Nei Gong Notes, February 7, 2023

Feb 07 2023

The main event this week was that I went to a three day workshop that Joyce was running. She said that my standing was significantly better than the last time she saw me (at the workshop with Damo last summer), which was good to hear, and in general she seemed like I was ready for more stuff than before.

Some notes:

When shutting down, I should stretch my arms out some while raising them.

In Wu Ji, I should try spreading my chest more and spreading my back more side to side. And when I spread my lower back horizontally, I should let my rib cage move into my lower back more: this helps support my lower back. When I try to let my weight sink from my shoulders to my Kua, it’s hitting my lower back and mostly stopping; playing around with that, if I can get a bit of a feeling of a slight curve there (tilting my Kua and tailbone forward), then I get much more of a feeling of connection from my shoulders down into my Kua.

We did a neat exercise the first day where you bring your hands in a circle, alternating sides, in at the bottom, then up, then out at the top, then down on the outside; kind of like stationary Hand Maneuvers, except that your palm stays down at the top and only turns out when going down, and you turn your body out more as you go down. And feel a connection as you do this from each foot to the opposite hand, along the Jin Jing lines. When I did that for a few minutes, that connection started to feel surprisingly intense; we only did it one day, so I should make sure to do it again soon (probably tomorrow) to make sure I remember how to do it. (And, of course to benefit from it.)

In general, I should stretch more; I always get told this, and I’ve been doing it a bit more, but it’s time to step that up another notch. And I usually actually enjoy most of the stretches when I’m in workshops; I probably should do a better job of remembering which ones I don’t do that feel useful…

We did a fair number of arm / shoulder space creation exercises. (A good continuation of the workshops with Rick; some different exercises and emphases this time.) During a decent length Pushing the Tides session the second day, I actually got to a situation where I didn’t feel like I was straining much to keep my arms up: there was discomfort from the stretch itself but not so much from muscle fatigue. I’m not sure whether that was my muscles learning which ones needed to work and which ones didn’t, or whether the amount of stretch had put my arms in a configuration where legitimately less muscle was necessary to keep them up, or what, but it also felt more comfortable on the third day and when I was practicing some yesterday. Also, on the third day, we followed Pushing the Tides with a stretching exercise with my arms pointing down and out at 45 degrees; and, after a few minutes of my second part, my arms just started stretching out more and more on their own for a while. So both of those were pretty cool changes, I am definitely going to want to work in arm stretches into my practice multiple days a week for a while.

When doing Dantian Gong, she encouraged me to be firmer with my Qi. And also some things she said and some things I’ve seen make me wonder if my Dantian is still leaky; I should find time to put in some good Dantian Gong sessions.


So that’s it for the workshop; we’ll see how much Joyce is back in the area, though workshops with Rick are great too. (No word yet on when the next workshop with either of them will be.)

Not a ton to say otherwise. I forgot to mention last time that I did put a post up on my other blog about the various ways in which my body likes to go forward more than is ideal. No Tai Chi class this weekend, because of the workshop; I did a little bit of practice at home but I should definitely do more. My neck is getting better: still room for improvement but I’m not worried about it. My sleep wasn’t great on Saturday and Sunday, I think that might be linked to me eating more food than normal during the workshop; I should experiment more with that variable and see the effects on my sleep. Because of the workshop, I didn’t jog quite as much as I would like, I continue to think that it would be good for me to have 4 days a week be my target there instead of 3.

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