Here are a few things that popped up in Wednesday’s class:
1. Get your energy more coherent and full.
These words are hardly new to anyone who has been around me for the past ten years. But they aren’t just words. You want to establish a base line of high coherence as your default setting by pointing and reaching with your index fingers hundreds of times a day. (It only takes a second or two.) Then, when you need that little bit extra, it’s real easy to access it.
You want your qi like the water in a garden hose. If the hose is empty when you turn on the spigot, it takes some time to fill before you see anything coming out the nozzle. If the hose is already full, then the response is immediate. A gallon in equals a gallon out (for all practical purposes).
If your qi is low and non-coherent, you won’t trust it. You won’t even know it’s there. Crank up the volume and it’s a whole different ballgame.
One of the effects of heightened energetic coherence is that it takes you beyond the limitations of your rational mind. It puts you in a trans-rational state where you are able to be aware of many things simultaneously. You can access energy and information that is unavailable to you in your normal state.
2. Each movement begins with the ball of the foot.
When you initiate a movement, you want to start by reconnecting to the earth. Bring some awareness to the ball of your foot. This activates the yongquan point (K1, “Bubbling Well”). These are two of the Five Energy Gates and are the foundation for your movement.
Even when I lift a finger, I want to feel the ground under the ball of my foot. I bring some awareness there as well as the finger. It’s like plugging into the Big Qi.
When you take a step, make sure you are drawing your power from the yongquan. When possible, center your body’s mass over it for maximum stability
3. Set the knee over the ball of the foot.
This one will look a little different depending on the form you do, but the closer you can get to posting the knee over the ball of the foot, the more stable the structure.
Ideally, you want the shinbone almost vertical for maximum support. It’s like a post driven into the earth.
Setting the knee means just that: the knee doesn’t move. You put it in position, set it, and make your adjustments through the kua (hip). The knee has a limited range of motion and an even more limited “sweet spot.” Try putting your weight on one leg and then gradually push your knee forward. It won’t be long before you notice that the knee weakens. If you keep going, the knee will start to hurt.
You don’t want to lock the knee. That cuts off qi flow and may lead to injury. You want to unlock it and explore the angle til you find the sweet spot. When you hardly notice the knee, that’s the sweet spot. If it’s working hard? It’s probably misaligned.