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Craig

In the Hall of the Mountain King

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Some Shen Gong things I've been observing:

 

Some states I've noticed:

autopilot - this is when Ican drive half way across town and not remember it. totally checked out.  totally dominated by habitual tensions, motions and thought patterns. 

lost in thought train - I'm still on autopilot, and lost in thought trains, but now I can recall the thought trains but difficult to recall details of situations. still totally dominated by the habitual tendencies

present to thought train - still somewhat on autopilot, thought trains happening, but I'm present to them, and can recall them clearly.  Can also clearly recall details of situations, although is easy to fall back to the previous state from here.

present, no thought train - no longer on autopilot, no thought trains, however the acquired mind is commenting on everything "I see a tree. I hear a bird.  That's a loud noise".  Comments are about present situations and not training on infinite tangents. These comments are VERY fast, difficult to spot, this is like a faux "checked-in" state. Very easy to recall details of situations,

totally present - no thought trains, no comments, pure experience of sensations.  has a somewhat ethereal feel to it.

 

more to come!

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Pretty usual past week, working on daily nei dan, nei gong, some movement etc.

Went and taught 2 x workshops in Radelaide with DW, which was highly auspicious.  Day 1 was with the parkour peeps at point A - super skilled, lots of fun, and very interested in what we were teaching which was exciting!  Day 2 and 3 were at the Energy Clinic where DW and I got to really trial how well my material works interlaced with DWs alchemical stretching. It was crazy, the difference in movement quality between the start of the workshop and the end was in-sane.  You know you've hit gold when two competing powerlifters come in on day 2 and say "I have so much glutes DOMS" and they didn't even lift anything. Booty squeeze + removal of hip restrictions FTW!

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Tuesday AM

- single leg GM

- ballistic piriformis

- wushu kicks

- cartwheels and handstands

 

Tuesday PM

- nei gong static postures

- wrist prep

- internal and external rotation (juicing the lemon exercises that I shared for the first time at the workshop)

- glute activation sequence (this needs a good name, happy for suggestions from those who know what the exercise is)

- leg springs

- rolling

- cartwheels

- bridges

- nei dan

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In other news, in the process of rehabilitating my shoulder, I've come up with a single arm hanging exercise.  I'm calling it "stirring the cauldron", it is super nice feeling. Basically you hang from one arm in 5 different orientations, and you use the armpit to draw a big circle.  Hard to explain, easy to do.  Will endeavour to get a video done at some point.

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- glute activation sequence (this needs a good name, happy for suggestions from those who know what the exercise is)

 

I don't know the exercise, but just riding the train of thought...

 

Glutes... bum... waving your bum... at someone... mooning someone... moon... lunar... activation... awakening...

 

Sequence name: Lunar Awakening

 

;)

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Haha I may use this or something similar. Bad moon rising?

Wednesday - was somewhat fried, so had a quiet one. Some stretching, nei dan and nei gong in the evening and not much else. The nei gong is getting particularly interesting, I've been working on static postures here along with occasionally working on tendon changing exercises. Auspicious results occur when this is practiced daily in combination with nei dan. I have not yet attained the holy "light sabre spine", but I feel it's close. A sensation like a hot needle being inserted up the center of the spine occurred during practice the other day, and hit a blockage somewhere around t12. It made this blockage light up like a hot and somewhat painful LED, this in turn lit up several other points around the body in the same way. They were very specific points. This practice is also making me very hot, it feels like I might catch on fire. If I spontaneously combust, someone needs to avenge my death.

#attainthegoldenmindordietrying

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"If I spontaneously combust, someone needs to avenge my death."

 

It will be so. 

 

I expect a similar arrangement with my alchemical experimentation. 

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Hey Craig.

It's interesting that hot sensation you speak of. I've started a standing practise upon rising and it's definitely a noticeable shift in temperature with no apparent effort.

Any ideas why?

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It is the build up of acquired Qi in the body.  Normal exercise will make this happen but then it disperses shortly afterwards, however particular exercises (such as qi gong and standing meditation exercises) will contain it inside the body...the sensations will accumulate after some time and get stronger and stronger (only if you keep up daily practice).

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Thursday

- nei gong

- swinging

- balance

- precision jumps

- climb ups

- penguin walks

- nei dan

 

Friday

- great experimental session with Yogamanas, discussions of different traditions, alchemical stretching, some yoga, some breath work

- nei dan

- nei gong static postures

 

Saturday

- shi da pan set

- jumping

- precision jumps

- depth jumps

- balance

- crawling in the tree

- basic pushing and pulling in the tree

- nei dan

 

Sunday

- ballistic stretching

- nei dan

 

The static postures nei gong that I got from Serge (his version of zhan zhuang) is really wonderful, much more powerful than other versions I have done in the past and recently.  I am working through many blockages and releasing things.  In particular opening up deeper aspects of psoas and illiacus, the deep neck muscles and the membranes around the tonsils and lower brain, and the thoraco-lumbar junction.  Very interesting effects happening as a result of these things opening, currently nursing some very atrophied tissues in my shoulder and psoas that have been opened up to the world.  They are hyper sensitive and lack strength but are building up slowly.  Having new movement available to me in these regions is interesting!

