Dev

Wuji Posture

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So I've started practicing wuji posture, as outlined by Damo in his book, and I've noticed that my calves really start to burn, and if i hold it too long, they'll cramp. I'm making sure to not put weight on my knees, to relax my hips and pelvis (without tucking pelvis), relax lower back, put weight on front part of feet (spreading toe bones), and have torso leaning slightly forward to straighten spine. My whole waist region is pretty relaxed besides my inner thighs. Am i doing something wrong that makes my calves take extra strain? Maybe leaning too far forward/putting weight too far forward?

 

Also, I've noticed that once I'm in position, whenever i move slightly, my whole body creaks (i think its the tendons/ligaments), like everything at once. It's quite a weird sensation. Is that supposed to happen? Good sign/bad sign?

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I would occasionally experience leg cramps at odd times, and starting zahn zhuang standing gave me an "on the verge of cramping up" feeling for a while. 

 

After a while, the tendon changes from the overall set of practices, particularly from attention to rooting, to letting my feet spread out as my weight settled, this has improved greatly.  The crackling tendons, especially my hands and forearms, was also a thing for a while. Attention to my wrists and hands during movement seems to have helped here.

 

 

Massage to points like the da ling (palm) and yong quan ( foot) have helped as well.

 

Hope this is relevant. 

 

 

Edited by Sketch
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5 hours ago, Dev said:

put weight on front part of feet

If you are unable to wiggle your toes in this position, you’re putting too much weight on the front part of the feet. The weight needs to be distributed evenly between your heels and the balls of the feet. 

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It's best to have someone qualified just show you how to do it properly rather than learn from a book due to the many health and injury risks. Some can do it, but the average for doing it wrong and getting injured or developing bad habits is much higher. 

 

Find someone in person if you aren't too restricted by the pandemic, or find some qualified instructor online. 

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3 hours ago, dwai said:

If you are unable to wiggle your toes in this position, you’re putting too much weight on the front part of the feet. The weight needs to be distributed evenly between your heels and the balls of the feet. 

 According to damo, the weight must be on the frontal part in order to open up yong quan, which connects you to the earths yin. "If you distribute the weight evenly on your feet then your tarsal bones won't spread sufficiently and yong quan won't open up properly". 

 

Edit: We're probably just on different systems that do it slightly different though, so I appreciate your advice regardless :) 

Edited by Dev
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3 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

It's best to have someone qualified just show you how to do it properly rather than learn from a book due to the many health and injury risks. Some can do it, but the average for doing it wrong and getting injured or developing bad habits is much higher. 

 

Find someone in person if you aren't too restricted by the pandemic, or find some qualified instructor online. 

 

I'm going to try join Damo's school, just need to sort out cash (and possibly speak to him about this as well as recommended by someone). Definitely can't find an actual teacher here in RSA - the only 'teachers' are people who went overseas, began learning the foundations and came back to south africa a 'master'. There's also only like 2 of them. I'd honestly rather figure it out myself than go to one of them. Damo does outline a lot of the risks, and is really comprehensive about it, so i really hope to be able to join his school :) 

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5 hours ago, Sketch said:

I would occasionally experience leg cramps at odd times, and starting zahn zhuang standing gave me an "on the verge of cramping up" feeling for a while. 

 

After a while, the tendon changes from the overall set of practices, particularly from attention to rooting, to letting my feet spread out as my weight settled, this has improved greatly.  The crackling tendons, especially my hands and forearms, was also a thing for a while. Attention to my wrists and hands during movement seems to have helped here.

 

 

Massage to points like the da ling (palm) and yong quan ( foot) have helped as well.

 

Hope this is relevant. 

 

 

 

Thanks man, appreciate the insight. What parts of your legs did you experience cramps in?

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43 minutes ago, Dev said:

 

I'm going to try join Damo's school, just need to sort out cash (and possibly speak to him about this as well as recommended by someone). Definitely can't find an actual teacher here in RSA - the only 'teachers' are people who went overseas, began learning the foundations and came back to south africa a 'master'. There's also only like 2 of them. I'd honestly rather figure it out myself than go to one of them. Damo does outline a lot of the risks, and is really comprehensive about it, so i really hope to be able to join his school :) 


I do teach as well from Xin Yi (derived from both Yi Quan and Liuhebafa), but I don’t usually isolate standing from the overall structure of the first year because it’s more than just proper alignment. I also do charge, though this isn’t so much of an offer but caution to be wary of even Damo since an analysis of his own standing practice is that he’s added some of his own ingredients to it that are really just going to charge students more rather than getting to the basics.

