Tai Chi Notes, June 4, 2019

Jun 04 2019

On Thursday, Wu Ji practice started rough, but it got easier maybe five minutes in, and stayed fine after that. Not sure what happened, whether I changed my positioning or something, and, if so, whether I changed it in a good way or in a bad way! And, jumping ahead, on Sunday it was actually basically fine the whole time. I was experimenting a little bit, and maybe I did a better job of lowering myself down like I was sitting on a stool instead of on a chair?

On the Saturday class, I asked about opening your live gate, and my teacher confirmed that you’re supposed to open it in all directions, sideways as well as up and down. Which was what I’d thought from the Damo Mitchell course, whereas before that I’d been thinking it was more just an up and down thing. I also asked about the move right at the end where you lowered my hands: it reminded me of cleansing, but that’s not the intention, the energy is supposed to end in your hands and feet instead of going out of your body. (And it doesn’t start as high, either, it starts at your collarbone instead of the top of / above your head.)

When moving back to the right after Protecting the Heart Fist, I noticed my teacher raising the toe of his left foot but then putting it down in the same orientation. He said that, if you want to do a wider or narrower kick after that, you could turn your foot a little out or in, but in general doing a weight shift off and back onto that foot and then having it end up in the same position is fine.

Not as long a Tai Chi practice on Sunday as would be ideal, but the Lotus practice was good. And doing an hour of meditation in the morning (40 minutes lying down, 20 minutes sitting) helped too.

I’ve been spending some of the week working on neck positioning, having it further back (and hopefully going up more) than I have been. And I’m experimenting with actively stretching it up a bit; not 100% sure if that’s a good idea, and even if it is, I want to balance that against having my pelvis weighting it down, so I don’t get uprooted. In general, I’m trying to spend more time actively maintaining a good (but still relaxed!) position, so I can preserve energy better, since it’s continuing to go away…

I was really sleepy today, so I napped over lunch instead of doing my Neigong practice; I think that was the right choice (or rather, the wrong choice was going to bed late the previous night), it did give me enough energy for the afternoon and for Tai Chi class that night. It was a between-semester week for Tai Chi, so we were out in the courtyard; I decided to spend the first 20 minutes doing Wu Ji in the style of my Tai Chi teacher instead of the Lotus Neigong style. I didn’t feel so much energy, and there was more tension on my calf; maybe the latter is a side effect of being higher? (Whereas if I’m lower, the strain is on my thighs.) Not sure.

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