Archive for December, 2022

Nei Gong Notes, December 27, 2022

Dec 27 2022 Published by under Uncategorized

I got back to my full practice session this week. My brother was in town, so maybe I didn’t do quite as many long sessions as I otherwise would have, but I also had an extra vacation day because of the holiday, so it all evens out? More 40 minute Hui Chun sessions than I had been doing, maybe I would have done a longer Wu Ji session this weekend otherwise, but still, a solid week.

Of course, I was having to build my practice back up. So I was trying to do a decent amount of Wu Ji, and it definitely needed a bit of help. Before I got sick, I was getting interesting results from pressure on my Yong Quan, and also I felt that my spine was loosening up in ways that had my pelvis do a better job of hanging straight down than it had been. I was still getting some results from Yong Quan pressurization, but it was definitely more muted at the start of the week.

As the week went on, it started to get interesting again, though actually in a kind of different way. Not as much energy actively lifting up my body and going up my spine, though I did get some of that. But when standing today, I was feeling energy go through all of my limbs, and different parts of my body were hanging down very strongly. The former of those is something that’s been happening off and on recently, but the latter is new; maybe another manifestation that I’m getting significantly better these days at relaxing and making space.

I had iffy sleep several nights this week; and it was also paired with my stomach / throat feeling a bit off. I’d noticed that pairing in the past, I should ask Dr. Yang about it, I don’t know if that’s a Liver Heat symptom or if it’s something else. Anyways, I’d been hoping that the Liver Hui Chun would help with that, since it was really effective the first time I did that a month or two back, but honestly I haven’t noticed the Liver Hui Chun having a strong effect since then. But this week I did a long Spleen Hui Chun for the first time in a while, and I had my best sleep in a week the evening after I did that. Might be a coincidence, but I should definitely get back to mixing that in; and that also makes me wonder what effect the Heart and Lung Hui Chuns would have on me, I should try to find time to do a good session of each of those over the next couple of weeks.

And I’ve kept up the jogging; not quite as many days in a row as I did the previous week, but still, enough to help me extend the distance I’d been going in.

As to Tai Chi, at least it wasn’t raining on Saturday, but my teacher was out for the holidays, so we just did a review of a bunch of weapons forms. Which reminded my that I’ve forgotten some details in the spear form, I have to make sure to go over that. I can see that I haven’t been practicing at home as much as I should over the last month or so; I should get back to that, and I have at least gone through all the forms I know once when practicing at home Sunday and yesterday. So hopefully I’m starting to get back on track there, though I do need to actively review the spear and the Xin Jia form, and also to make sure I learn the next bit of the Guan Dao.

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Nei Gong Notes, December 20, 2022

Dec 20 2022 Published by under Uncategorized

Mostly a sick week, unfortunately. I felt better, so I did my regular long Nei Gong practice on Wednesday morning. And I could tell part way through that that was a mistake, and the cold did indeed get worse again after that. Who knows if it would have gotten worse anyways or if the Nei Gong contributed because it was a little strenuous or if the Nei Gong contributed because it was moving stuff around inside, but at any rate: whoops.

Not a horrible relapse of the cold or anything: ultimately, it was just a cold, and the symptoms never got particularly bad. (They lingered a bit more in the second part of the cold, but probably was a little less severe than the first part of the cold, and the first part wasn’t severe either?) But, because of that experience, I figured I should put off doing Nei Gong, so I didn’t do any until today. Today I did a bit of sitting and just 15 minutes of Wu Ji; felt fine, and while my Wu Ji wasn’t as productive as it had been in the prior weeks, it felt like it was having a little bit of an effect, at least? So I’ll do something longer tomorrow; probably not as much as my regular Wednesday session, maybe 20 or 25 minutes of Wu Ji plus a 25 minute Hui Chun? (And maybe a bit of work on my back, too.)

I did do Tai Chi on Saturday, though; nice to have it not be raining this week, the previous two weeks had been rather wet. And I was glad I did that; my body actually felt more active inside than it normally does when I’m doing Tai Chi. Not sure what was going on there; maybe my system was just glad that I was doing some sort of internal work? In terms of stuff that I noticed, I should continue to pay more attention to how my weight goes down my body, especially on the right side. And my right knee position is occasionally a little off (too far inside) during Grab and Tuck Robe; I thought I’d fixed that but apparently not quite.

Also, I saw a post from somebody talking about how doing cardio work had helped his Nei Gong, and that’s a real gap in my exercise. I don’t really want to make time for some new addition to my practice regimen, but I figured that I spend some amount of time just going for walks, and I could replace some of that with some jogging? So I did that on Friday, because I wasn’t going to do Nei Gong in the morning like normal, and I lasted longer while jogging than I expected; and I went out on Saturday and Sunday again, and actually on Sunday I made it farther still. I did try jogging soon after moving out here a couple of decades back, and I don’t remember it getting better as quickly back then as it did this time; maybe my memory is wrong, but also maybe I wasn’t doing it every day, and maybe that makes a difference? So I actually went jogging on Monday and today as well, during lunchtime at work; and today I made it quite a bit farther again. (I was at home today instead of the office, so I could compare the distance more easily.) Nothing that would be at all impressive to anybody who jogs regularly, let alone runs regularly, but I made it up to a mile today in about 11 and a half minutes, and I definitely was not expecting to reach that distance so quickly.

So I’ll keep that up. I still don’t like jogging, but I also feel like maybe I’m better now at dealing with unpleasantness? Hard to say; and it’s not like I’m going out of my way to push through, either. (I am using the previous day’s distance as my goal for the next day, and I’m trying to tack on another block or so onto it, basically; but if I really wanted to run until I was ready to drop, I could definitely go noticeably farther.) We’ll see if my Nei Gong changes.