 

While you theoretically can learn the basics fast, as every body type is different, I’m not sure how much time an instructor from

his school can dedicate to you individually. At the very least I don’t mind showing you one basic stance on a call (complementary, no money involved—I’m in a good mood), but be careful with your money and your body because you will find that some teachers will tell you the right thing, show you the wrong thing, and you’ll likely end up paying them or a “friend” they know for treatment.

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11 hours ago, Dev said:

calves really start to burn


It’s normal

 

It'll change in time… and be replaced by some other discomfort soon enough :) 

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59 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

I do teach as well from Xin Yi (derived from both Yi Quan and Liuhebafa), but I don’t usually isolate standing from the overall structure of the first year because it’s more than just proper alignment. I also do charge, though this isn’t so much of an offer but caution to be wary of even Damo since an analysis of his own standing practice is that he’s added some of his own ingredients to it that are really just going to charge students more rather than getting to the basics.

 

While you theoretically can learn the basics fast, as every body type is different, I’m not sure how much time an instructor from

his school can dedicate to you individually. At the very least I don’t mind showing you one basic stance on a call (complementary, no money involved—I’m in a good mood), but be careful with your money and your body because you will find that some teachers will tell you the right thing, show you the wrong thing, and you’ll likely end up paying them or a “friend” they know for treatment.

 

I'd love to take you up on that offer, that's very kind of you!

 

Yeah I've been struggling to make up my mind, from what i can see i have 2 options: your friend that is in china RN and is teaching neigong through a zoom seminar, and damos academy. Damo's is a bit cheaper, and comes with a huge amount of resources, material to study and learn, and seems to be quite structured and well laid out, which resonates with me, but the other guy is guaranteed knows what he's doing, but I'm not sure how much information and structure I'll get from him?

 

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1 minute ago, freeform said:


It’s normal

 

It'll change in time… and be replaced by some other discomfort soon enough :) 

Okay great, that's good to hear. I'll just have to power through :D

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1 hour ago, Dev said:

 

I'd love to take you up on that offer, that's very kind of you!

 

Yeah I've been struggling to make up my mind, from what i can see i have 2 options: your friend that is in china RN and is teaching neigong through a zoom seminar, and damos academy. Damo's is a bit cheaper, and comes with a huge amount of resources, material to study and learn, and seems to be quite structured and well laid out, which resonates with me, but the other guy is guaranteed knows what he's doing, but I'm not sure how much information and structure I'll get from him?

 


A vote no on Damo from me. For your interest it is more fluff than clarity with Damo.

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34 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:


A vote no on Damo from me. For your interest it is more fluff than clarity with Damo.

 

Alright, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the advice :) 

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4 hours ago, Dev said:

 

Thanks man, appreciate the insight. What parts of your legs did you experience cramps in?

Calves mostly. 

 

And yes, I'm also using Damo Mitchell's books and videos as a resource. 

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36 minutes ago, Dev said:

 

Alright, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the advice :) 

 

Just FYI: my friend is teaching neigong, which can lead to faqi. I am not; I teach the foundation for Fajin, which begins with Zhan Zhuang. 

 

Decide for yourself if you want one call with me or explore--you've got a lot of resources in several forums (here, TDB, AG) to separate the wheat from the chaff, but you also have very loud voices certain of themselves who don't actually have the skill that they believe they have. 

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15 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

Just FYI: my friend is teaching neigong, which can lead to faqi. I am not; I teach the foundation for Fajin, which begins with Zhan Zhuang

Ahh, I was wanting to ask. I'm wanting to learn neigong (originally i was interested in learning to faqi, but now I'm honestly just pursuing it for the sake of it, for self-mastery and interest's sake).

 

17 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

Decide for yourself if you want one call with me or explore--you've got a lot of resources in several forums (here, TDB, AG) to separate the wheat from the chaff, but you also have very loud voices certain of themselves who don't actually have the skill that they believe they have. 

