Nei Gong Notes, April 20, 2021

Apr 20 2021

This week was my first week of taking a break from Damo’s course and spending time learning the Dragon Dao Yins instead. (I mean, it’s still from Damo, it’s just a different part of the website!) It’s broken up into a bunch of small lessons, so I’ll have to think about how to pace them; for now, though, on Tuesday I went through the intro lesson and a few different ones on stretches, and on Thursday I went through one on Wu Ji and one on a different standing posture called Tai Yi. All stuff I’d seen before, but I only barely remembered Tai Yi and had never practiced it regularly; and some of the stretches were ones I didn’t practice regularly, either.

One thing I learned from the Tai Yi lesson is that I’d been doing the Tai Ji mudra wrong: your right thumb is supposed to be on the outside on top instead of inside. Which, in retrospect, makes sense: your right thumb kind of mirrors your left fingers and your left fingers kind of mirror your right thumb. Anyways, Tai Yi seems fine: it’s more focused on your spine and central line. And it feels a little unstable, because your feet are right next to each other, but nothing unmanageable; we’ll see if my balance / sinking ever evolves to a situation where that feels stable.

Tony reviewed my form on Saturday, and he said I was making progress, probably the most positive I’ve heard him be? So that’s nice: it felt like I’d been doing better at sinking since last time, and that must have paid off. A couple of pointers he had: In Reverse with Spiraling Forearms, I should generate power when striking from my rear foot, so my foot has to land before I strike. And in the reverse version of Oblique Posture, I should tuck my tailbone more, and I should adjust my left knee. (Open it, I’m fairly sure.)

In general, a fine week. Less sleepy than the previous week, so I did my full complement of Dantian Gong; but still more sleepy than I’d like, so my practice sessions were more likely to feel like the minimum than like going beyond. I did get a pointer (maybe from the Dragon Dao Yin videos, maybe from the book) about finding your center of gravity that caused me to try to wobble my body back and forth and see where it’s wobbling from; and, at different heights, I do seem to be naturally flexing from a different place? So I’ll try working with that; it puts me at the lower range of where I’d been standing (I usually get lower as my practice progresses and I relax more), which makes sense.

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