Tai Chi Notes, January 8, 2019

Jan 08 2019

I was doing Dantian Rotations in the shower on Saturday, and they felt significantly different from the way they normally feel: I first felt a fairly localized area where parts of my body were twisting together, and then I felt an honest-to-god hard ball inside there. And, to make matters weirder sometimes I felt a weird vibration in part of the rotation, and sometimes I felt a sort of click at the end of the rotation; though I’m not sure if the click part came from my Dantian or from the stomach muscles on the surface.

I think there are two reasons why I felt this in the shower. One is that I’m not feeling through layers of clothing: it makes sense that I can feel stuff inside my body better if I’m touching my skin. And the other is that my Dantian is noticeably lower than my navel; so my upper hand should be covering my navel and my lower hand significantly lower than my navel; and, if I’m wearing jeans, I can’t do that effectively while remaining decent.

So now that I’ve had that experience, I’m trying to move my hand and attention a little lower while doing Dantian Rotations normally. I don’t get the full experience, in particular the feeling of a ball is pretty elusive, but it does feel somewhat different, especially in some rotation directions.

I’m really curious what the underlying physical structure is that I’m feeling: clearly there’s something there, I just don’t understand what…

Anyways, on the Saturday class, my teacher talked about the turn back at the start of Kick with Two Feet Up: there’s a shoulder strike in there. And I asked about the Silk Reeling Exercise Hand Maneuvers; I was wondering if you should extend your hand during the top part, but his answer was a little more oblique, and he talked more about leading with your thumb and involving the shoulder. And I also asked about the different parts of The Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, but I still don’t really understand what’s going on with the different energetic bits there; I think I’ll probably just try to figure it out for a while and then ask again in a couple of months. Also, while he was doing the form, I was looking at his footwork during Push the Mountain: your right foot should be pointing straight to the right while you’re pushing.

On Sunday I again did 15 minutes of breathing exercise while Liesl was walking Widget; I had a harder time focusing than the previous week, for whatever reason, but I did start to notice the diaphragm moving at the start of the breath. (Which makes sense, that’s how breathing works!) And actually this morning I snuck in a little bit of time to practice that while I was working from home; I’m thinking I should also work that in on evenings when Liesl ends up walking Widget, that’s probably a better use of my time than reading Twitter.

Sunday was quite wet outside, so I didn’t practice outside; but I went through the full set of Silk-Reeling Exercises inside and the new Qigong set I’m trying to learn. And I had a good Qigong practice today over lunch. The Tuesday class hasn’t started yet, but a few of us went to hang out and practice anyways; I did the full Silk-Reeling Set and went through the first form six times. Which, unfortunately, didn’t loosen up the same way it had in some prior weeks; it loosened up a little, though. And the main thing that I’m noticing now is the way sinking into my kua lets me store up energy while moving a little past where I normally will, and then pushing with my leg lets me release that. So I feel like I’m starting to get that; I still don’t understand storing energy in my Dantian, though…

I’m also trying to register for Damo Mitchell’s Neigong seminar in May; I haven’t gotten a response to my query about that, though, so I’m not signed up yet.


One response so far

  1. very interesting.. thanks for sharing