outer surface of the utaguchi. If you are having trouble, keep this in mind. Everytime you inhale, fill your lings to capacity. Everytime you blow, relax and let the airs tream flow evenly and continuosly. It's just like breathing. It doesn't take much embouchure force to produce a sound. Experiemnt with blowing over the utaguchi and into the flute until you hit the "sweet spot".Remember to maintain a direct and focused airstream.

When you can make a sound consistently (it can takes days), make the note last as long as possible. If you can hold the tone for more than 5 seconds the first few days, you are doing very very well....really. Time your self with a watch and see how much you improve in a few days. When you can get up to 20 seconds, you will notice some wonderful things happening around you. when you feel you can handle a simple Sasa Buki, try playing it covering the thumb hole as the next note to attempt. Then work your way down covering the holes in front from top to bottom (whne covering holes, the previously covered hole must remain covered for the music scale to work see my webpage on the static site for how to hold the shauhachi).



Once you have a grasp on consistantly producing a long sound or tone, start to manipute the sound into Sasa buki - thin at the beginning, gradually get louder and back down to thin at the end, like the shape of sasa. Work on shaping your lips so that the sound is the most beautiful sound you can imagine, one that comes from nowhere, captivates you and then fades out in a way that makes your ears reach out to hear it dissipate. Imagine the last bit of rays from the sun that dissapears on a horizon at sunset. That sort of greenish orange glow that happens after the last rays dissapears is the "Ma" we all refer to - the silence that is part of the music. If you practice with an awareness of musical growth, you will notice major improvements in a very short time. The full and deep breathing technique that is required for Sasa Buki will also have benifical affects on your mind and body. Try keeping a shakuhachi journal of how long your tones are and see the growth every few days. If you are primarily playing during meditation, you won't be timing yourself obviously. Try to do this before or after your practice.

After a while (that depends on how much you practice and how well you can develope and retain the lips muscles), you will play longer, louder and more beautiful tones. Your lips will adjust to the natural pressure increase from daily build up of technique. Obviously, daily practice is important for skill developement. Your lips will learn when to bear down, when to open up, when to get close and when to pull back to achieve Sasa buki. Just be aware of what is happening with your lips moment to moment, from the beginning of the tone to the end of the tone. Pay attention to the sound and what your lips are doing to get that sound. You'll be amazed at how your lips are constantly adjusting, however miniscule, to timbral shifts. Always take note of developements and use them the next time you practice to build yout technique.

Blowing Sasa buki is the basic skill neccessary to play and enjoy the shakuhachi. After some time, you may need to understnd pitch. If you have a grasp on Sasa Buki, you will easily adapt your playing into prpoer pitch for playing music. Finger movements will come easily and naturally once you have a grasp on producing and maintaining long beautiful notes.

It's good to play at the same time everyday. It doesn't matter when. Keeping a daily shedule helps you get into that frame of mind.

Enjoy the deep breathing!

I hope this helps and good luck on playing shakuhachi.. smile

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#7 2009-01-31 11:25:05

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: exercise routine?

Excellent.


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#8 2009-02-02 09:41:10

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: exercise routine?

Hi James, thanks for posting my blog entry from Sept 2004 .

James_4114 wrote:

Sasa Buki Breath Exercise
Here is my method for getting started on playing the shakuhachi. I call it Sasa Buki (breath of Bamboo Leaf). It will guide the beginner into developing the neccessary skills required to play and appreciate shakuhachi at the fundamental level. IMHO, playing with Sasa Buki in mind is the best way to practice. Half of playing shakuhachi is listening. Sasa Buki will introduce the beginner to the essence of shakuhachi - the shifting tone colors.

Those who want to see the original blog post with the accompanying ink brush painting can go here: http://www.yungflutes.com/log/archives/ … breat.html
Enjoy! Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2009-02-02 09:43:41)


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#9 2009-02-04 08:57:26

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: exercise routine?

Not sure if it was a glitch or on purpose, but my post about running was taken down.  If this one disappears as well, I'll take the hint.

Running, and most aerobic exercise for that matter, does wonders for expanding breath.  It does a few things.  It increases the elasticity of the lungs.  It trains the runner to operate in a situation of oxygen dept and in a situation of rather "unnatural" or labored breath.  And, the blood stream adapts to absorb oxygen more quickly with more red blood cells.  Since getting back into running in the New Year I've noticed a marked improvement in my breath capacity and ability to play longer phrases in honkyoku and other pieces.  My teacher even commented on it in passing.

