Nei Gong Notes, November 7, 2023

Nov 07 2023

It’s been ages since I’ve done a long standing session; I don’t think I’ve done Wu Ji for more than 30 minutes at a time since we got Velvet, certainly not since I broke my hand. And since I’ve got a workshop with Rick coming up, I’d been thinking I should figure out how worried I should be about that. Also, it had been ages since I’d done the regular Dantian Gong; I’d done the advanced version every so often, but not the regular version. So I decided to try to do a full standing Dantian Gong set; that takes a little over an hour, and while I don’t find it quite as strenuous on my legs as Wu Ji (maybe because I’m doing it wrong, but also in Wu Ji your hands are helping you sink), still, it is an hour of standing with your legs in a potentially uncomfortable position.

I did that on Wednesday; somewhat to my surprise, it was totally fine! I mean, I wasn’t super comfortable by the end, but also I wasn’t totally gritting my teeth and hanging on for dear life either. So hopefully I’m in good enough shape for the workshop? I also did a ten minute Pushing the Tides session today, to work on that form of pain; though Rick actually likes slightly different arm / shoulder stretches, probably I should have done some of his instead? Anyways, that went fine too.

In general I will say that I’m feeling a lot more space in my shoulders than I was a year ago. Also I was noticing at some point this week that I was feeling the effects of standing with pressure in my Yong Quan more broadly than I had been: e.g. I was feeling it some on the sides of my rib cage, even though that’s pretty far from my spine, which had been how it was making it up my torso.

Sadly, something came up at work, so this weekend was pretty busy; in particular, I didn’t do as much Tai Chi practice this week as I would have liked. Though at Saturday Tai Chi class, I tried out one of the push hands exercises from Damo’s class, where you pressdown on your parter’s arms, trying to feel their feet, and then bounce them to the side. Didn’t work at all at the start, but eventually we figured out how to get it to start working a bit. So that was interesting; don’t know if we’ll make a habit of it or not.

The lesson this week in Damo’s Tai Chi class was on Single Whip; a little more different from the Chen version than I expected. I’m not super confident that I’m remembering it correctly, so I’ll review it again tonight instead of moving on to a new lesson.

Looking forward to the workshop; it’s this Friday through Sunday. In Arcata, I can’t say that I’m thrilled about the drive but I don’t blame Rick for not wanting to make the drive in the other direction! And even when it’s local it’s not super local, so the good news is that I won’t have to wake up early on Saturday and Sunday to make it there.

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