Nei Gong Notes, September 6, 2022

Sep 06 2022

Pretty mellow week. I got my second shingles vaccine shot on Wednesday; as predicted, that had me basically knocked out on Thursday and didn’t have me feeling at full strength on Friday. I did do some Nei Gong on Wednesday morning, but nothing super special or anything.

My teacher was out for Tai Chi on Saturday, but one of the more senior students watched my form and gave me some advice. And I went through the form a couple of times in an analytical way on Sunday. Here’s my combined notes from that:

  • In the push to the left just after the start, I should sink into my left Kua more.
  • In Jing Gang, I should end with my hands in front of my Dantian; they’re too high most of the time now.
  • In the push in Six Sealing Four Closing, I should experiment with sinking into a tuck in my tailbone.
  • Before I step to the left in Dantian Change, I should make sure I’m sunk into my right Kua. (In general, if I’m stepping out and feel slightly unsteady, that’s a sign that I should sink into the Kua that I’m stepping from.)
  • I am very good at forgetting the details of the transition from the first punch into Jing Gang, though I think I’ve got it okay right now.
  • In Reverse with Spiraling Forearms, I should make sure my heel has gone down before pushing forward with the opposite hand.

I also experimented with some tweaks to show respect (saluting at the start, and doing an extra 180 degree turn at the end); not sure if I’ll put those in when doing the teacher certification exam on Sunday. If it weren’t so incredibly hot and I could get in multiple solid practices this week, that would be one thing, but I don’t know that I’ll be able to practice much tomorrow, and I’m not sure about Friday either.

We had the last class of the summer Tuesday session tonight. My teacher mostly talked and answered questions: he went over the answer to one question on the written certification exam that I’d asked him about, and he answered some questions about Silk Reeling. The main one that caught my attention there was in Spine Stretch: he was leading with his chin, whereas I like to lead with my Baihui, and we talked about that. He said both were possible approaches, as long as you know why you’re doing it; leading with your chin is good if you want your back moving in both directions, leading with your Baihui is good if you want to focus on extending your back.

And he also answered a question I had about two hands fixed step Push Hands. In what he calls part 3 of that, if I’m receiving the push at that point, I should indeed be blocking with my hand, but I should also be rotating my body to the right; and then, in part 4, when my partner traps my hand and continues pushing, I should use my Dantian and body to sink in and rotate to the left. (So the rotation to the right feels more like a swivel, whereas the rotation to the left gets more of my body involved while sinking.)

And, watching him there and working it out with my partner, I think I figured out the difference between the 1-2-3-4 that he teaches to learn it versus the ongoing continuous version that people normally do. The continuous version is more like the 3-4 repeated on both sides; so the 1 basically goes away (it’s an extra push), and honestly the 2 part feels a little short to me, when I learned the 2 part I didn’t really appreciate the rotation to the left there.

It’s been a little hard to tell with the vaccine side effects and the hot nights making it hard to sleep, but I continue to think that the TCM treatment is helping noticeably with tiredness; I’m looking forward to that continuing to get better.

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