Nei Gong Notes, September 22, 2020

Sep 22 2020

More spine work in Damo’s course this week: we did an exercise where you bend your back down trying to curve each vertebra, and then come back up in a similar way (this time stacking the vertebrae one at a time), trying to open the front of your spine on the way up. Good exercise, and it made me realize that I was frequently moving multiple vertebrae in a linked way when going through the upper and middle parts of my back: there’s not a big group locked together like in the bottom, but more connection than I realized. Though I think that, in the middle and upper parts, I can curve the individual ones separately, I don’t think any are actually stuck if I’m paying attention?

And I think (but, again, am not sure) that I’m starting to get to a situation where that group of five vertebrae at the bottom curves a little bit. So hopefully they’re not actually physically fused together, and I’ll be able to tease them apart more if I keep at it?

Anyways, after that back exercise, there’s a variant where you add arm movements into it, which turns out to be a form of Upholding the Moon. And then, after doing that, you’re supposed to be in Wu Ji for a bit, putting your awareness along the whole spine. (Not moving your awareness up and down, but taking the whole thing in at once.) Good set of exercises, I’m glad I did it, but I like the first one the most; I think it’s probably healthy for me to keep up spine work, so I might combine the first part of this week’s exercise with the second and third parts of last week’s?

Nei Gong class on Saturday, going through some Dao Yins; interesting enough, but I’m not planning to work it into my practice. And I was good about doing Silk Reeling, and less good about doing Tai Chi, but I did some Tai Chi today and it seemed like it went pretty well; I think I want to work on getting the feel that I’m storing and releasing power from my legs to my arms.

Unfortunately, I’m getting back to being more tired than I’d like; the gains from steam cleaning really didn’t last very long. In retrospect I wish we’d followed through on our idea of putting in wooden flooring in the upstairs bedroom: we’d talked about doing it, but didn’t get around to doing it, and then COVID hit…

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