Nei Gong Notes, October 5, 2021

Oct 05 2021

My best practice week in ages; a combination of my sleep behaving acceptably and me feeling motivated had good results. Yay.

This week in Damo’s course was continuing the five elements seated sequences, this time with Wood. The first bit in the Water sequence (making big circles while twisting your torso) was here too, so I guess that’s common to all of them? Which is good, I like that one, my spine could use the action. Anyways, the surprise with the Wood one is how active it is, with a couple of moves that could be Dao Yins (and maybe actually are, I’ll ask people in the know if they are purging exercises or not). Coincidentally, one of the older lessons that I was rewatching also had a Wood exercise, which talked about how Wood is associated with the tendons, I guess this is part of that.

I still don’t have a feel for exactly when to do the exercises in this new sequence; I’ll wait until I’ve learned all five, but if an explanation of that doesn’t show up, I’ll ask about it.

Anyways, in terms of practice: on Wednesday, I actually practiced a little over two hours in the morning; admittedly, mostly seated, but still. And on Friday, I practiced close to two hours. So it was good to get back into the scene? And, inspired by rewatching old videos, I did go through Thickening the Qi; a little depressing that my Qi didn’t feel as thick as it had sometimes when I did that exercise.

But then I watched the Water Wu Xing video from year one, and decided to do that; normally I just do those five exercises in sequence, but I got the impression that the Water one could stand on its own pretty well, and I feel like I could use the help. So I went through that on Thursday, I think, doing it for 10 minutes? And, after 5 minutes or so, I was feeling an effect in my spine, especially near my neck, so I guess my Qi is a little thick after all. And then I actually started to feel nauseous while doing that, enough so that it felt like a wise idea to stop after 10 minutes instead of going further.

So it was good to get back into older stuff; and I also did manage to go through the whole standing Dan Tian Gong sequence this week, it’s been a while since I’ve done that. And, in general, my standing is now not in the pathetic state that it had been in a few weeks back; I’m not standing forever, but doing Wu Ji for 20 minutes is no problem (I’m sure I could go longer), and doing Dan Tian Gong for 39 minutes seems fine. And I even managed to fit in an extra bit of sitting practice one work afternoon when I hit a break a little early.

In terms of Tai Chi, I led Silk Reeling this week. Tony has been pushing us to do that more slowly, so I did (honestly, I went slightly too slow!), and that was a very interesting experience, getting me to feel more stuff inside my body than I have been. So I’m going to want to continue that. Also it made me realize that my balance just isn’t as good as I’d like on the Circling In To / Out Of Your Kua With A Kick exercises, I need to work on that, and on some bits of the form.

I’m continuing to be optimistic that I’ll learn the Xin Jia first form pretty well this time; I’m up through Jade Girl, and got some help in the transition from Dan Bian into Jade Girl, and now I think I’m solid there. (Bend left, then start facing to the right, with your left hand over your right hand. Circle clockwise down from the right, ending up with chest closed and facing right.) One other pointer from this week: after the flick down with your hands in Xin Jia Oblique Posture, you should let your hands bounce back up pretty high.

I also bought a Guan Dao and a heavier regular Dao this week. Unfortunately, when I started using the new regular Dao, I realized that the weighting is pretty far off; I’ll go back to the store tomorrow and see if they have other ones that are weighted better.

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