Tai Chi Notes, March 12, 2019

Mar 12 2019

I asked on Saturday about when I should tuck my tailbone. Basically, my teacher’s answer was that I should keep a straight back and not have my butt stick out, so I think pretty much whenever I’m focusing on having my back upright. He also said that I should relax my muscles after tucking my tailbone, and that I should feel a connection in my thighs when doing this.

On Sunday, we had the Pao Chui class; when doing the Chopping Hand, have an opposing energy in your left elbow when you’re going down with your right fist. And we went over Great Red Fist / Little Red Fist (I think that’s the one, the one that’s kind of like hand maneuvers): I was really confused on the timing of that my first time through the form, but it seemed to make more sense this time. The first time, when turning into it, you step with your right foot and then open your left foot, ending with your right hand up and out. Then you do two iterations, turning on the second iteration; and you do two iterations on the other side, again turning on the second iteration. So the two sides don’t feel symmetric: it feels more like you’re moving you hands 3 times on the first side and 2 times on the second side, or maybe 2.5 / 1.5.

I want to do a better job of learning stuff this year, so I practiced Pao Chui, Staff, and Spear some Sunday afternoon even though there was a morning class. Unfortunately, the bit I wrote about in the paragraph above felt a little off, even though I’d just been practicing it a few hours earlier! And there was one place where I wasn’t sure what to do in the staff form, though I had an idea, which I think I confirmed watching other people in the Tuesday class. I definitely have gaps in the spear form, missing a Saturday class a few weeks back didn’t help, I need to work on that too.

I also did some Lotus Wu Ji on Sunday, and of course today. And my body is starting to feel like it’s falling into a good structure when doing that, and actually also when doing Chen Wu Ji and when doing Zhan Zhuang. So I feel like my subconscious is learning something about positioning and relaxing? I’m also noticing that I have a much better sense about when the energy in my legs is going straight down, it’s making me feel significantly more solid.

In the Tuesday class, my teacher was talking about Jin Gang Pounds the Pestle, and emphasizing that your knee should strike; when he was doing it, it seemed like he was having his lower leg go back a bit (to make the angle of the knee more pointed), instead of just having it hang down, I tried that out and it seemed like it did give me more of a feel of a knee strike. And I asked about the Spine Stretch in the Silk Reeling Exercises, specifically whether sometimes your spine should curve back a bit when going up; the answer was yes.

Looks like I will be able to go to the Lotus Nei Gong course in May, though I won’t feel 100% confident until I’ve actually sent in my money and gotten confirmation that it’s been received, the person handling that registration does not seem very organized…

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