Yoga, Qi Gong, and Timber Framing…

Timbers are heavy.
They have taught me the importance of a healthy back, hips, and knees.
If the back is weak, the hips and knees can injure.
If the hips are closed and the hamstrings are tight, the back will injure.
Flexibility and Strength is key to working with heavy objects.
Strength alone will eventually break without Flexibility.
To keep flexible and strong one must stretch and exercise
muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Groups of people around the world have mastered this concept.
Yoga and Qi Gong are two of these groups.
Yoga simply means to ‘yolk’ or join body and mind harmoniously.
When body and mind are flexible and working together,
One is strong and does not break easily.
Injury is avoided.
Qi Gong simply means to practice the flow of energy.
Energy can collide or flow with its surroundings.
Flow with internal and external energy,
the path of least resistance is achieved.
This is the ultimate strength.
Balance of mind and body.

The job of the timber framer is to join timbers harmoniously, using the path of least resistance. Before timber framing I was an athlete and a student. Whatever sport I did, my coaches had me stretch and warm up my body. If I didn’t do this, I inevitably pulled a muscle or strained a ligament or tendon.
As I don’t play organized sport anymore, I no longer have coaches encouraging me to stretch. As I have aged I have found my body to become less flexible. It was a serious back injury that has finally lead me back to stretching and bringing flexibility back into my life. Oddly enough it was the WCB (Workman Compensations Board) appointed physiologist that encouraged me to buy a yoga video called ‘Yoga for Athletes’ by Rodney Yee.

I discovered Yoga in university. Yoga is basically a comprehensive system of stretching that involves the body, mind and breath. It has greatly increased the quality of my life. As I work in this industry of joining heavy timbers I notice many injuries to myself and others that can be avoided by this daily practice.

One basic healing quality I have found to be highly beneficial to my body is in the ‘asanas’ or postures. For example, there are many postures for the back and hips that put the body into a particular position that allow fresh blood to circulate around the vertebrae and hip sockets. As we stand, walk, sit and lie down our vertebrae and hip sockets find themselves in continuous positions that forbid circulation to particular areas. In tai chi this is known as ‘stagnant chi’. By involving the breath and breathing a minimum of 3 deep breaths, Yoga postures/’asanas’ and qi gong or tai chi  ‘forms’ allow freshly oxygenated blood to penetrate otherwise stagnant areas.


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