Qigong Routine is Up!

Hey all!

So I finally bit the bullet and published my first Qigong video up at my YouTube Channel.

Mind you there are lots of rough edges in the video, but I have noted the ones I see down and will address them in the next video!

This is a beginner quick routine, mainly used to get me some material to work with and figure out how I want to start presenting this stuff.

Hope you enjoy it! Feel free to subscribe to my channel and leave me feedback so I can improve.

Here is the video:

What is Chi?

I stumbled upon this great post about what Chi is, or at least how we can think about it.

The biggest Misunderstandings about Qi (Energy) – http://wp.me/p7lpbK-vj

Life Update!

Lets do something strange, lets talk about Tai Chi.

This weeks focus has been on rounding the knees, incorporating my lower body in my awareness, and extending my spine through the top of my head and through my root.

I have really made some leaps and bounds in the splitting of my intention between multiple concepts. I have become familiar enough with them individually to begin to dabble in holding one or two at a time. Granted, I am not as familiar as I COULD be, but it at least doesn’t overwhelm me anymore when holding two at a time during practice.

I also discovered this week that I am able to fold in to the kua on certain moves if I REALLY slow down think about it. It has allowed me to turn my waist farther than before to actually start to look like I am sinking\moving properly.

The issue with that, however, is that it really illustrates how much work I still have in front of me to loosen my hamstrings and quads.

In a forward horse stance, I can twist my waist and collapse in the kua enough to point forward my belly button forward, but my right knee still collapses in unless I really wrench it outward which causes an awful lot of muscle strain. The good news is that I am no longer getting as much knee pain in those low horse stances.

Lots of work still ahead of me, but I am happy with where I am!(For the minute anyway) Pretty excited about that discovery. It has been blocking me from fully sinking in to moves for a while.

 

Another interesting thing happened to me this morning  while doing my 30 minute standing meditation.

I realized that I could relax my stomach and lower esophagus.

I had been focusing on relaxing my chi in to my dantien while at the same time holding my intention at the top of my head. After about 15 minutes I noticed an acute tension followed by the slight feeling of heartburn.

As I explored that, I sent a wave of relaxation to that area and the response was immediate.

I had the sensation of a a mass flowing in to my lower body as I eased that area right in the center of my chest down in to the lower half of my torso. The feeling of heartburn went away and after a couple minutes doing several large burps bubbled up as I relaxed it even deeper.

About this time, a shiver went through my whole body. It was like a pop in my chest that sent chills outward from that point through my entire body. The feeling lingered for a couple seconds and then faded away.

Not much to say about that other than that… but it was a unique experience realizing I had control over relaxing that deep of a level of my body.

 

I am very close to finishing my first qigong routine video. It has taken up a considerable amount of time, but it really helped to create some understanding of what it will take to regularly shoot this type of videos.

I am definitely NOT going to be shooting this length of video every time. I am going to focus on shorter videos that are pinpointed to things that I am working on and the discoveries I have made that week\month whatever.

Pretty excited to get those started! I will be posting that video on my YouTube channel, along with all the shorter videos. The channel is fairly lack luster ATM, it just has some of my form videos as well as some videos of my teachers teachers I found online.

Be sure to pop on a subscribe! It will take me a bit to fill it in but subscribe so you can get those updates!

I have been doing a lot of foundation work on the social media side to start to some cross promotion between the sites, not sure what the final result is going to be, but I hope to shed some light to the process of learning tai chi. To me it seems like a process not well documented or explored and I figured since I am right in the middle of it, I may as well record it for others.

I also created a Facebook Page that I will be posting these blogposts as well as videos too. Going to test out submitting videos to youtube and facebook and see which one is easiest :).

Who knows, maybe someone will benefit from my blundering around on the interwebs.

Till next time!

 

restlessRaven

Rest? Nah, work.

Why do I always get the feeling that if I rest I will never come back to practice.

I spent so much of my twenties resting, it was one of my most refined skills. Always “relaxing” taking it easy, chilling.

Why do I hate it so much now?

Even the thought of it brings up panic inside my chest.

“No, I cant rest. If I was really passionate about my practice I wouldn’t need to rest. I would find fuel inside the practice itself, you might as well just quit if you need to rest.”

At least that’s what keeps repeating inside my head.

Yet another form of negative self talk.

Here I was thinking I had found someway around it, silly fool.

 

Went to a friends wedding last weekend that set forth an unfortunate chain of events that is still emanating through my life as I write this.

As per expected, there was a great party. Filled with dancing, friends and of course, drinking. Lots of drinking.

Now it had been quite some time since I had gone to a party, so in the back of my mind I held caution. Just a little, left there to periodically sample my intoxication level and stand at the ready to raise the alarm.

