Archive for March, 2024

Nei Gong Notes, March 26, 2024

Mar 27 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

Tai Chi week for the IAA; I’m still reviewing the first road. One thing I noticed (and it’s come up in a couple of videos): in Gong Bu, the bottom half of your front leg should be going straight down to the foot, but I’m often going farther forward than that. Probably would help my knee if I stop doing that (and I assume I do that in Chen Tai Chi too); I’m still feeling out what I’m supposed to do instead, am I supposed to be standing higher, am I supposed to be stepping further forward, am I supposed to be sinking more into my Kua to get down to the right depth?

For most of the week, I felt a little off, maybe even on the edge of getting sick, but for some reason it didn’t feel too discouraging? I hear people talk about how they feel sick for a few days after clearing out stuff with Dao Yins; that might be what I’m going through? And I’m also still dialing in how food affects me, that might be part of what’s going on too. And also I had to get up a few times in some of the nights, because of my dog asking for something, which didn’t help; though even there I’m optimistic because I feel like I’m getting good control over Liver Heat stuff, so if I don’t have my dog keeping me up, my sleep is going pretty well. But at any rate I was doing kind of minimal practices most of the week, smaller practices than normal on Wednesday and Friday mornings in particular.

But on Sunday morning I’d slept well and felt nice and energetic. So I figured I’d try kicking off the MCO; I didn’t really expect it to work super well, because I hadn’t been particularly actively working on building up Qi that week, but my Dantian did at least have a little bit of signs of activity? And it actually worked, though just barely: Qi was going up my spine very slowly, it took about five minutes to make it up there, but it did finally reach my Baihui. Interesting feeling: my Baihui felt like a big hole, and the inside of my body felt relaxed and nourished after doing that. I think it’s actually the most successful I’ve been at doing the MCO at home; still a lot to work on, I think I must have been at the bare minimum of fullness for my Dantian for it to work at all, but still, I’ll take getting one successful cycle. And also this must be evidence that my work on my back has been paying off: it wasn’t moving quickly up my back but it also didn’t feel like it was hitting blockages.

So I’ll definitely want to keep on trying that, and also to work on getting more Qi in my Dantian. Also, I think I’ll dial down the frequency of doing Coiling Snake, because I’m no longer getting strong effects from doing that, so I feel like it’s done its work. In general I’m just feeling a spontaneous desire to Song in my back a lot of the time when I’m standing around, which is also a good sign for the back; though with that I am also starting to notice tightness in my chest now. So I think I should switch my Dao Yin focus and spend some time with the Lotus Dao Yin, that should help with that.

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Nei Gong Notes, March 19, 2024

Mar 19 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson in the Nei Gong course was on Pillar Opening. Good timing for it: I’ve been working on stretching open my back, and while that’s been successful, I’d been feeling a little bit like I also need to build it up in a healthier way after I’ve stretched apart some of the stuck bits? So it was good to see an exercise that plausible feels like it could do that, and also good to see an exercise that’s short enough that I should be able to find time to mix it into days when I’m mostly doing something else.

On Wednesday, I had a good Wu Song Shen Fa session: 20 minutes of WSSF 2 and 20 minutes of WSSF 3, and I got some interesting vibrating going on towards the end of the second one. Not sure yet what’s going on there, but presumably it’s something useful?

I felt like I was on the edge of coming down with a cold or something on Thursday night, so I took it easy on Friday and over the weekend. Seems to have worked well, I didn’t actually get a cold and I was feeling good enough to go to Tai Chi on Saturday. I spent some of that class working on moving from my Kua (e.g. using my Kua to lift my legs); seems like a good idea, I’ll try that more.

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Nei Gong Notes, March 12, 2024

Mar 12 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

A Tai Chi week this week; I went back and reviewed a bit more of the form. I should probably do that more often midweek – if I only review one section every other week then it’ll take me a while to review all of the sections that I’ve learned! Nei Gong this week; I still haven’t actually done Shui Gong 3, I should find time for that too…

I tried again to do the MCO on Wednesday, but it didn’t go particularly well: even during the prep work, I didn’t feel much volume going through my torso, and when I got to the MCO itself stuff just did not go very far up my spine. So I think I didn’t have much juice in my Dantian that day, for whatever reason. And actually my energy level got worse as the day went on (e.g. I only managed a half-assed Silk Reeling session); might have been an allergy shot that I had at the start of the afternoon, admittedly.

