Archive for June, 2021

Nei Gong Notes, June 29, 2021

Jun 29 2021 Published by under Uncategorized

Good week. I’m almost done with the dragons; I still need to see the whole sequence for the Drunken Dragon, but I’ve seen all the parts there. And I continue to enjoy the dragons more as I do them more, I’m slowing down and getting more out of them.

I had to work last Wednesday, so not as many long practice sessions as normal. But still, I chipped away at things, and today in particular felt good, I was feeling things move when doing silk reeling during a meeting, and I got a lot of sleep so I had energy (and time) to do standing Dantian Gong over lunch for the first time in rather too long.

I led silk reeling on Saturday, it felt fine? Hopefully I’ll be able to get my jian form looked at this coming Saturday.

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Nei Gong Notes: June 22, 2021

Jun 22 2021 Published by under Uncategorized

Interesting week. Not too tired most days, so that was good, though I was unusually busy, so I didn’t practice as much as I normally did, and I skipped Saturday Tai Chi. But the practice that I did do seemed effective, even on short practice sessions.

I did do longer practice sessions on Wednesday and Friday, though, and the Wednesday one felt particularly good; I did a decent length Wu Ji session (30 minutes, plus 5 minutes of a Dao Yin and 5 more minutes of Wu Ji), then some seated meditation, some seated Dantian Gong, and a short Wu Ji session, and I was actually feeling my body react strongly enough to the Dantian Gong that I was on the edge of feeling nauseous. So that was pretty neat; Friday wasn’t as strong, but in general it seemed like a concrete sign of progress.

My right thigh is still off, but it’s no longer affecting my back. And actually my lower back was feeling kind of interesting: one of the new moves that I learned was giving a good stretch there, and there were a few other situations where it felt more energetic than normal? I’m not convinced my Live Gate is really completely opened up, I don’t get the same tingling situation there as I do in my Bai Hui or Yong Quan, but at least hopefully it’s no longer super blocked.

Anyways, I finished learning the Swimming Dragon: one last move, which was a nice simple lower back stretch. Which, actually, is very simple indeed, basically just trying to let your body hang down like you’re trying to touch your toes; for whatever reason, though, in that Dao Yin, it really feels like it’s opening up your lower back?

And then I moved on to the Soaring Dragon; no complicated transition moves there, so that was quick to learn. Or at least to mostly learn, I need to watch it again to make sure I understand one detail about the turn around? Also, there’s a low version of the Soaring Dragon; I’m not flexible enough to do it right, though, and Damo says both that the low version isn’t important and that you can actually hurt yourself if you do it halfway, so I’m just leaving that alone.

Also, when practicing the Dragons, I’m noticing that, as I slow down and relax, I can slip pretty quickly into feeling something during the Wu Ji at the start. So hopefully that’s another sign that my body really is starting to change? Not sure if it’s the ongoing practice or if the Dragons are particularly effective or if it’s just my imagination, but it does motivate me to keep on going.

I’ll be leading Silk Reeling next week; I think the week after that, I’m going to ask my Tai Chi teacher to go over my Jian form instead of the first form.

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Nei Gong Notes, June 15, 2021

Jun 15 2021 Published by under Uncategorized

Kind of frustrating week; sleep was a bit on the bad side, and I strained something in my right kua or right thigh and that, I think, had me walking or standing in a weird way that got my back unhappy with me. So the end of the week and the weekend weren’t very good from a practice point of view.

There were some good things, though. On Wednesday, when I was doing my start-of-vacation-day practice, it really did start to feel different after a while; nothing I haven’t felt before, but I’m getting the feel that, if I put in an hour and a half of practice, it starts to feel different. And my practice yesterday and today over lunch were both pretty good; not super long, I just spent half an hour doing half of the Ji Ben Qi Gong each day, but my body was definitely reacting. Reacting more in physical stretch way than in a qi movement way, but that’s interesting too, it feels like a sign that my wetsuit is coming together?

I’ve been working on the Swimming Dragon; I should learn the last bit of that tonight.

We had Sunday Tai Chi this week; coming in, I’d been wondering if, during Sweep the Hall, I should try to be more upright. (Normally I’d say “yes, definitely”, but when I try that, I feel like the weight distribution interferes with my turning.) And, watching my teacher and then asking him about that, it’s correct to lean; you don’t want to lean too far, but a bit of leaning is right for that move.

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Nei Gong Notes, June 8, 2021

Jun 08 2021 Published by under Uncategorized

I’ve now learned the complete first dragon; there’s one bit where I need to make sure I understand the connection right, but still, progress. The main surprise there is that the actual walking part is pretty short; not what I was expecting given how much time I’d been spending on that! On to the second dragon tonight.

I’d been walking to a local park to practice Tai Chi on my days off, but I think I’m going to stop doing that; I wear my walking shoes when I do that, and it makes them stick a little more than I would like for Tai Chi.

And I went into the office for the first time yesterday and today. Yesterday I didn’t do any Nei Gong over lunch but I did go through the dragons at the end of the work day; today I did lunch practice as well as end of day practice. I’ll try to keep that up for now, though once the office opens up more, I’ll be playing board games on many of the days when I’m in the office. Maybe I’ll end up practicing a bit more in the evenings, we’ll see.

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Nei Gong Notes, June 1, 2021

Jun 01 2021 Published by under Uncategorized

Decent week, maybe even a pretty good one? I’m still dealing with my energy levels on my days off, but I’m getting some practice done there while also not worrying too much when “some practice” doesn’t mean “4 hours of Nei Gong and 2 hours of Tai Chi”. And I had an extra day off this week because of Memorial Day; slept in quite a bit, which helped with my energy level for the start-of-day practice, and then I mostly goofed off the rest of the day, which is also appropriate for a holiday!

Though I did make sure to do a round of silk reeling – I’d skipped that the previous week, and then my back wasn’t feeling good, so I have to remember: always do silk reeling at least twice a week, I guess that holds even when I’m doing Tai Chi more days than I had been.

And, for whatever reason (the extra Nei Gong from the days off? the silk reeling), today’s Nei Gong practice was kind of intense: not a great sleep day, so all I did in the middle of the day was the second half of the Ji Ben, but my body was feeling it inside much more than normal, especially on the fifth and sixth exercises. So that was nice, good to feel that I’m making progress.

And I’m making progress with the dragons, too; now I know the stepping parts of all four, and the opening and closing exercises. And the stepping on the first dragon feels pretty smooth most of the time; I’m definitely improving on the third one as well, it’s not quite as good but it’s getting closer. So I’m getting the foot movements down; and it might also be the case that focusing more on having my feet close to a straight line on those two helps? And the fourth dragon is going fine, it’s not as hard, and it’s interesting to try to feel a little off balance. Tonight I’ll start working on the other parts of things, it’ll be interesting to see what the full exercises are like.

Not much to report on the Tai Chi front; basically going well, and I continue to think that I want to work on my Jian in particular. I think at least I’m starting to get a little better at Sweeping the Hall Leg in the second form, I’m getting crisper about shifting my balance and that’s making a difference.

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