After the first qi gong set, which is Five Golden Coins, my hamstrings and … ahem…. buttocks were whining. Something was too tight, and it was going to lead to injury. As a result, I lay down on the floor between the first qi gong posture-set and the second, and did a muscle-stretching exercise I first learned from a book called Learning Ritual Magic by John Michael Greer. In some ways it’s odd how often I turn to him, but in other ways not odd at all.
In any case, after a run-through of my musculature, tightening and releasing every muscle I know how to voluntarily tighten and relax, the tightness along my lower back had eased and I was much more comfortable on the floor than when I first lay down. I was able to do the second set of postures, Eight Pieces of Brocade, with much more ease and fluidity. Things got even more open and easy during the tai chi form, which was fluid and gentle and open. I’m learning, slowly, what must be done to tune and manage my body, and make it serve my ends and keep me healthy and happy.