Unfortunately, that caution is not well trained and while I was able to maintain my composer, I did not, however, limit my consumption of alcohol.

So, the day after drunk town….

It felt like any hangover day…Really shitty.

Did the normal things;

  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Drive Home
  • Lay on couch and watch movies all day feeling generally sorry for myself

What I wasn’t expecting was the day after that.

See, there was something lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on me the moment my immune system let down its guard, or in this case, was brutally assaulted by expensive bourbon.

That’s right, some sort of virus.

It crashed on me bright and early Monday morning in the form of  a massive sore throat and the energy level of a tranquilized sloth.

So, I decided to “Rest”.

I stayed home from work and let the Tai Chi studio know I was taking some down time to recover.

Ha, down time.

So, instead of just sleeping, I pulled out my work laptop and logged in to the work network to get some work done as I laid there….

Sounds like the perfect relaxing way to recover from sickness right??

As you can imagine, right along side that work came ALL the stress.

All the work stress and NONE of the distractions. Just me, in my cave, sick and hyper focused on work.

I worked more hours that day than I would have if I had gone to work… and it was the same the NEXT TWO days!

That is how I “Recover”.

I drop all the self care and pull my work blankets up over my head.

Well.. at least that’s how I thought I needed to…

Now I find myself STILL sick, a week later.

Still feel like a sloth, but at least several hours after being tranquilized instead of freshly shot up.

I got fed up and did some tai chi this morning, the first all week, and it felt great.

My head is foggy, and I have this weird popping in my ears… but off I still go to work…

I think perhaps my priorities are backwards.

sloth

 

 

 

Soothing the Soul

The single most pivotal\profound experience in my life happened in a dream.

It left me feeling like there was something within me that I needed to share with the world. A feeling so strong that it drove me to separate from everyone and everything in my life and change directions.

At the time I was working construction and generally just being a bum. I was partying constantly, was usually on some sort of drug and spent my hours writing or dancing.

The morning after this dream, everything inside me changed. The lack of motivation I had always felt was gone. The need to communicate something was so strong, so fierce that it was the only thing that mattered any more. I HAD to find a way to let whatever that was out.

So I started going to school, community college to get my head back in the mode of studying and I started to separate myself from the crowd I was hanging around. That was the hardest thing, as I think about it now I have a pain in my heart, I still feel like I abandoned them.

These weren’t just my friends, they were my family. I spent every second with them, but it was the only way I knew how to get away from what I saw as a black hole. A life path that held nothing for me, I could see where it was going and it was no where good.

From there, I tried to just follow my passions. I had no idea what I needed to do and for the most part I had no idea what I was doing. I had no plan, just what was immediately in front of me.

Get the pre-reqs done at community college, go to another college… get degree… then what? A job? Then what? Family?

I ended up going to and art school, fitting now that I think about it, but at the time I was paralyzed with the decision between that and an engineering school.

Paralyzed because I knew I would do fine on either path, but I had no idea which one was the right one, which one was the one that would get this out of me.

Animation and game design ended up being my focus. I have always had a strong inclination toward movement. I could always FEEL movement, I could experience it through dancing and felt I could tap in to something beyond myself when I did.

My specialty ended up becoming, hilariously, optimizing and enhancing artists workflows.

12 years later, I have had three jobs in the gaming industry. One could say I have found success, but to me it still feels like just a beginning.

Like those twelve years were just to prepare me for what lies deep within me, the need, the drive, the command to help.

To communicate something, to help people succeed, to help people find themselves.

I feel I am closer now to this than ever.

Like whatever it is, is on the tip of my brain.

Whatever it is, a part of it is my my journal from 10 years ago which I randomly open up last night.

A writing that I pleaded myself to get out in to the world, but have yet to do.

It is perhaps the closest thing I have to the writing I used to do.

There was a journal I had in my early twenties that I would write in all hours of the night, stories about finding true meaning, about exploring the soul, about tapping in to the eternal knowledge within us and getting out of our own ways to live through it.

I lost that journal in Paris France. I left it on a train that I had rushed off trying to make my stop.

Years of writing and self exploration lost.

To this day, that is the single most profound loss I have ever had. But when I search deep for an answer to why I let that happen, the answer is always:

“You weren’t ready.”

Am I now? I have no idea.

But, for some reason or another I opened my replacement journal directly up to that page last night and I read it.

It floored me. The entry was so clear to me despite remembering writing it and feeling like it was completely unintelligible.

It touched me to the core, validated my journey and gave me a jolt of passion to help try to push me through this next wall of fear and self doubt.

As I search for a reason I happened to open my journal to the ONE spot, the only answer I get is, “It’s Time”.

So, whatever that means, I guess it’s my answer.

HolyFirepanel1

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