Archive for May, 2023

Nei Gong Notes, May 30, 2023

May 30 2023 Published by under Uncategorized

Okay Nei Gong this week. I did a decent practice on Wednesday and Friday, but nothing special; I think I’m going to switch Spinal Dao Yin to every other week instead of every week, because it’s been a while since I’ve felt that I got a lot out of that. The reason why they were only decent practices was that I was tired, which was because my sleep hadn’t been great; not awful, but also worse than it had been a month back? Which made me unhappy, and made me wonder if my hypothesis about food was wrong or if I needed liver medicine from my TCM doctor; but I realized that my head was tingling in a familiar way, and I might be able to do something about that.

So I did a fifteen minute session of Wood Wu Xing; my head felt a little better after that, and I slept okay overnight. And I did that again on Monday, and again I slept okay, maybe even slightly better. I did it one more time today; after that, I think I’ll probably take a break from that for a few days, but start doing Wood Wu Xing once a week?

Sleeping okay means something like waking up briefly once in the middle of the night and then waking up a little earlier before the alarm. I think the Wood practice should help with the middle of the night stuff, but I don’t particularly expect it to help with the waking up early. That’s actually a new phenomenon: I used to do it occasionally but now I do it almost every day. (Sometimes, like this morning, just a little bit before the alarm, but sometimes most of an hour early, which isn’t so great.) When I mentioned it to my TCM doctor, he said that maybe the Kidney improvements that he’d been seeing it meant that I didn’t need as much sleep; which would be fine, except that I feel like I could use the sleep!

When I talked about food timing stuff with Rick, he thought that I was getting more in tuned with natural rhythms; maybe that’s going on here too? If so, honestly, I’m not sure that that’s great: I definitely want to go to bed at the same time as Liesl, and I don’t want to ask her to go to bed super early. I guess for now I’ll try to be disciplined about when I turn off the light and try to go to sleep at night, and then read in the morning after I wake up; that seems workable.

I’d been having questions about one part of one of the Dragons, so I watched the relevant video, and then I noticed the Sinking the Qi video in that same series; following along with that video, my body responds to those movements a lot more now than it did when I first moved it. So I should keep that in mind when I’m going through the dragons, relaxing my body and let it respond more. And it’s probably time for me to rewatch all the videos: there are probably subtle points that I’ve forgotten or didn’t pick up at all in the first place.

Also in terms of getting things wrong, on the Tai Chi side of things we’re going through the Lao Jia Dao on Saturdays. And I’d been doing Embrace the Wind and Roll to the Close wrong: I’m supposed to sort of let the Dao slide down my right arm, and then when rolling to the close, I should end up partly turned to the right, with my weight on the right foot, and my left hand (I think) holding my right wrist. I’d actually had an idea that I might be doing something wrong, because I’d thought it was a two-part action but the way I’d been doing it recently on my own wasn’t clearly divided into two parts; now I know why!

My Silk Reeling course went pretty well last Saturday: we broke down the process of shifting weight from one side to the other. Two weeks left; next Saturday’s topic will be paying attention to your Dantian.

And my tiredness meant that I didn’t have the energy to do more than a minimal amount of Tai Chi on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday last week. (Pretty sure I skipped at least one of those days entirely, and I think I just went through the Guan Dao once on the other days.) Yesterday was a holiday, though, and I was more awake, so I went through the first and second forms once, and the Dao and the Guan Dao, working some on bits of those last two; and I also spent a few minutes going through a moving Ma Bu exercise from Damo. So that’s closer to what I want to be doing, we’ll see if I can keep it up and go through all the forms I know at least once this week.

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Nei Gong Notes, May 23, 2023

May 23 2023 Published by under Uncategorized

Not a ton to say about Nei Gong this week. The most interesting that happened was on Thursday: I was doing a Wu Ji session, and I decided to work on making sure my feet felt properly pressured (and that that pressure made it up my legs), and I did it particularly well, because I pretty quickly felt pressurized / inflated all over my body, and my insides just kept on stretching out. So that was neat; the downside was that it was effective enough that I think I stretched my neck in a way that affected my sleep, and I didn’t think to take ibuprofen that night; whoops.

(In general, sleep this week has actually been pretty bad. I think it’s neck strain plus overeating a few days plus drinking coffee once in the afternoon, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to decent-to-good sleep soon, possibly even tonight? But we’ll see, I don’t want to fall back into the decent-to-bad range. At least it hasn’t been horrible: I’ve been waking up more times than I would like but I haven’t been staying awake.)

In terms of Tai Chi, I had the second lesson in my Silk Reeling Course. This time only three people showed up at the start, instead of 5, but more people showed up halfway through, so we actually had 9 at the end, which was pretty cool. Hopefully those people will come back next week and will actually show up on time; but even if it goes back down closer to the 5 person range, that’s totally fine, as long as there’s a handful of people who seem to find it useful, that’s great. Anyways, we talked about sinking into the Kua, plus a little bit about the Waist Turning exercise; that latter one is both a useful exercise that people frequently get wrong and a good prep for next week’s topic of opening and closing the Kua.

