Tai Chi Notes, May 21, 2019

May 21 2019

This week was mostly about continuing reverberations from last week’s Nei Gong course.

I did keep up my Nei Gong practice, doing at least a little bit of it every day since the course ended. Not sure how long that’s going to last, but hopefully I’ll end up at a steady state that has me doing more Nei Gong than before the class. And hopefully doing better Nei Gong; I’m certainly doing things in a more varied way, at least. Though it’s also not feeling nearly as effective as it was during the course; not sure how much of that is because even an hour of practice isn’t the same as five or six hours of practice, and how much of that is because practice on my own isn’t as effective as practice with expert guidance.

And I’m back to doing my normal Tai Chi. (Well, except for Sunday, because it was raining pretty hard out.) On Saturday, I was definitely still on a Nei Gong high, because the Silk Reeling Exercises felt a lot more intense than they normally did, and the form felt somewhat more intense. It’ll be really good if I can hold on to some of that feeling, both because it feels good, because I suspect that it’s reflecting energy flowing better through my body than it had before, and because it’s feedback giving me potentially healthy guidance. (E.g. there were a few random moves in the form when I lost that feeling of energy, I should figure out what was going on there.) Though, jumping ahead, the Silk Reeling and the form weren’t nearly as intense in the Tuesday evening class tonight: the feeling was still there somewhat, but definitely not the same thing.

On Sunday, I did breathing meditation lying down for 30 minutes; that was also pretty intense. I guess / hope it’s a feeling of Yang Qi, and I guess I shouldn’t focus on the sensations too much, and I’m honestly not sure how much time I should spend on lying down practice because it doesn’t seem conducive to gathering Qi in my Dantian, but still: it’s interesting / pleasant enough for me to want to keep on doing it sometimes. (But I’m also starting to mix in more seated breathing practice.)

What actually hasn’t been going super well has been my Wu Ji practice: my thighs have been feeling weak, so I’ve been dropping out after about 12 minutes. Part of this is that I’m going noticeably lower than I had been before the class; maybe also I’m doing other changes in how I hold my body / muscles, and if so I’m not sure if my thighs being under stress reflects something good or something bad? But I also feel like my thighs are just over-tired right now, so maybe I should actually back off on the Wu Ji a bit, spending more time doing less strenuous practice until they’ve recovered.

Also this morning I was reading a section in the Comprehensive Guide talking about Qi Gong sequences, and it mentioned that you should drop into Wu Ji after every posture, so I did that today; so even though I didn’t have a single Wu Ji session that was as long as I’d been doing, it at least added up to a more reasonable amount of time.

Other notes from tonight’s Tai Chi class: my teacher was talking about opening up the Live Gate in a move where I don’t normally think of that as a key component, and I used that as an excuse to work on spreading my lower back a little more (sideways as well as vertically) during a few different moves; seems worth continuing to experiment with, it did at least feel differently stretched. And actually the Qi Gong practice in the Tuesday class went as well as I can remember it ever going, my Dantian did feel a little more full than normal?

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