So I need to figure that out. At first I was thinking that it just meant that I should get back to doing regular 40 minute Hui Chun sessions, and maybe start mixing in Calm Abiding since I was curious about that and it seems relevant; and those both sound like good ideas? But also I’d been feeling on Monday and Tuesday that maybe I was eating too much, and I had a really big lunch on Wednesday, so maybe the answer is that I should pay more attention to how much (and what?) I’m eating? I experimented with that over the rest of the week, and it seemed to help, so now I’m thinking that food might be the main issue. (Also I’m thinking I should be a little more mindful in my downtime, instead of reaching quickly for random puzzle games on my phone.)

At any rate, my energy levels were better the rest of the week; fading some in the afternoon, admittedly, but with good signs of Qi and/or general alertness in the mornings on several of the days. (Good Anchoring the breath on Thursday, good Ping Heng Gong on Friday; good Wu Song Shen Fa on Friday, too.) Though, for the third or fourth week in a row, I felt unusually drained after the Saturday Tai Chi class; not sure if I’m just overexerting myself or if I need to bundle up still more or what.

I also randomly tried doing Zhan Zhuang before Tai Chi; I’ve basically never really tried that since getting more serious about Nei Gong, so I wasn’t sure how long I would last, but I figured I’d be slightly disappointed if I only lasted 10 minutes whereas I’d be quite happy if I lasted 20 minutes. I ended up doing 25 minutes, and if I’d felt like pushing it and if the class hadn’t been about to start, I could have gone at least a little longer, so that was nice. And I started to feel some interesting inflation around 20 minutes in. So maybe I’ll make a habit of trying that once a week, assuming that I continue to regularly show up early to class.

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Nei Gong Notes, March 5, 2024

Mar 05 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson was Shui Gong 3. Which I still haven’t tried, and honestly I’m a little nervous to: I usually slept badly after doing Shui Gong 2, and Damo warns about that at some point on this video too. I’ll try it out one of these days, but my sleep was iffy enough that it didn’t seem like the timing was right to try it.

On Wednesday I did the Spinal Dao Yin followed by the Maryland 2022 Practice Session video. Not as much Qi thickening through the torso as in some of the other variants from then, but it does succeed in getting my Qi rotating at the end; I’d forgotten that they spend some time going in a circle through the lower spine / diaphragm before letting it go and rotate on its own. And then I tried to move into MCO after that; barely successful, it was really weak once it reached my head, so I couldn’t feel much of anything going down in the middle, but on the other hand it did actually reach my head? Which is encouraging; and also gave me some ideas for what to play with next when kicking off the MCO, I’ll mix in some of the stuff from this video with some of the stuff from my notes, hopefully if I keep at it I’ll be able to get this working.

My energy levels were actually only kind of so-so on Wednesday, but still I managed to do three hours of Nei Gong and maybe two and a half hours of Tai Chi. So it might be that what feels like a moderate energy level is noticeably better than my energy levels had been.

Though unfortunately my sleep was crappy on Wednesday night. I think it’s probably the MCO’s fault: some combination of stuff making it most of the way up but then not down and/or me not properly closing down at the end? So I’ll have to be more careful about that in the future. Fortunately, the rest of the week wasn’t as bad as that one day, but it was also a little off on other days; at least once I was worrying about some house-related stuff, which wasn’t good. So, partly because of that, I didn’t try to kick off the MCO again on Sunday; hopefully I’ll sleep well enough tonight that I can give it a try again tomorrow. I did end up rewatching the Calm Abiding video on Sunday and then doing that for the first time in a while; glad I watched the video, I’d forgotten some of the details. And it’s hard, I’ve got a lot of work to do, but also strong, so I think I’ll try to find time to work that into the rotation.

I didn’t spend as much time this week doing Wu Song Shen Fa as the previous week, but I still did it enough that I don’t feel too bad. Feeling pretty good about 1 and 3, but 2 definitely needs work; I think I’m starting to feel the right feeling with 2, though. Also I had an interesting time in the park when doing that, some random person came up and asked what I was doing, we had an interesting talk, and I ended up pointing him at the IAA.

I rewatched the first of the Yang 37 form videos one day this week (Friday, maybe?); I’ll do another one or two tonight instead of watching a new Tai Chi video.

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