Nei Gong Notes, April 14, 2020

Apr 14 2020

I’m switching the title of these posts to “Nei Gong Notes”: for a while I’ve been doing Tai Chi and Nei Gong, and while my time had been more heavily weighted towards the former, with COVID it’s now more heavily weighted towards the latter. And I think that, with the launch of the Internal Arts Academy, I’ll be spending more time than I had been on Nei Gong stuff than I had been; maybe not more than on Tai Chi, but at the least it’ll be more balanced. Also, in some sense Tai Chi is a subset of Nei Gong: Nei Gong basically means “internal work”, and hence includes internal martial arts.

Anyways, as to the Tai Chi portion of this: I actually did go through the form three times this Sunday and I went through most of the Jian form as well. And I did okay on the latter, though I couldn’t remember the last few moves we’d learned; glad I got back to the practice. And today I went through the first form three times, the second form once, and the Jian form a few times, and I remembered one or two more moves in the latter. Still need to get back to the Xinjia first form.

Also, I’m thinking I’m not getting as much new from doing Dantian Rotations, so I’m dialing that down to once a day (with 25 repetitions) instead of twice.

I’ve finished the first week of the Internal Arts Academy syllabus. The first video had us doing seated meditation; the one he led off with is one he calls “starving the mind”, where you basically try not to think. Which is different from the Song Breathing that I’ve normally been doing during my meditation time. So I’ve been trying that; seems fine, I don’t yet feel that I’m getting anything extra from that. I have been using that as an excuse to try thinking less during Wu Ji, though.

And the second video was on stretches. The main thing about all of these stretches is to put your consciousness on the body part where you’re stretching; that makes the stretch more effective, and helps open up space around there. For my future reference, the list of stretches:

  • Shoulder rotations; only rotate backward, not forward, we all slump too much as it is.
  • Scapula rotations; from the outside, it looks a lot like shoulder rotations, but try to move your shoulder blades instead.
  • Yao rotations: this is the area of your torso between the bottom of your rib cage and your hips. Try to feel an active stretch on the outside as you rotate around.
  • Yao rotations from the Dantian. A similar-looking movement, but this time you’re supposed to be moving from your Dantian, and that’s where you focus your attention instead of the outside stretch.
  • Bend at your hips, feeling a stretch on your lower back and butt. When you’re come up, make space inside your torso to help your rise. Keep your legs locked on this one.
  • Neck rotations: turn your head right and left.
  • Sit cross-legged, and turn your torso right and left, feeling the stretch (I think) in your Yao again.
  • Sit cross-legged, and turn your torso right and left but move from your Dantian.
  • Sit in a half-lotus position, lean forward, and rock your torso from one knee to the other. Switch which foot is on top and repeat. (I should probably rewatch the video on this one to understand where I’m supposed to be feeling the stretch, and whether I’m supposed to come up between legs; I think your butt and no, but I’m not sure.
  • Sit with the soles of your feet together and bend down at the hips, and rise up by opening inside your torso.
  • Sit with crossed legs and breathe in, stretching your lungs and your whole body.

Outside of the course, I did 20 minutes of Wu Ji a few times, and 25 minutes today, hopefully I’ll be up to 30 minutes in a week on so? And I’ll probably stay there for a while. Today was interesting, at one point I felt kind of like there was a sheathe surrounding my going from my hips to my lower back. Never felt that before, and given that so far the interesting stuff that I’ve felt has usually stopped at my tailbone, it’s nice to feel something going up further.

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