Tai Chi Notes: September 24, 2019

Sep 24 2019

My Tai Chi teacher is giving a Qigong seminar for the next few weeks; the first class was on Saturday, covering Wu Ji. (The version he teaches, which is different from the Lotus Nei Gong version that I do in my daily practice.) Some things that were different from my mental model of that version of Wu Ji:

  • You should sink back into your kua, not just sideways, in fact he uses a different term (rounding your something) for the latter. Not as far back into your kua as the Lotus folks do, though, because you want to have your Huiyin back in the middle after tilting your hips forward.
  • When relaxing your shoulders, you want them to stretch out on the top away from your neck.
  • Twice, when correcting my form, he told me to relax my chest more.
  • You should stretch your fingers out somewhat.

One thing I noticed is that my back doesn’t stretch and relax as much when doing Wu Ji this form; my Live Gate doesn’t feel as open, my shoulder blades don’t sink as much. I would have naively thought that standing more upright would make things sink down more, but apparently leaning my torso forward helps with sinking stuff on my back? Unexpected.

I also felt stuff gathering in my hand an unusual amount. (Especially the first time, when I wasn’t stretching my fingers.) Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

We had the monthly class on Sunday; I was surprised how the second form felt, I might actually learn that this year? I was worried because I’d missed at least one class, but I feel like I’ve caught back up, and we’re pretty close to the end and I’m not feeling lost.

And I spent some time at the end of the class on Sunday working on my Jian; and I was pleased to feel how visceral the circles felt in one bit, I’ll have to see if I start feeling the more of an effect of using the Jian in other places in the form.

I’m up to 32 minutes of Wu Ji practice on Sundays. I think I’ll stay at 30 minutes for Tuesdays and Thursdays, though: I only have so much time over lunch, and I do want to leave time for Qigong and/or Five Animals. But I’ll try to reach 40 minutes on Sunday, and then re-evaluate. I wasn’t super looking forward to spending 30+ minutes doing Wu Ji and another 30 minutes doing seated meditation this Sunday afternoon, but when I actually did it, it was fine. I’m not getting quite as much out of seated meditation as I’d like right now, though; when I first started doing the relaxing part of Sung breathing, it seemed like there was some interesting stuff going on, but I haven’t really felt that the last few times.

In class tonight, in the first half of Grab and Tuck Robe, when my right arm was going to the right, I realized I was lowering my shoulder as it went down, which raised the question: should I be raising it in the first place? I think the answer is probably no, so I’m working on keeping it sunk. Also I noticed my teacher doing what looked a little like a shoulder strike in the second half; and he actually talked about it, the second half could be a shoulder strike or an elbow strike or a hand strike, depending on where your opponent is.

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