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Old 04-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
Rayleen Dehmke
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How to unwind after a class

I am wound for sound after evening class, for hours and I cannot fall asleep. I get up real early for work, by then I'm ready to fall asleep Any advice out there to unwind?
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:20 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Hot shower and music always does it for me... along with a little meditation from time to time...
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Wink Re: How to unwind after a class

Quote:
Rayleen Dehmke wrote: View Post
I am wound for sound after evening class, for hours and I cannot fall asleep. I get up real early for work, by then I'm ready to fall asleep Any advice out there to unwind?
It seems that you tend to get too exited during class. Try meditation, both before and after class. It should help.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
Rayleen Dehmke
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Thank you Marie and Clark. Yes, Marie I tend to get excited maybe I'll eventually calm down. I will look into meditation.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
Shadowfax
 
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Yeah get home to a quiet place and meditate. Also a hot strong cup or two of chamomile tea and a hot shower. Works very well for me.

Also I tend to stick around the dojo just sitting on the mat either chatting with sensei or listening to others chat until I feel like I've quieted down mentally rather then leaving right after class. Hakama folding time comes in handy for this. Its hard to fold a hakama well when your mind is racing.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:24 PM   #6
Adam Huss
 
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Re: How to unwind after a class

If your mind races too much, sitting mediation might be a bit much at this point. Like Cherie suggested, try a meditative act such as folding hakama...concentrate on every exact minute thing you are doing while you do it. That will be relaxing and tiring at the same time.
best,
A

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:40 PM   #7
Rayleen Dehmke
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Thanks Cherie and Adam. I like the idea of a meditative act, perhaps this would be a good time to do some light housework.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:14 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Light snack, cup of tea, NY Times crossword puzzle.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:31 AM   #9
grondahl
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Re: How to unwind after a class

A hot sauna.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:34 AM   #10
Walter Martindale
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Quote:
Rayleen Dehmke wrote: View Post
I am wound for sound after evening class, for hours and I cannot fall asleep. I get up real early for work, by then I'm ready to fall asleep Any advice out there to unwind?
You could try reading something really soporific when you go to bed - like - Winston Churchill's History of the Second World War. All six volumes. If you get more than a page read every night before you fall asleep, you're really wound up.

Out of curiosity - Where's your dojo in Cowtown? I was with Aikido Bozankan for a couple of years both downtown and at Fish Creek.

Walter
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:44 AM   #11
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Calm the mind during training.
Calm the mind on the ride home.
Calm the mind in a hot shower.
Calm the mind and let yourself sleep.
Calm the mind.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:58 AM   #12
phitruong
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Re: How to unwind after a class

i was going for the obvious answer: kama sutra. put me to sleep every time (pretty much immediately after).
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:19 AM   #13
GMaroda
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Re: How to unwind after a class

I have the same issue on weeks where I work daylight. If I stay for both classes, then I often have just enough time to shower and sit for a little bit. I usually take the extra time to chat online with my girlfriend. Perhaps you could chat with her too?

Seriously, I'm still wound up when I go to bed. I've learned to lie still and focus my mind on other things. Often I give myself a mental lecture on some thing I find interesting that's not related to aikido, eventually my body has forgotten why it was pumped up and my mind has focused on something else. When I start forgetting what I was thinking about, I know I'm good for sleep.

That said, meditation is probably the right idea. Frankly, the concentrating on other things I do is just a form of focused meditation. Not all of it has to be "empty-mind" stuff!
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:36 AM   #14
lbb
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Re: How to unwind after a class

People who suffer from insomnia are generally cautioned about exercise in the evening, since apparently it makes it hard to sleep for a lot of people. I did a quick google search and came up with this bit from a Mayo Clinic q&a column, that explains the connection between exercise, stress hormones and insomnia. It seems like you do acclimate after a period of time, but other relaxation methods no doubt help as well. If you find that your mind is overstimulated, meditation will probably help, but it's a discipline, not an instant-fix pill or something that you can just do by closing your eyes and saying, "Ok, I'm meditating!" If at all possible, find a teacher or a good guide to help you learn the techniques.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:06 AM   #15
phitruong
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
People who suffer from insomnia are generally cautioned about exercise in the evening, since apparently it makes it hard to sleep for a lot of people. I did a quick google search and came up with this bit from a Mayo Clinic q&a column, that explains the connection between exercise, stress hormones and insomnia. It seems like you do acclimate after a period of time, but other relaxation methods no doubt help as well. If you find that your mind is overstimulated, meditation will probably help, but it's a discipline, not an instant-fix pill or something that you can just do by closing your eyes and saying, "Ok, I'm meditating!" If at all possible, find a teacher or a good guide to help you learn the techniques.
i thought doing the "kama sutra" approach is equivalent of running marathon (actually more like marathon aikido since there were connection, position, timing, leverage, and so on involved). never have problem falling asleep afterward. the problem is to stay awake because she wanted to "talk".

sounded like i need to search for a meditation guru. i have been doing incorrectly all these years by find a nice, quiet place where i would lay down, closed my eyes, focused on slow breathing to my hara, heard my blood pulse and focused on slow it down. sort of breath in deeply and slowly, at the end of the breath in, hold for 5 counts, then breath out, at the end of breath out, hold for 3 counts. then see how slow can you count. if my mind wander, i would go back and start the counting over. or lately, doing hug the tree pose and the same sort of breathing, methink the practice called zhan zhuang.