I did go to my regular TCM appointment on Friday; my doctor was quite pleased at the improvement in my Kidney, and he thought my back was opening up in ways that helped with that. So that’s nice; hopefully that means that we’re approaching a level where I won’t need to go in every week, because I’ve been doing that for a while now and I don’t want to be doing that forever. (Well, it’s not like I need to go in every week now; I’m just doing that because it still seems to be helping. And helping is good! But if things plateau at an improved level, then I’ll be happy to declare victory.)

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Nei Gong Notes, December 13, 2022

Dec 13 2022 Published by under Uncategorized

I honestly don’t remember how Nei Gong went this week; fine, more of the same, I think? In particular, I was continuing with the Clipping Passes exercise; I asked my TCM doctor on Friday about how my spine was doing. He said that it was straighter than it had been; not sure if the Clipping Passes exercise helped that or the Spinal Dao Yin helped that or if me finding a better position to stand in during Wu Ji helped that or if it’s all his treatment, or what, but it’s certainly good news. He said that the one tight spot on my spine still needs work, though, so I should keep up the spine work. So I’ll keep on doing the Spinal Dao Yin once a week; I think instead of doing the full Clipping Passes set, I’ll just do the spine bits, and I’ll use the extra time to do some of the Self-Healing exercise, with attention on my left Kidney region.

My Tai Chi teacher went over my form on Saturday. My notes: In a lot of moves, I’m not expanding my arm enough in the middle of the move, and sometimes I end up with my elbow too sharp. E.g. in Grab and Tuck Robe, when my right hand is going over to the right, it should also be expanding. Or in White Crane Spreads its Wings, expand your right arm while raising it, don’t wait until the end to expand. You end up feeling stretchy while doing that; this might be related to Spleen Qi, though I didn’t ask him.

Also, when pushing at the end of Six Sealing Four Closing, don’t lean my torso forward: my torso moves back a little bit and sinks into my right Kua, the weight should mostly bypass my knee.

Unfortunately, I had the beginning of a cold on Saturday during the day, and by the evening, I was pretty sure it was a cold. But it was a short one: Sunday wasn’t great, but I was clearly getting better on Monday, and today has been fine. (Not completely normal, but well enough that I went out in the world.) So I’m planning to do my normal Nei Gong tomorrow, I think that will be okay. It mean that I missed the December Sunday Tai Chi lesson, which is bad timing; ah well.

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Nei Gong Notes, December 6, 2022

Dec 06 2022 Published by under Uncategorized

Good week. I’ve been working on my back this week, mostly doing the Clipping Passes exercise but sometimes doing the Spinal Dao Yin video or the Dragon Dao Yins. And I think it’s been helping? At first I wasn’t sure, but when I was just standing at the end of the Spinal Dao Yin video, it did feel like things were opening up, including in the place where things are stuck. And then yesterday I did the Water Wu Xing exercise, slowing down to try to feel every vertebra, and I didn’t feel a blank space at that spot in my spine. So hopefully I’m making progress; we’ll see what my doctor says on Friday.

And I’ve been doing Wu Ji most days. It hasn’t been as actively surprising as it was that one time a week ago, but it’s been good. I’m getting pretty reliably able to trigger useful-feeling sensations from my Yongquan; and, when I do that, my legs feel a little lighter, and if I relax properly and lift my head enough, stuff seems to start going up my spine at least somewhat. I’m in general trying not to pull too forcefully up on my head: I think it was useful doing that a couple of times, but I also think doing that has opened things up, and it’s not clear to me that I want to keep on pulling that way, I think I mostly want the head lifted up enough so that my spine and torso can use my head as an anchor to sink off of.

In terms of sinking, I’m getting better at relaxing my body and sinking even with energy coming up from my feet; sinking my Tian Tu helps with that, but I also think I’m doing an okay job of letting my tailbone sink. And I think I’m doing a better job of left-to-right alignment of my pelvis, even when I’m practicing without a mirror nearby to help; the forces don’t feel completely balanced in my pelvis and legs, but they feel pretty close, and I think it’s not completely implausible that the ways in which they feel imbalanced reflect an improved understanding that my spine and related areas of my body are a little off and that I can start actively working on that. We’ll see…

Also in terms of things being off, my doctor mentioned (again, he’s brought this up before) that my Kidneys are particularly weak on the left side. He gave me an exercise to work on that side, but I’ve also asked the Internal Arts Academy if they have any suggestions for working on one side specifically, we’ll see if Damo or any other senior teachers have any suggestions. The other thing that’s off is that I’m having sleep problems that I’m almost positive come from allergies; it got a lot worse recently, and I suspect that it’s related to the furnace coming on now that it’s gotten colder; I’m having our air ducts cleaned tomorrow, hopefully that will help.

I’ve also noticed that I’m just wanting to practice more. That certainly feels like a good sign; maybe a sign that my overall energy level is feeling better, maybe a sign that my body and mind are getting benefits from my current practices and want more of it, maybe a sign of something else? At any rate, it’s nice to feel that way; I didn’t mind practicing before, but it is good to actively want to do it more. And also my body is feeling a little different and better inside, and even when I’m not practicing I’m often wanting to sit and relax and let my spine and neck float up a bit.

Nothing in particular to report for Tai Chi. Last Saturday it was really wet, so we didn’t practice Jian; I led Silk Reeling that day, so I should get my form reviewed this Saturday. And I think I’m in good shape for the Guan Dao lesson this Sunday.

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