Tai Chi Notes, February 2, 2020

Feb 02 2020

I’m on a work trip this week, so I’ll put out the post early; hopefully I’ll at least do my Wu Ji and my sitting meditation regularly while I’m there, but it’s easier to write the post from home.

I’ve noticed my body getting more relaxed when I do my sitting meditation: I start by trying to relax the muscles around my chest, and it feels that that’s less of a point of tension than it had been. And in general stuff feels more sinky while I’m sitting? Today in particular, I was sitting for 30 minutes, and without me trying to move it there, my attention ended up at my Dantian 15 or 20 minutes of the way through that, to the extent that, when I was doing a body scan of my head or neck, I felt like I had to reach up to do that.

I also noticed that it’s getting easier for me to sit in full lotus: that had been starting to get comfortable with my legs crossed one way, but today it was comfortable for 30 minutes with my legs crossed the other way. I was a little disconcerted to notice fairly dark blotches on the sole of my foot at the end of it, but they disappeared basically as soon as I uncrossed my legs, and I assume that that actually has been happening for a while (and maybe even when I sit in half lotus), I just happened to not have socks on today so I could see it. (Because my feet felt fine, it was purely visual.)

The sinking feeling is happening a little more than it had been when doing Wu Ji as well, I think? I’m not 100% sure, that one has had some level of sinking for a while. But it does seem like I’m getting more of a lasting sunk / relaxed feeling. Still not particularly close again to a breakthrough or anything, though.

Some notes from the Saturday Tai Chi class: in Small Catching and Striking, when you put your right hand under the left one after the shoulder strike, you shouldn’t just use your hand, use your Dantian as well and kind of fold in your body a bit. And I should keep in mind the application for the push to the left after Kick with Two Feet up: I’m sort of sweeping with my right foot while pushing to the left, with my left leg solid, to get uproot and throw my opponent.

And I was also wondering about one chopping move in the Jian form, where you shift your weight at the same time as stomping down; that seems very different from the bare-hand form, where you’re always supposed to act like you’re on thin ice. My teacher’s explanation of that is that, with weapons, your opponent will be farther away so you don’t have to worry as much about having your feet swept, and hence don’t have to be quite as cautious.

My local(ish) Lotus Nei Gong teachers are giving a course in March on the Ji Ben Qi Gong, which is a set that I’ve tried to learn from a book and that I do practice once a week; hopefully I’ll be able to go through that, it’ll be good to learn it in person, I’m sure there will be tons of aspects of it where I can improve.

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