Archive for April, 2019

Tai Chi Notes, April 30, 2019

Apr 30 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

I was in Cincinnati last week, helping Miranda move out of the dorm, and I didn’t do any Tai Chi or Qigong or anything the whole time; bad me. And I was too tired when I got back on Sunday to practice that afternoon, either.

I did at least get back to the swing of things today: I did my Lotus Wu Ji and Qigong over lunch, and I went to class this evening. It was actually a special class, because there was a visitor who was an expert in the Hunyuan variant of Chen Tai Chi; she demonstrated the Hunyuan 24 posture form (lots of circles!) and then taught us some Qigong. I’m already pretty full of Qigong ideas to practice, so that mostly went in one ear and out the other; it was pretty dramatic at one point, though, where after changing positions, it really felt like I was holding something in my hands. And she also told us to do standing meditation for 54 minutes, which is kind of a long time!

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Tai Chi Notes, April 21, 2019

Apr 21 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

Early notes this week since I won’t be at Tai Chi class on Tuesday. The Lotus Wu Ji is still going well; I’m staying at 20 minutes for now instead of going up to 21 minutes today, since for whatever reason I find it harder on Sundays, but I did make the full time on Thursday and Sunday. And I feel like it’s reorienting my shoulders somewhat, which I hope is good; I’ve actually noticed that I’m swinging my arms more freely when I’m walking, and I’m pretty sure that is good.

On Saturday my teacher went over my form. Notes:

  • I should spiral when doing the Ji to left at the start, I shouldn’t just push.
  • When on one foot before the first Jin Gang, don’t move my right elbow back, it breaks the energy at my shoulder, move my arms out from the body instead.
  • When pounding in the Jin Gang, be a little more full with elbows out.
  • After the second Jin Gang, keep my back full when extending my right arm and stepping back. In general, be more full in that section.
  • In Oblique Posture, lead more with my shoulder.
  • Move left elbow back more when punching, to help with getting energy from twisting my body.
  • When transitioning from Fist under Elbow to Reverse with Spiraling Forearms, strike forward with my left hand. But you don’t do that in the repetition of Reverse with Spiraling Forearms: that comes after The Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, so you’re pushing up there instead of forward.
  • After the Oblique Posture following Reverse with Spiraling Forearms, don’t lean forward or reach up and over, instead sink and grab an arm right in front of you, doing a Lu on it. And expand out with your top arm in the two blocks at the start of Flash through the Back.
  • In Kick with Two Feet Up, make sure the right arm goes back, up, and over.
  • After the second Pat the High Horse, have the left hand turned around so the back of the hand is on your stomach before starting to turn your foot/body/right hand.
  • In general, I should expand a little more: when bending my arms, don’t bend my elbow so sharply, keep my forearm further away from my body.

Also on Saturday one of the senior students was helping go through the second form. One question I had was which foot you turn on when doing the move where you open and close both arms simultaneously, looking to the left and right. (I need to learn the names of the second form moves!) The answer is that you should be planted on your left foot with your right foot moving in both the turns (the one at the start and the one in the middle).

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Tai Chi Notes, April 16, 2019

Apr 16 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

In the Saturday class, we talked about stretches that you can do with the help of the spear. You put the spear across your shoulders, with your arms wrapped around it, with the hands coming over from the back of the spear. The stretches are:

  1. Turn your hips from side to side; but always look forward, so you’re effectively turning your neck as well.
  2. Bend over from side to side, stretching the side of your body next to your rib cage.
  3. Bend while making circles with the end of the spear, doing a sort of figure 8.
  4. Same as 3, but with the direction reversed.
  5. Fold your chest forward and back.

I led the Silk Reeling Exercises on Saturday; one of the senior students said that I should avoid having my upper hand block my field of view when doing Hand Maneuvers.

We had the Sunday class this week. In the second form, we went as far as Tame the Tiger. After Beast’s Head, you spread your hands and punch; then let your hands fall down and swing back, doing a flip like when switching sides in the Peng-Cai Silk Reeling Exercise. And then, do a shake and punch, and then you step up with the right foot and block (or punch) with your right hand, then block with your left hand, then step back and go down low, with your weight on your back foot (the right one), your right hand extended up, your left hand under your right armpit, and with your left leg extended. But don’t lean, only go down so far.

I finally got to where I can do 20 minutes in Lotus Wu Ji; not comfortable, but at least I’ve succeeded. Which was my goal before the May class; now the next question is whether to stay at 20 minutes or to keep on trying to push it up? I think I’ll probably do the latter: it’s not like it’s actually comfortable to do it for 20 minutes, but the first 10+ minutes are fine, so presumably if I keep on pushing up my total time then I’ll build up my strength.

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VGHVI Minecraft, March 28, 2019

Apr 14 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

Pictures from the March Minecraft session:

I didn’t really have a building project in mind, so I flew around for a while taking pictures.

