At the end of my first qi gong form, I was having a lot of trouble. I was tight in places I’m not normally tight, and I wasn’t feeling up to tai chi. Usually by the end of the first round of qi gong I’m raring to go. That I wasn’t, was cause for concern.
I returned, then, to a forgotten technique from my old daily practice in the Western tradition. I lay down on the floor, and very deliberately tightened and relaxed each major and minor muscle that I could squeeze and release, from the top of my head all the way down to my feet. As I did so, more and more of my body came into contact with the floor. At first, I was horribly arched over the floor, tight all across my back like a bowstring on the horns of a longbow. By the time I was done, though, most of my spine was in contact or near-contact with the floor. I felt like I’d grounded a lot of stress and upset. And I was able to proceed with the rest of my qi gong and tai chi.
The rest of my work this morning was a bit of a let-down after that. It was easy, though, which was the important thing. When I stood back up, I could feel the chi flowing again; moving through the second set of qi gong exercises was not nearly so difficult, and the tai chi form had a good place to it.
But I think I have to add in a new procedure to my morning routine — or more accurately, I need to add an old procedure back into my practice. Apparently, tai chi is not enough; there needs to be a bit of floor-flattening in there, too.