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Archives for Tai Chi

music, tai chi, and learning

Music A year or so ago, I decided that I’d feel better if I was spending more time with music; so I started practing piano on a decently regular basis. I’d already been occasionally sitting down at the piano, pulling out a book of music, and trying to play through a few pieces (show tunes, […]

working on my energy levels

(Warning: this is a long post, even by my standards.) For several years (a decade?) now, my energy levels during the day have been pretty bad. A few years back, I decided to try to do something about it. Things still aren’t completely fixed, but they’re significantly better, and I also have a better understanding […]

teaching silk reeling

I’ve been thinking about Silk Reeling for years now; and, if anything, I got even more interested in the topic during COVID, because Silk Reeling really helped my body deal with the fact that I wasn’t regularly walking to and from the train station. That got my analytical brain thinking some more about the exercises, […]

touching my toes

My body is decently flexible in some way; but my hamstrings aren’t one of those ways, it’s been decades since I’ve been able to touch my toes. (At least when standing; I could barely touch the toes on one foot if sitting with only one leg extended.) Which didn’t seem like the greatest thing, and […]

pushing forward

Ever since I started doing Tai Chi and Nei Gong, I noticed ways in which parts of my body were farther forward than they probably should be; and this keeps on happening to me! So I figured I’d make a list of parts of my body where this has occurred; partly for my amusement, but […]

exercising during zoom meetings

Back in the pre-pandemic days, I basically had three options as to how to pay attention in meetings. One was to close my laptop, and actively participate. The second was to leave my laptop open, and try to not be distracted by stuff on there too much. And the third was to leave my laptop […]

update on working part time

I’ve been working part time (three days a week) for most of a year, so I figure that it’s about time for an update. My top-level take: definitely the right choice. I’m glad I’m not working full time (whether at my current employer or a different employer); but also I’m glad that I’m working a […]

relaxing your shoulders

Over the last year or so, I feel like I’ve gotten significantly better at relaxing my shoulders while doing Nei Gong or Tai Chi. And some of the steps in that process have surprised me, so I figured I’d write some notes about it here. (Actually, to some extent the fact that it’s a process […]

how to spend my days off

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m now working part time. Which, of course, raises the question: what should I do on my off days? The list of options that I’ve come up with: Goof off. Get more serious about Tai Chi and/or Nei Gong Spend more time improving my music skills. Spend more […]

blogging less

I expect I’ll be blogging somewhat less here, at least for the next while. (Not that I blog a lot these days!) Damo Mitchell started up an Internal Arts Academy, providing online Nei Gong training. Which is very good timing: I’d been getting more interested in Nei Gong, and with the COVID lockdown, my in-person […]

learning something you don’t believe

I’ve been doing Tai Chi for four and a half years now; and I’ve been doing Nei Gong (literally, “internal work”: Qi Gong and the like) over the last year. And it’s been super interesting; but also, especially as I dig more into the Nei Gong work, I keep on having to face concepts that […]

physical experiences of meditation

I’ve been meditating increasingly regularly over the last year or so; first doing standing meditation, but more recently doing seated meditation as well. And, of course, being the person I am, I’ve been reading books about meditation; there were some good book recommendations at the end of this Ezra Klein podcast with Richie Davidson, in […]

doing and not doing

These days I try to do some meditation every day; some seated meditation, some standing meditation. Most days I spend about half an hour on this; occasionally it’ll be an hour a day or even a little more. And, honestly, there were (are!) times when my reaction when thinking about this was: what on earth […]

shoulder positioning

One thing that the Gokhale Method teaches you about is shoulder positioning; Gokhale has a shoulder roll technique to help you improve your positioning. It’s not one of their eight big steps, just a smaller technique that is a component of several of the bigger ones, but I was surprised how much of an effect […]

my practice routine

Here’s my practice routine for Tai Chi and Nei Gong. First, stuff I do every day. I use Streaks to help me with this: I don’t actually care about the streaks themselves, but I can use the help of daily reminders for this. And, once I started poking at Streaks’ settings, I really like how […]

attending my first lotus nei gong course

I’ve read a few Nei Gong books by Damo Mitchell over the last few months, and I thought they were pretty interesting. From an intellectual point of view, they were one of the better introductions that I’ve happened across to the conceptual framework that underlies parts of Tai Chi, Traditional Chinese Medicine (e.g. acupuncture), Qi […]

early 2019 tai chi update

I’ve been doing Tai Chi for a little more than three years now; time for another progress report, I guess? If for no other reason than I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress over the last three or so months. There are lots of forms to learn: I’ve been studying the first Laojia […]

notes on silk-reeling exercises

I’ve been learning Tai Chi for a little over three years now; and, as part of his classes, my teacher also teaches us Silk-Reeling Exercises. They’re not as flashy as the form, but I’ve gotten a lot out of them: both from how they feel on their own and how they help me isolate aspects […]

twist steps and refactoring

One theme that constantly comes up in Tai Chi classes is keeping control over where your center of gravity. At any point in the form, you should know whether your weight should be completely over your right foot, completely over your left foot, somewhat on the right side, somewhat on the left side, etc. You […]

move your dna

Move Your DNA is the latest book I’ve read in order to try to understand how to move / position my body in a healthy manner, and it’s quite interesting in a way that, I think relates to Kegan’s stages of understanding. Because the main point of the book are that your body, even when […]