Tai Chi Notes: December 11, 2018

Dec 11 2018

I led the Silk Reeling Exercises this Saturday; it honestly didn’t go as well as I’d like, I didn’t feel like I did a great job during the middle third of the exercises in particular. So I should probably start practicing them more on Sundays.

And, speaking of Sundays, this week was the monthly Pao Chui class. I missed that last month, and apparently they finished the form that month; this time was a review session, and it actually concentrated on the end, so at least I’ve seen that a few times now. But I was already feeling like I didn’t have a great grasp of the form; I’ll be glad to see it start over again next month. And also the weapons form on the Sunday classes is going to switch from the Guan Dao (which I haven’t been doing) to the staff (which I plan to do, I’ve even already bought mine). I’m looking forward to that: I think my choice to not do the Guan Dao last year was the right one, but I’m feeling more confident in things now, so adding in the staff now should be okay.

Streaks asked me again if I should add a third Dantian Rotation section. (I tell Streaks that I’m doing it twice a day, but each time is 25 rotations.) And I’m going to give that a try: I don’t know exactly how I’ll fit in the third section, whereas the first two are next to my two train commutes (ideally while waiting for the train, but if I get to the station too late, then right after I get off), but hopefully I’ll be able to fit it in? I did manage that on Sunday, Monday, and today, at least. I actually don’t feel like I’ve gotten as much benefit as I hoped to when switching from 20 rotations a day to 50; so part of me feels like I should actually go back to doing less, but maybe I need to lean in more.

I feel like I’m getting better at sinking while standing normally (i.e. when not practicing). Relaxing my stomach, opening my kua, and sinking into it: not a ton, but even a little bit makes a difference that I can feel. So hopefully I’m retraining my body’s habits a bit.

I’ve been reading through Chen Taijiquan: Masters & Methods, and this bit from Chen Zhenglei stuck with me. I’ve been feeling the tingling in my hands for years, and I think now I’m getting to the warmth in my Dantian. So the good news is that now I know what to look forward to next, that I hopefully am doing the right thing to get to the next stage (spending more time in standing meditation and on leg strengthening exercises), and that I’m hearing consistent stories both from my teacher (who told me to do more standing meditation when I asked about developing these feelings in my feet) and from this book. But the bad news is that apparently the next stage will take a while! (And it’s not like I do that much standing meditation…)

I started a post in my main blog on silk reeling exercises, hopefully I’ll finish that this weekend or maybe even this Thursday.


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