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Thread: suggestions for basic beginner solitary practice?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rett View Post
    Matthew, howdy Thanks for the video and ideas. It reminds me of some of the ways they use push-hands methods to test standing structure in the taiji group I attend.
    I know there are videos of other teachers doing that too - notably I can remember a couple videos of Chen Xiao Wang doing it.

    As I understand it - it works for healing too - when someone has tension at a point in their spine/body, you can push through to that 'spot' (the kink in their posture that allows you to "push" them as it were), and instead of actually pushing them off balance, quickly release it using the opposite vector to that which you pushed it with - with I think helps release the tension there...

    Similar to using reverse pressure to "suck" out the tension if I am explaining that at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by rett View Post
    So I stand corrected.
    I really appreciate the punniness

    and my post wasn't aimed at your previous discussion with other folks, I merely interrupted and posted what I saw as relevant FYI.

    Solo Zhan Zhuang is very important for full benefit and..

    IMO, one can absolutely practice Zhan Zhuang without a teacher and see great benefit as long as they follow natural method, as you touched on!

    I really agree with you about your point in trying complicated things without a teacher too

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5_fists View Post
    hey gents - i was wondering if anyone could suggest to me, a starter set of chi kung that i could give a shot on my own?

    never did any chi work, thought i'd give it a bit of a try and see if it calls to me. thinking back now, i kinda wish i'd stuck with some it, but, as they say, that was then, this is now.

    any suggestions appreciated
    Hi 5_fists. I realized in responding to rett, I might just elaborate for you on Zhan Zhuang since I believe it can benefit.

    Firstly I want to say, dropping preconceived notions about qi gong, qi, internal this or that, etc was very hard for me to do and took me actually meeting my master to do - there is a tendency to not fully believe/fully commit to something you read online and a greater tendency to mix various things, which yields far less benefit IMO.

    I really believe in following the natural method (ZiRan) whether or not one has a teacher.

    That is to say - not trying to move Intent, Qi, not trying to tense certain parts of the body, not trying to visualize magic anything, and practicing especially as long as there are not continual discomfort or pains.

    I'd say trying anymore than this before you were comfortable could be too much for beginners, elderly, sickly, or those used to external practice:
    -------------------------
    -breathing should always be comfortable, not forcing deep breath at all.
    -allow your breathing to slow
    -Drop your tailbone ("tuck the butt") such that the lower spine is straight up and down
    -Knees not locked (slightly bent) - this isn't the movies, starting very low will not help and is not natural.
    -Weight is dominately over bubbling spring (front part of feet)
    -Feet at one-foot's-width apart (directly under your hip joints)
    -relax body (joints, spine, limbs, anus)
    -natural breathing to start
    -slight chin tuck (to raise back of the neck more vertical)
    -hands can be at the side or slightly infront of the Dan Tian (just below below belly button)
    -teeth together/mouth closed with tongue softly touching the roof of the mouth
    -eyes can be a small bit squinted/focused if comfortable

    I'd also follow what you read here: http://www.chanwuyi.org/showroom/model/T0303/templateCustomWebPage.do?webId=1233929329351&editC urrentLanguage=1235069892126&customWebPageId=12855 09549671457351 - and read the following few pages which includes elaboration on Zhan Zhuang)

    Stand as you are comfortable. If that is only 2 minutes then do it 2 minutes - if you can for 10 minutes, do it for 10. Beyond this there are further adjustments to zhan zhuang that can be practiced.

    Once you are entirely familiar with the above methods- simply add in these 2 breathing focus points:
    1) When inhaling, put focus on your dantian/lower abdominal area.
    When exhaling, put focus on your nose.

    2) Exhaling is akin to pushing a ball under water. you exhale, but the inhale rises of its own accord, not forced.
    Last edited by Matthew; 11-20-2012 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #18
    That's a really nice list of key points, thanks

  4. #19
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    i am considering a zz program at www.apricotforesthall.com .
    see also mit qigong.

  5. #20
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    Until You Get a Teacher[needed]-ish; Listen to Your Pulse with Your Mind

    Until you get a teacher in this, since it's breathing and breathing wrong could mess you over, listen for your blood curculating. Visualize a place infront of the pulse. When you can listen to your pusle with your mind and tag the in-front of it. Tag the just after of it. Thiese practices/this practice might be something-or-otheruntil and when you meet an authorized teacher of Chi Kung/qigong.

    No_Know
    Last edited by No_Know; 01-10-2013 at 10:56 AM. Reason: 2 s' in listen
    There are four lights... impulse...all donations can be sent at PayPal.com to qumpreyndweth@juno.com; vurecords.com

  6. #21
    I agree about not doing complex manipulation of breathing without a teacher.

    Natural breathing in movements, and observing the breathing in meditation are safe though, I believe. I have also been told this by teachers and read it from well-known and respected teachers who give basic meditation instructions in books that are meant to have a low likelihood of causing problems.

    I also believe its okay to coordinate breathing with movements as long as it comes naturally and evenly. So if I start getting out of synch, I let the breathing go back to natural and resynch later by itself. A mistake I used to make was to prioritize the coordination and hold my breath or similar to keep it timed to the movements. This built-up tension in my chest and was not healthy, good, or helpful in any way.

    I've more or less completely stopped doing any reverse breathing or power generating breathing even though it is taught by a good teacher in the group I attend. I simply don't need it for anything and don't want the potential risks.

    I respect the group and the teacher very much, but I'm not interested in more than the very simplest "taoist" type benefits for want of a better word. I believe in qi, but don't want to actively try to promote circulations or play with the energies or break through blockages. If that grows naturally, fine.

    For me actively striving for those things just becomes another game or involvement or ego investment, and I already have enough of those. For others it can be very worthwhile; I'm convinced of this.

    It goes without saying that this are just practice-blog notes from an amateur. I'm mostly interested in comparing experiences.
    Last edited by rett; 01-12-2013 at 01:54 AM.

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