What I didn't expect to happen was the effect of the shakuhachi training on the runninig.  During a previous period of my life I worked as a trainer.  I had the opportunity to work with clients/patients with a number of respiratory disorders , including emphyzema and COPD.  I had not realized it at first, but playing the shakuhachi, especially long tones, mimics a common therapuetic  reath exercise called "pursed lip breathing."  The action of "pressing" the breath against the lips during the exhale serves to create pressure in the lungs which enhances the ability of oxygen to move across the thin cellular membranes in the aveoli into the blood stream.  As a result, I am rather surprised with the speed at which I've been able to increase the distance I run.  Having gone from running in excess of 35 miles a week to being completely sedentary several times over the course of my life, and being older than I've ever been before (that's not unusual), I can say that getting back into it this time has been easier by far than past attempts and the only difference in my life style is the shakuhachi.

So, although it is quite astute to recognize that the condition of the player, both physically and mentally, affects playing the shakuhachi, I'd have to point out that playing the shakuhachi also affects the condition of the player, both physically and mentally.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#10 2009-02-04 11:34:22

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 865
Website

Re: exercise routine?

lowonthetotem wrote:

Not sure if it was a glitch or on purpose, but my post about running was taken down.  If this one disappears as well, I'll take the hint.

Sorry about the mishap Jeff. Must have been a glitch or accident. Keep running!

KL

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#11 2009-02-04 13:16:40

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 829
Website

Re: exercise routine?

Wii Fit is great too!! Its awesome for honkyoku;-)

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#12 2009-02-04 14:28:20

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: exercise routine?

He's been dropped for the old avatar and then reinstated a couple of times now, so aside from the possibility of a sticky ENTER key here on my keyboard, I think he has passed muster.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#13 2009-02-05 23:18:33

YuccaBruce
Member
From: Tucson
Registered: 2008-07-06
Posts: 39
Website

Re: exercise routine?

try this one before taking up shakuhachi......

James 4114- Well done!!!!

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#14 2010-11-27 00:48:30

terrence555
Member
Registered: 2010-11-27
Posts: 1

Re: exercise routine?

There are many benefits to the circuit training exercise routine.You cant lose weight without eating healthy aka following a diet. Eating healthy is a broad concept and you may think you eat healthy but actually you dont...I really do enjoy My training because I feel I am working very hard for a good 45 minutes, which is encouraging. It tests all your muscles and your endurance power, thus combining weights and cardio. One thing I am sceptical about is that wont our bodies be accustomed to it quickly, which means the benefits will wear off?

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#15 2010-11-27 07:41:59

Rick Riekert
Member
Registered: 2008-03-13
Posts: 97

Re: exercise routine?

terrence555 wrote:

You cant lose weight without eating healthy aka following a diet.

As long as you burn more calories than you consume you'll lose weight. The size of the caloric deficit determines the weight loss. For that purpose it doesn't matter if the calories come from ice cream and potato chips or sea bass and spinach. A powerlifting buddy of mine lost 75 pounds over one year simply by eating a lot fewer Big Macs and french fries and beginning a moderately intensive cardio program for one hour a week.

terrence555 wrote:

One thing I am sceptical about is that wont our bodies be accustomed to [exercise] quickly, which means the benefits will wear off?

The health benefits of exercise do not wear off, though if you wish to continue to improve your level of fitness you'll have to increase the length and intensity of your workouts owing to the body's ability to adapt.


Mastery does not lay in the mastery of technique, but in penetrating the heart of the music. However, he who has not mastered the technique will not penetrate the heart of the music.
~ Hisamatsu Fy

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#16 2010-11-27 16:22:57

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3206
Website

Re: exercise routine?

Rick Riekert wrote:

terrence555 wrote:

One thing I am sceptical about is that wont our bodies be accustomed to [exercise] quickly, which means the benefits will wear off?

The health benefits of exercise do not wear off, though if you wish to continue to improve your level of fitness you'll have to increase the length and intensity of your workouts owing to the body's ability to adapt.

I know Dennis Rodman and when I met him (at his peak) he was a prime physical specimen although he was constantly wasted on whatever. A few years later I bumped into him and did not even recognize him he was so bloated and puffy. This happened because his level of physical activity reduced. It seems that people with a high level of physical activity are at risk for this result when they stop or reduce said activity. So in that sense high fitness levels can backfire eventually.