*grumble grumble where am i going to find meditation guru grumble grumble*
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:11 AM   #16
Michael Hackett
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Re: How to unwind after a class

My sensei suggests running cold water over your wrists for a few minutes after class and that seems to do the trick when I'm wired after class.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:13 AM   #17
Rayleen Dehmke
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Thanks Mary. I looked up that bit you posted. All great advice. I'm sure some of the Yoga studios around here have meditation workshops.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:51 AM   #18
S Ellis
 
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Our dojo has a post keiko cool down that consists of drinking copious amounts of beer. It always seems to do the trick.

In the same vein as Walter's excellent suggestion, the wordiness of Charles Dickens can knock me out in a page or less. Great Expectations! Sound sleep!
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:24 AM   #19
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: How to unwind after a class

I don't really have that problem, but I guess I do have things I do that could help. Usually, after class, we are all chatting about this or that for a few minutes. It also takes me over a half hour to get home, so the driving might quiet my mind as well. During the week, once I get home from class I eat dinner, watch tv, read, do a cross-word, go online, etc. I also shower right before I go to bed (which sometimes wakes me up, but does help relax my muscles). I am usually up one to two hours before going to bed after class. On Saturday's, things are a bit different. We tend to linger behind at the dojo a bit more and sometimes I go out to "breakfast" (more like lunch since it's close to 1) with one of the yudansha.

Find something you can do that relaxes you. Perhaps going over the class in your head could calm you down. Reading or doing something that requires a bit of brain power may be enough to get your mind to concentrate on other things. OR, you may be of the type that you need something thoughtless to do to relax (such as watching tv).

The best thing you can do is to create an after class routine for yourself. It will help keep your body on track. You could also work out even harder to the point you are just exhausted after class.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #20
Keith Larman
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Re: How to unwind after a class

FWIW on one night I assist our Chief Instructor at a kid's class at 6 pm. I teach an Intermediate adults/Advanced kids class at 7. Then there is an adult advanced class at 8:15 to 9:30. For me, after those 3.5 hours, I'm usually totally wiped but sometimes also wired up pretty tight. It depends on the night, but if the final class is really advanced and we're going full speed, well, the exertion level is the problem. Or if it is something I need work on sometimes it is also mental fatigue. Regardless, we tend to go out for some food and a beer or two afterwards. When my daughter was born I would often go straight home both because I needed to be there to help out with the kid but also because most nights we were getting very little sleep -- I was tired. But even if the kid was down for the night I was just too wired to sleep regardless. Eventually my wife suggested that I should just go ahead and go out afterwards since it was really my only time away (I work at home anyway). So it became my night.

But even with the unwinding, maybe a little food, a beer, I'm sometimes still just too stimulated to go to sleep. The interesting thing for me is that there have been nights when I've crashed, exhausted, and slept 9 hours straight. There have been other nights when I've been even more tired but slept horribly, waking up periodically, restless, and wired.

I trained in meditation years ago rather extensively. I'll often do that to slow things down. But while that sometimes helps, more often than not it isn't enough when I'm really wired up. I also try to avoid getting frustrated by it and simply go out and read a book instead. I might as well.

So in the end my coping mechanism has become to just go with it. A glass of warm milk and a banana before bed can help for a variety of reasons. Quiet time. Reading. Careful of the alcohol (keeps you from going deeply asleep and it tends to dehydrate you meaning you wake up about 2 hours later wide awake and needing to pee). You could also try some of the various sleep aids, but you'll find that they are general a Pyrrhic Victory even if they work.

Frankly I just go with it. And try to find about 45 - 60 minutes the next day for a nap. That usually does the trick for me.

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Old 04-19-2010, 11:20 AM   #21
Aikibu
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Re: How to unwind after a class

A quick message by the students on each others shoulders and back helps and so does dimming the lights in the dojo and having everyone lay on their back in chivasna while Sensei gongs a bell.

When I get home if I am still too frisky for sleep i find that opening up all the chakras with my sweetheart helps a great deal.

WIlliam Hazen
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:17 PM   #22
Rob Watson
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Re: How to unwind after a class

After training clean the whole dojo. Practice reverse breathing the whole time.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:43 PM   #23
Janet Rosen
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
After training clean the whole dojo. Practice reverse breathing the whole time.
Oh now that's just mean

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:19 PM   #24
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: How to unwind after a class

Have a beer after class. If you don't drink just watch a bit of tv or read a book.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:36 PM   #25
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: How to unwind after a class

At the dojo I went to in Seattle, at the end of class, she lit a couple of candles and then turned off all the lights. We then did 107 cuts with the bokken at our own pace. It was a nice form of meditation that I had never done before. I wouldn't mind doing it again.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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