We had Sunday Tai Chi this week; we finished off the Guan Dao form, hopefully I’m okay with it now, at least okay enough to be able to solidify it? Some notes for future reference: when offering the teacup, the curve of the blade points left. When doing the spin at the end, go to the right; you sweep down and up, make sure to clear the bottom of the Dao past your legs. Then when presenting the Dao next, the curve of the Dao is up.

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Nei Gong Notes, May 16, 2023

May 16 2023 Published by under Uncategorized

Good week. I won’t say that I did a fabulous amount of Nei Gong, but I did enough; and while the Earth Hui Chun wasn’t maybe quite as interesting as the previous week, my solar plexus did feel decently active this week as well? And I had a pretty good session of Advanced Dantian Gong this week, too. So hopefully those are both signs that my body is building in an interesting way?

In terms of Tai Chi, the main thing that happened was my first Silk Reeling class. And it went quite well, I was pleased. Five people showed up, which was a good sized crowd, and they seemed genuinely interested. And the one bit that I was worried about went well: my theme for the first week was feeling what’s going on inside your body, and I had them go through one particular exercise and then talk about what they noticed in different parts of their body, and they had stuff to say. So that’s a good start.

I can’t say that I did much Tai Chi during the week, but I did at least do a run through the Guan Dao form a few times. And now it’s in a state where I’m decently solid on the basic moves for the first 80% or 90% of the form, and I have an idea of what’s going on in the last part; I’ll try to get that last bit more solid this week, but I think I’m in good shape going into the monthly class this Sunday.

The one downside is that my sleep hasn’t been great. It hasn’t been awful, but I’ve woken up three times on a bunch of nights. I’m not sure if I ate too much or if it’s because of the specifics of what I ate (I can think of reasons for both of those) or if it’s not food-related; hopefully it will get better soon. Though, honestly, I’m not sure if my dinner tonight was the best on that front either…

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Nei Gong Notes, May 9, 2023

May 09 2023 Published by under Uncategorized

Good week. On my days off last week, I was a little sleepy, so I didn’t have super long practices, but at least they happened. And when I did the Spleen Hui Chun on Saturday, it felt much stronger than normal, my Solar Plexus felt really active. No idea exactly what was going on there or whether it will recur, but I figure that’s got to be a good sign.

And this week I’ve got work on Wednesday, so I mostly took Monday off, and I did some Nei Gong practice there; I put in a couple of hours, and it felt pretty solid. So this week is getting off to a good start.

In terms of Tai Chi, I didn’t practice much at home, but at least I went through the Guan Dao, so my memory is refreshed there. I still need to really get the last little bit down, but I’m very close, and I’ve got a couple of weeks before the next class. And we did an extra push hands practice on Sunday morning, that was fun.

I was leading Silk Reeling at the Saturday class this week, and I asked the people who showed up early if they were potentially interested in the course that I’d mentioned. They weren’t completely sold on it, but were willing to give it a shot, so we agreed that I’d start it next week. And when I announced the date and syllabus to the group, other people seemed potentially interested. So hopefully a few people will show up? I don’t expect a lot, but somewhere in the range of 3-5 people seems plausible, I think. And I spent some time yesterday writing up notes for the first class, I think I’ve got a decent plan? It’ll be different from the way my teacher teaches stuff: I’ll talk a bit about muscles / tendons / huang, and how the huang expands when you Song, we’ll see if that gets anybody’s interest. (Though I’ll do less theoretical stuff too.)

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Nei Gong Notes, May 2, 2023

May 02 2023 Published by under Uncategorized

Pretty mellow week. I had to work on Wednesday because of the trip, so I didn’t do extra Nei Gong practice that day; and on Friday I did do a day off length practice but nothing special there either. And then I came down with a stomach bug on Sunday, so I didn’t practice on Sunday and Monday. (I’m feeling fine now, though.)

On Saturday I told folks that I was planning to offer a Silk Reeling course; no uptake yet, so I don’t know if it will actually happen or not. And it was good to practice push hands, doing the three- and five-step routines that I’d learned for the first time in the workshop a few weeks earlier.

One pleasant thing that’s happened: I can touch my toes now. I’d been trying to do that when my Apple Watch tells me to stand up, but I hadn’t been doing it reliably; I’d been doing it more reliably recently, though, and I’d also been relaxing my hips and back more to try to get more of a curve here. So it’s good that that’s all worked, and actually the hip and back part feels like it’s made more of a difference. And, when I do that, the position of the most tension on my leg muscles changes a bit, not sure what to make of that. Hopefully if I can keep on doing this then it will help me open up my back.

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