On the other hand my bro-in-law for example started running marathons at 50 after a totally sedentary lifestyle. I asked him if he wasn't putting too much strain on his system, he said no, all his working parts had not been strained up to that point, so they are ready for it.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#17 2010-11-27 18:55:00

Rick Riekert
Member
Registered: 2008-03-13
Posts: 97

Re: exercise routine?

Tairaku wrote:

I know Dennis Rodman and when I met him (at his peak) he was a prime physical specimen although he was constantly wasted on whatever. A few years later I bumped into him and did not even recognize him he was so bloated and puffy. This happened because his level of physical activity reduced. It seems that people with a high level of physical activity are at risk for this result when they stop or reduce said activity. So in that sense high fitness levels can backfire eventually.

Marked changes in the appearance of professional athletes after they retire are often more obvious because of the extremely high level of fitness and the pharmaceutical regimen they maintained throughout their career. I suspect the sea change in Rodman was more than just a sign of reduced physical activity. Drugs, booze, and all night orgies in the Hamptons eventually take their toll even on freaks of nature, aka elite professional athletes. And what would you expect from a guy who titled his autobiography "I Should Be Dead By Now"? He probably views a bloated and puffy appearance as a positive achievement.

Last edited by Rick Riekert (2010-11-27 18:57:02)


Mastery does not lay in the mastery of technique, but in penetrating the heart of the music. However, he who has not mastered the technique will not penetrate the heart of the music.
~ Hisamatsu Fy

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#18 2010-11-27 23:29:24

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 829
Website

Re: exercise routine?

now i do TRX. Its awesome! But, i did not by the package. Made one myself from youtube (instructions).

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#19 2010-11-28 19:03:23

waryr
Member
From: Leesburg Florida
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 70

Re: exercise routine?

YuccaBruce wrote:

try this one before taking up shakuhachi......

James 4114- Well done!!!!

Actually, "Well done!!!!-PERRY YUNG"


If you understand, things are just as they are, if you don't understand, things are just as they are.

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#20 2010-11-28 20:39:53

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: exercise routine?

Actually,  " Well Dung,   Perry Yung! "     That's why we love Perry so much, because he has to take a lot of shite and still shows admirable restraint.    Many deep bows to the venerable artiste.


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#21 2010-12-01 12:52:09

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: exercise routine?

mrwuwu wrote:

Actually,  " Well Dung,   Perry Yung! "     That's why we love Perry so much, because he has to take a lot of shite and still shows admirable restraint.    Many deep bows to the venerable artiste.

Huh? is there someone giving me s%@*?

Ralph is the only person that does that to me when I don't use the proper finger ornamentations smile

waryr wrote:

Actually, "Well done!!!!-PERRY YUNG"

I see that I should have used a spell checker on that blog posting. My daughter was just a year old when that was written. Back then I was doing all my office hours after midnight.

A deep bow you my friends.

Last edited by Yungflutes (2010-12-01 12:56:39)


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#22 2010-12-02 10:00:14

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: exercise routine?

As long as you burn more calories than you consume you'll lose weight.

So true, you can lose weight and eat only crap, just very little of it.  Still, a healthy level of fiber in the diet helps to keep the metabolism functioning.

A few years later I bumped into him and did not even recognize him he was so bloated and puffy. This happened because his level of physical activity reduced.

Actually, it probably had alot more to do with the "wasted on whatever" part of your statement.  High levels of activity while you are young followed by a progressively less agressive regimen as we age is preferable.  A high level of activity followed by a sedentary life style is not the same.  The other thing that is a factor here is the diet.  Athletes can can almost anything they want in huge quantities if they are performing at very high level of energy expenditure.  These eating habits often carry over after the high level of training has ended.  You have to remember that for millions of years the primary stressor on people was starvation.  We are hormonaly set up to accumulate fat, especially in times of stress.  It may not seem like it, but most athletes are those 2% of people that actually enjoy exercise and competition and experience a high level of stress relief from it, even higher than your average joe six pack.  When their training regimen slows, they are less equipped to deal with stress.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#23 2011-02-07 00:36:47

dallas48rogers
Member
From: 2074 Central Florida Pkwy, Orl
Registered: 2011-02-07
Posts: 1

Re: exercise routine?

Exercise is the Key to fit any sports persons.Due to better exercise we can put 100% in any sport so keep it up..One should not skip the exercises ...

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