 

Working internal and external rotations of the joints (juicing the lemon) is also assisting in this process.  The stirring the cauldron exercises I mentioned a few posts back are phenomenal.  Will endeavour to record these at some stage.  I feel a follow up to the hanging series is in order.

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Also, here is a post I made on Facebook recently which some people here might appreciate:

Part of the process of re-enchantment is changing our perspective on both the good and the bad. I'm going to talk specifically here about injuries but this obviously applies to a great many things. On Friday night I was teaching at the workshop and something very interesting happened. I was demonstrating an inlocation on a bar (demonstrated here on rings, a much harder variation:

) and something in my left shoulder made a loud CRACK POP POP. Normally, this would be the point where I go "OH NO". I was on day 1 of a 3 day workshop and needed this shoulder to teach most of the techniques. But something different happened, I went OH YEAH! This is because, although it was quite violent, what had actually happened was the removal of a blockage in my shoulder that I had been trying to remove for some time. My shoulder slowly got more and more painful as the night progressed, as I got to the end of the night I had lost a significant portion of my left shoulder ROM.

What I didn't do was rest it, or ice it, or compress it or any of the other typically recommended approaches. In fact, I immediately set out rehabilitating it. I was regularly moving it about, making small and large circles with the hand and elbow, testing ranges of motion, and testing load. I moved my body through a great variety of motions and had Dave Wardman perform some intensely strong stretches (yes stretches) on the injured spot. When I found a sore spot, I hit gold, because I knew that if I moved my arm very close around this sore spot that I would heal quickly. This was all done in super slow motion, with all of my awareness and attention being poured into the sensations coming from the joints. A dull ache became a strong ache and set in (as it always does) as my rehabilitation process took place.

After a nights sleep it was already feeling a little better. The ache was stronger, but the range had improved and I was able to take more load. As I taught the morning class, (crawling), I began to instead of just watching others, join in on as much as I could. Handstands, cartwheels, loaded internal and external rotation and much more exploration as above. Aching increased, but so did ROM and capacity.

By day 2, I was rotating into bridge, and doing one arm swings and some other more advanced practices. The shoulder was already 90% healed, just a few more smaller spots in the extreme ranges of motion need attending to now.

This entire process was extremely fascinating! I was working tissue that had probably been protected for a good decade or so by outer layers of tense tissues (which were destroyed to a degree when I did the inlocate). My practice meant that I understood this, and that I also knew something very important - soft tissue damage is easy to heal, removing blockages is not such an easy task. This meant that my attitude towards the healing process was entirely positive, in fact I was excited for this to happen. This is generally the case whenever I injure myself, as I tend to find that I learn MORE from injuries, and gain more awareness and end up with a better body in the long run, and find out more about mental states and how I should not rely on particular movement capacities for my happiness, as they can be taken away in a moment.

I am not recommending that you go and break yourself to try and remove blockages, this was not an intentional thing and there are generally far better ways to do this. The process of rehabilitation I undertook requires many quite intricate skills, particularly quite complex awareness of the internal sensory states, as well as a few other skills not immediately available to most. If you want this kind of capacity for healing, and you want to change your relationship with injuries, then you will need to work very hard in a wide range of (quite particular) skills. Most importantly you need to be able to take complete responsibility for your actions, no part of your mind can be (even subconsciously) giving responsibility to me or your physio or whoever is helping you heal. This takes practice, lots of practice.

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Monday:

Wrist prep

Handstands

Ballistic stretching

Single bar inverted hangs

Tuck planche

Skin the cat

Press to handstand

Stir the cauldron

Nei dan

Did some interesting work on the thoracic spine, rib cage and shoulders today in between strength work. Some interesting opening of tissue in the deep ribs, almost felt like I was influencing the heart and lungs. The internal and external rotation of the shoulders played a big part in how these tensions expressed themselves in my system. Will be looking into this more in the coming weeks, there is something especially important about the rotational position of the shoulders during movement.

Energetics are doing interesting things during regular physical activity now.

Slacked off the nei gong for last couple of days, will begin to hit it hard tomorrow again.

Some photos from today's session attached.

post-2114-0-79443900-1445859990_thumb.jp

post-2114-0-87711500-1445860008_thumb.jp

post-2114-0-24308900-1445860031_thumb.jp

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#attainthefarshoreordietrying

 

Yes. See you soon.