The current state of the mountain, lit up at night.

A top-down view of terraced land in the rain. With, I think, a cave entrance as well?

Looks like these days if a cave roof has loose sand then the sand sprinkles down from it.

Tracks next to Roger’s abandoned church.

A view of my mountain buildings, Dan’s mountain building, and Roger’s church.

A top-down view of the back of the mountain.

A winter moon over the mountain.

 

Steve joined us for the first time in a while, and he was flying around over the train tracks looping from the city. Then he reported something odd, so I went to take a train and follow him; it turns out that some kind of massive glitch had occurred and replaced a chunk of the lake near the city with a jungle biome. It cut through some buildings and the train tunnel; bad enough, it would have been worse if it had been right in the city!

A cow blocking my way when I went to investigate.

Here’s where the tracks ended, Steve had already put a glass wall in place to hold off the water.

Here’s what it looked like up top, with a forest sprouted in the middle of the water.

It’s cutting through the glass castle and the train tunnel.

The fire palace was cut in half.

The tower with the eagle had a quarter removed. (Quite neatly, I should add!)

Here’s the bottom part of that tower, with the lava escaping from its glass enclosure.

The view from inside the glass castle.

Steve and I started working on rebuilding the train tunnel; unfortunately, I don’t think I quite understood Minecraft fluid dynamics, so my solution for rebuilding didn’t quite work. But hopefully I can get that done this month.

 

Dan was working on a pit near the bottom of his stairs:

A dark, deep hole in the sand; if you squint, there’s a figure at the bottom.

Another view, this time during daytime.

Here’s Dan working at the bottom of the pit.

Those pictures were from early on, the pit got a lot fancier. I’m actually not sure it’s the same pit in the pictures below as in the one above; I assume it is but I don’t have any hard evidence for that and the size is different so it might not be?

Now the pit has vines and colors.

The bottom of the pit is yellow.

There are colored stripes on the walls on the top half of the pit.

Here’s the view from the top.

It actually gets a little wider (with stairstep walls?) right under the colored stripes.

 

And Pat and his wife (whose name I am blanking on, I apologize!) were working on the floating city, in particular on the area with floating trees.

A glass pool with a terrace, some flowers, and floating trees nearby.

Here’s a view of the flowers from the side.

And a closeup of the flowers and the wall they’re next to.

A path through the floating trees.

A side view of the whole area.

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Tai Chi Notes, April 9, 2019

Apr 09 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

I asked about White Goose Spreads His Wings on Saturday, because I was trying to figure out if you should round your back during it. I’d thought that maybe you shouldn’t during the middle part, but it turns out that you should during the whole thing: at the move to the right because you’re doing a peng, then when stepping back while you do a chin-na, then at the end.

And then, following on from that, apparently in Oblique Posture you’re supposed to lead with your shoulder when bending over.

On Sunday, Lotus Wu Ji went much better than it had on previous Sundays; that was a pleasant change. And it went well on Tuesday, too. And, at one point, I felt this strange spurting sensation on my right foot; if I’m feeling optimistic, that’s something related to the bubbling well, but it’s probably not.

In class this evening, I noticed that my teacher was always facing his torso in the same direction (towards your leg) when doing the both arm version of shoulder rotations in the silk reeling exercise; I’d been turning my torso, but I confirmed that turning it was wrong.

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Tai Chi Notes, April 2, 2019

Apr 02 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

I’m starting to feel that I’m not getting so much benefit from Dantian Rotations any more; maybe I should stop doing those, or dial them down? I wonder if there’s something else I should do while waiting for the train…

I asked on Saturday about your right hand during Pat the High Horse: it is indeed supposed to be extended.

On Sunday, when I was practicing, it felt like my natural speed for doing the first form was a little faster than it had been? Not sure if that’s a change, or if I was just in a different mood than normal.

Lotus Wu Ji is still being a pain: literally, and also I’m still not sure if I’m getting the positioning right, in particular I’m worried that I’m not leaning the right amount and/or not squatting enough. And, for whatever reason, I’m finding it harder to do on Sundays than I am on Tuesdays/Thursdays; not sure if that’s a fluke or if I’m tired after practicing Tai Chi or if doing Qi Gong first (like I do on Tuesdays/Thursdays) helps. One thing I did notice while looking in the mirror is that I feel like my neck is going too far forward; I kind of think that’s a general problem, I should work on that…

I kind of feel like, when doing The White Goose Spreads its Wings, in the middle step I should be straight instead of having my shoulders forward; I’ll try to ask about that on Saturday. And, when doing the form in class tonight, I was thinking that, when standing up in Drop and Split, my weight was a little wrong over my left foot, I should think about that. The other interesting thing in class was that the person leading the form waiting a really long time before starting, and that made raising my arms feel different, I should try that.

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