Tai Chi Notes, February 12, 2019

Feb 12 2019

I’m spending some of my focus when walking around trying to keep my head pulled up without pulling my whole body up; one concept there (I think saw this in one of the Damo Mitchell books) is to think of my spine as a chain with both the top of my head and my pelvis pulling on it to keep it taught. Also, I want to get out of the habit of tensing my stomach muscles by default. Not sure exactly how much progress I’m making on keeping my head raised, but it is reminding me of how it feels to sink a little into my kua: it can actually feel really good, and that feeling was sometimes spreading to my torso. So I guess I should keep on trying that…

One thing I noticed in class on Saturday was that I was managing to relax my torso while doing the form. This actually started with Silk Reeling: e.g. on Waist Rotation it’s mostly my legs / kua (or maybe those plus my dantian?) moving things with my torso coming along for the ride; and I felt like I was sometimes getting that feeling while doing the form. I’m not 100% sure if that’s a good thing or not, but I think it is? And maybe it’s in part what people are talking about when they say that movements should originate from the dantian, though I’m not 100% sure about that either. At any rate, something to experiment with.

On Sunday morning I was doing a breathing meditation exercise lying down on my back while Liesl was walking Widget. One thing I’ve noticed in the past is that it feels like my breath goes in an arc: down from my nose to my throat, then along my lungs (horizontally, since I’m lying down, and then it feels like things are going up a little at the end (maybe that’s my abdomen expanding). And, this time, maybe 5 or 10 minutes in, that last little bit started to spontaneously set off a feeling of dantian rotations, in the forward circle direction, with the up from breathing at the bottom of my lungs matching the up part of the dantian rotation at the top. Kind of a trippy feeling; I didn’t want to pay too much attention to it, because the instructions for that exercise say to observe but not really focus on what’s going on, but I hope it happens again? (I looked up the description of the exercise after doing that and I didn’t notice anything matching that experience…)

Some notes from the Tuesday class: my teacher mentioned turning to the right / sinking into your right kua at the start of Six Sealing Four Closing, I don’t think I do that so much, and it clearly helps. And he mentioned relaxing at the end of the movement to the left right after that: I do that some, but maybe I should do it more? Also, I’m still feeling a little stuck (and with my torso out of place) right after pounding my fist in Jing Gang, and also I’m leaning a little when I move my foot to the right partway through Grab and Tuck Robe, I should work on those.


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