Nei Gong Notes, July 11, 2023

Jul 11 2023

As mentioned last week, the new puppy is throwing a noticeable wrench into my Nei Gong and Tai Chi. Especially right now, since my wife went away on a trip starting last Saturday and lasting through next Saturday, so I’m doing all the puppy care myself. That means less going out for stuff (so I’m skipping Tai Chi class both Saturdays; on Sunday I did go to Tai Chi class but only for the staff portion of the lesson), and less time and more fragmented time at home.

Having said that, I am starting to get a feel for my puppy’s rhythms, and actually there is enough downtime that I can at least get some Nei Gong done. Basically, she goes through these cycles where she’s kind of bonkers for an hour and a half or two hours, and then mellow and even sleepy for a couple of hours; and I definitely have time for a 20-30 minute session during the sleepy bits, and if I get the timing right I can even fit in a 40 minute session. So I can’t do hour-long single exercises, and I can’t combine seated and standing work in a single session, but I can definitely do the sorts of minimum amount of work that I’ve been doing on work days, and, with care, I can probably get a 40 minute Hui Chun done on most of the non-work days.

I haven’t done so much Tai Chi: I tried that once with her leash tied to a tree, but she wasn’t thrilled with that and got a little tangled up, and I think (I can’t remember if it actually happened or if it was just something I was worried about) she was also chewing on her leash. So I’ve bought a 10 foot tether with a cable that I’m less worried about her chewing on it; I’ll try her with that tomorrow, and see if I can get a somewhat longer Tai Chi session. (And I’ll think about what other stuff I can bring outside with her to give her something else to do while I’m doing that.) Hopefully that will let me do a bit more practice this Wednesday and Friday (and future Wednesdays and Fridays, because the plan is for my wife to do puppy care on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the work week and for me to do puppy care on Mondays / Wednesdays / Fridays); we’ll see.

In terms of standing work, I’ve mostly been doing stuff from Damo’s Tai Chi course rather than his Nei Gong course. Hopefully I’m making progress there; though I still feel like releasing my feet is hard, though I can feel the release as it moves further up my body. Just now, though, I watched the Ba Men 2 video, and in that one he talks about releasing by moving slightly forward / back, and I think that’s working for me; so I’ll spend a decent amount of time on that one this week.

(And watching those videos does make me continue to wonder if Chen Tai Chi experts are doing the same thing or if they’re doing something pretty different; once I get a bit further I’ll see if I can articulate that question to my Tai Chi teacher in a way where we’re not talking past each other…)

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