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Tuesday AM

 

short nei gong basic qualities

ballistic stretching

wushu kicks

shi da pan #8

handstands

cartwheels

 

found an interesting tight line that my system was avoiding in H2T ballistics.  Internal rotation of the straight leg plus squaring of the hips (adduction) hits a line that is very nervy but runs down the inside of the leg (this alignment would typically hit the outer hamstring).  Its very nervy and pulls me back about a handspan from being able to do elbow to toe.  Was very difficult to maintain this form but it felt super nice to work in it.

 

I've got a feeling that freeing the nervous system from fascial restriction is highly auspicious but also requires spending a lot of time in the "nervy" stretches. Heavily related to energetics methinks.  Time to investigate more.

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Intriguing; let us play with this on the weekend, too.  There are a number of 'neuro-fascial' or nerve sheath restrictions running through my legs that I am aware of; one in particular I believe was the root causal-pattern of my recent injury.  Shall we have a play-date for Saturday night (nerve floss par-tay)..?

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Tuesday PM

- nei gong

- soft rolling

- cartwheels

- cartwheel -> rolling transitions

- bridges and handstands

- nei dan

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It is the build up of acquired Qi in the body. Normal exercise will make this happen but then it disperses shortly afterwards, however particular exercises (such as qi gong and standing meditation exercises) will contain it inside the body...the sensations will accumulate after some time and get stronger and stronger (only if you keep up daily practice).

Thanks for the reply Craig. Definitely creates some interesting sensations that feel lovely. Looking forward to exploring this

Ps this is Adrien from Sydney at the workshop a month ago to add some context.

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No probs!  haha yes I worked out who you were from your username, sorry for the short reply before was on mobile.

 

Which variation of standing practices are you doing?

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Wednesday:

Cartwheels

Resting positions

Rolling

Crawling

Cartwheels again

Hanging

Swinging

Some basic pulling

Nei gong

Nei dan

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Thursday:

Nei dan

Nei gong

Stir the cauldron

Swinging

Precision jumping

Balance

Depth jumps

Pbar shoulder/thoracic opener

Reading transitions and rolling

Cartwheels

Stance work

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Haha very cunning you are.

To be honest one I made up. I do some waking practises including your spinal waves. Then take the cues from your standing post post on Dave's blog and combined that with breath awareness and yogamana's body awareness work. Then end using tension and relaxation ideas like the one you showed on the first day at the workshop. Obviously could be improved but just got to do it before worrying about the technicalities.

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What you are doing will definitely deliver nice results, although slightly different to a standing practice designed to work with internal aspects. Keep it up, I will be interested to hear how it changes you in say 3 months, especially if you can manage daily practice!

 

Friday:

Went to Sydney, caught up with Dimitri and Dave in Chatswood.  Helped Dimitri with some standing and stepping practice

Had a good session of static postures nei gong (36 postures each held for 9 breaths - takes approx. 30 - 35 minutes) - I am definitely working through some deeper blockages with this practice and am very close to being able to do the entire set with almost no discomfort. 

Nei dan 40mins before bed

 

Saturday:

Ballistic stretching - really starting to find this line of habitual tension.  Squaring of the hips, and internal rotation of the stretching leg in the H2T stretch allows me to move the line of work from the outer hamstring to the adductor, and a nervy sensation that runs along the inside of the leg and into the calf.  I alternated this type of H2T with a standing pancake variation I'm going to start calling the "hovercraft", where I focus on external rotation of the legs. Producing a very nice effect in my body, and also doing interesting things with energetics.

 Re-patterning - Dave gave me a mighty might partner hip flexor stretch, was almost as deep as I've ever been also (check out Dave's post about this same session). Interestingly, my control of the sensory domain is getting quite good, anyone watching my face would have thought I was quite relaxed.  Internally, various systems were freaking out, however I can let the systems freak out without "me" having to freak out.  This is fun :) Also managed a similar depth with human xbow.

Nei gong - static postures again, followed quickly by tendon changing 'twist and squeeze' exercise. almost an hour of solid work, I was pouring sweat.

Nei Dan - 30 mins - more interesting things happening here, like a very thick air was oozing down my airways but continuing down on this line into my lower dan tien, and then it felt like I was 'cooking' this with the heat that is produced from this practice.  I shifted my posture to try and get more comfortable towards the end and this just switched it off almost immediately.

 

Sunday:

Nei gong - static postures

Nei Dan - 40 mins, more of the same, very intense.  A big change feels just around the corner.  woohoo!

 

In other news, my teacher arrives in 2 weeks.  Having a Daoist master at my house for a week teaching me all day every day is going to be fun!

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"Having a Daoist master at my house for a week teaching me all day every day is going to be fun!" 

 

Having the Teacher stay in One's home is a most virtuous and interesting of experiences. I highly commend this action.. t-minus 10. 9 . 8. 7. 6... !

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