Archive for April, 2024

Nei Gong Notes, April 30, 2024

Apr 30 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson was a Taiji review lesson; nothing much to report there.

I’d mentioned last week that I’d been feeling tired recently; and this past Wednesday my sleep had been interrupted, so I expected to feel like I’d need a nap at some point during the day. But actually it went fine: I was a little tired, but not actually that much given how my sleep had gone. I was trying to keep my spine open that day, and I think that helped. I had a good session of the Zhan Zhuang precursor exercise (about sinking flesh from bone), I’m definitely going to be keeping that up. Thursday started off very well, I had a good Spleen Hui Chun session and felt active and stretchy inside, so that was good too; a bit more yawning later in the day than I would have liked. And on Friday I went to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco; on the drive up I was doing a good job of sinking inside my torso, and I kept that state during the museum visit. Saturday I again had bad sleep and was pretty tired but I still managed to do all my usual practice and I felt like it turned out pretty well, e.g. a good Zhan Zhuang session (the regular version, not the precursor exercise), and I was feeling my and my partner’s bodies pretty well during push hands. Good sleep Saturday night, and then on Sunday I did an hour-long MCO prep exercise and that went well, I’m glad I did that. So in general I’m seeing a good number of positive signs; it would still be nice if my energy levels were better (I’ll try to ask Damo about that in June), but there are enough other signs of progress that I’m not particularly discouraged.

No responses yet

Nei Gong Notes, April 23, 2024

Apr 23 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

My wife was out of town for a week, so I figured it was a good time to finally try out Shui Gong 3, so I watched that again on Tuesday instead of doing a new lesson. I ended up doing Shui Gong 3 a couple of times while she was out, and the experience of staring out through my Yin Tang was pretty interesting. I don’t think I actually got to the meat of the exercise, though, I’ll have to do it more times to get that, I suspect. I only did it two times because I wasn’t sleeping great; not awful but noticeably worse than normal. I’m honestly not sure how much of that was because of Shui Gong 3 and how much was because my wife wasn’t there, but I figured that I should remove one variable so I stopped the exercise after that.

Though I actually ended up doing a new exercise last week as well. A while back I’d taken the time to unlock the lessons in the Nei Gong course up through Zhan Zhuang; despite doing that, though, I never actually spent the time to watch the Zhan Zhuang video. But I’ve been doing Zhan Zhuang once a week for the last month or so and been getting enough out of that that I figured it was time to watch the videos, so I watched Zhan Zhuang 1. Which isn’t actually presenting Zhan Zhuang, it’s doing a preparatory exercise about sinking flesh from bone, but it’s good to know that that’s important in this context too. So I’ll spend some time going over that, and then I’ll move on to the second and third videos.

Not much going on in general. My energy levels are lower than I’d like; not sure how much is a consequence of travel (both mine and my wife’s), not sure how much is me not refilling my TCM herbs during my last treatment, not sure whether something else is going on. I’m trying to keep my back open and my posture good, and my body actually does feel abnormally open inside, so I’m still optimistic that I can make progress again on my back and that that will help with my energy levels; we’ll see.

No responses yet

Nei Gong Notes, April 16, 2024

Apr 16 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

One thing I forgot to mention last week when talking about my trip: I was taking a bus from Cincinnati to northern Ohio, and there were a bunch of Amish (?) people on the bus. I didn’t see anybody in the seat in front of me at first, but then, an hour or so into the trip, I saw a little girl standing up in the seat and looking at me. And the reason why I’m mentioning that here is she had maybe the best neck / head positioning I’ve ever seen; I guess that’s what happens when you’re a kid who doesn’t spend your time hunched over looking at things and are also around adults who don’t spend their time hunched over looking at things? Something to strive for, at any rate: my neck (and upper spine) is in a lot better shape than it once was, but clearly I’ve got a lot of room for improvement.

Anyways, pretty quiet week: end of the trip, and now my wife is on a trip, so still a decent amount of disruption. No new lessons, I’m still reviewing the first chunk of the Yang 37 form. And my body is definitely letting me know that I didn’t move quite enough on my trip; nothing horrible, but I do need to get back into shape, and also be a little better about my sleep. I felt good this morning, though, so that’s a good sign.

Not much to report in general. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that I’m giving a second iteration of my Silk Reeling Principles course, but I announced that to my local Tai Chi folks a week or so ago; this time I’m doing it once a month for five months, that will start in May. So I’ve been thinking about that, and I’m starting to get excited; hopefully it’ll be better this year? (I mean, it was okay last year, but there’s definitely room for improvement.) And I reread Ken Gullette’s Internal Body Mechanics book; there are some partner drills there that I think I would benefit from working on, and my push hands partner sounded open to that idea, so hopefully I’ll be able to spend time on that?

Bought my plane tickets for Damo’s June workshop in Houston; I’m looking forward to that. Though doing that made me realize how much it will cost for me to attend the Foundations courses; I still think that’s the right idea, but I’ll probably hold off on buying plane tickets until I’ve talked to Rick, just to make sure that he thinks the course would be a good idea for me.

Comments Off on Nei Gong Notes, April 16, 2024

Nei Gong Notes, April 9, 2024

Apr 09 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

Not much to report this week: I’ve been on vacation, so while I did my daily Nei Gong practice and a little bit of Tai Chi, but no more than the minimum, and no new lessons.

Nice seeing family, though, and the eclipse was pretty cool!

Comments Off on Nei Gong Notes, April 9, 2024

Nei Gong Notes, April 2, 2024

Apr 02 2024 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson was on Nervous System Refinement. I haven’t gone through it too many times; the surface of my arms feel a little more present, but I’m not yet sure what to make of that, I’m not feeling direct connections between that and environmental (or internal) aspects? We’ll see, I’ll keep at it.

On Wednesday I reviewed the Lotus Dao Yin lesson, and I’ve thrown that into the mix a few times. No big effect from that one either but it still feels like the right thing to do. I guess the other option would be to work on Song breathing, the one big effect I had with that was actually related to opening up my chest? But I’ll stick with the Lotus Dao Yin for a while.

I also tried kicking off the Microcosmic Orbit on Wednesday; stuff made it near the top of my spine but not actually up into my head. And the same thing happened on Sunday, too. Not sure if I just don’t have enough juice; if I need to get back to some of the pre-MCO practices; if I need to open up my neck some more (if I’m remembering correctly, the one day when I did do it successfully, I’d been doing Coiling Snake right before then, which does help with my neck); if I need to spend more time thickening in my Dantian before sending stuff up my spine; if I should switch to sitting on my knees before sending stuff up my spine to make it easier for Qi to get in there; or something else. Not worrying too much either way; I’ll keep on trying it out once or twice a week, and hopefully I’ll be able to rotate back to exercises that help me build a little bit more.

On Friday I did 20 minutes of Zhan Zhuang; it was interesting again, this time there was a pretty strong and continually expanding stretch along my arms. So I tried it on Saturday, this time for 30 minutes; less of a dramatic stretch, but still definitely felt worth doing, and actually I felt an expansion in my chest too, which is something that I’m trying for right now! I was surprised after that how much my legs ached; wasn’t awful or anything, but more than I would expect if I’d been doing Wu Ji for 30 minutes, not sure what the difference was there. (Maybe I was sitting lower for some reason, or maybe it had to do with how forces were being transmitted.) I think I’m going to try showing up to Tai Chi class 30 minutes early on Saturdays and doing it at the start of class.

Comments Off on Nei Gong Notes, April 2, 2024