As I want to pursue neigong I'm going to choose the latter and explore, but again, I really appreciate your offer :) I will keep an eye out for those loud voices, and take everything with a pinch of salt

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35 minutes ago, Sketch said:

Calves mostly. 

 

And yes, I'm also using Damo Mitchell's books and videos as a resource. 

How do you find Damo's information? How have you progressed over time using his system? Run into any problems yet, glass ceilings etc? Are you part of his academy, or just reading his books and watching his youtube videos?

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10 minutes ago, Dev said:

How do you find Damo's information? How have you progressed over time using his system? Run into any problems yet, glass ceilings etc? Are you part of his academy, or just reading his books and watching his youtube videos?

I'm very much a solitary practitioner,  going slowly and following the results as carefully as I can. (Although my wife has started standing as well)

 

Reading Damo's books, along with other contemporary writers on the subject like Scott Meredith and Scott Park Phillips,  along with building a relationship with the Dao De Jing and Zhuangzi and other elements of the Daoist canon.

 

Progress has been interesting. The yi jing jin ideas; tendon change associated with particular qigong postures; has been a remedy to usage problems from a lifetime of clutching and grabbing. 

 

Muscles lay along smoother tracks than even a year ago. My feet look quite different.  I'm much calmer. 

 

I feel internal elastic movement quite strongly. My sense of balance is improved. Many small things, and a shifting array of discomforts as well.

 

I sleep great, which is a switch too.

 

Be careful and take my experience for what it's worth; I'm clearly involved with remedial work that will take years of foundation work to get through. 

 

I'm also not good with authority figures; cops, school teachers, bosses, anyone with a made up title,  find me to be frustrating to deal with. Perhaps a few more years of meditation will render me tractable in that regard.

 

 

The improvements have been worth the effort. The discomforts are like  growing callus when you start playing guitar, or digging ditches. 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Dev said:

So I've started practicing wuji posture, as outlined by Damo in his book, and I've noticed that my calves really start to burn, and if i hold it too long, they'll cramp. I'm making sure to not put weight on my knees, to relax my hips and pelvis (without tucking pelvis), relax lower back, put weight on front part of feet (spreading toe bones), and have torso leaning slightly forward to straighten spine. My whole waist region is pretty relaxed besides my inner thighs. Am i doing something wrong that makes my calves take extra strain? Maybe leaning too far forward/putting weight too far forward?

 

Also, I've noticed that once I'm in position, whenever i move slightly, my whole body creaks (i think its the tendons/ligaments), like everything at once. It's quite a weird sensation. Is that supposed to happen? Good sign/bad sign?

 

The discomfort is normal, and your weight should be as you stated, towards the front....in or around a 2:1 ratio of front to back to open yongchuan

 

Heres a tip....Purchase a month long membership to the academy...

 

Take EXTENSIVE notes and practice that for a while if you are tight on money....

 

You needn't worry about the neigong for now. You'll have plenty to keep you busy for a while

 

I strongly suggest you take my advice ….there's nuances you wont pick up in the book that will save you endless hours and incorrect alignments. Nobody should ever try to learn from a book...they should only use it to supplement

 

Damo knows exactly what he is talking about...The results of the practices speak for themselves and are very potent if done correctly

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8 hours ago, Dev said:

 According to damo, the weight must be on the frontal part in order to open up yong quan, which connects you to the earths yin. "If you distribute the weight evenly on your feet then your tarsal bones won't spread sufficiently and yong quan won't open up properly". 

 

Edit: We're probably just on different systems that do it slightly different though, so I appreciate your advice regardless :) 

I don’t know about that. Seems to open quite well without physically stretching the area. If you stand “correctly” it doesn’t take much time to start feeling the Qi. 
 

Just think about it, if you’re perched up on the balls of your feet for long periods of time (like a ballerina), you essentially are holding a “calf raise”. Why won’t your calf muscles not “burn/sting” or even cramp? 

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1 hour ago, Shadow_self said:

 

 endless hours and incorrect alignments. Nobody should ever try to learn from a book...they should only use it to supplement

 

 

I would contradict this if I could,  but my sense of alignment was developed over 4 plus years of regular Alexander technique instruction. 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

I don’t know about that. Seems to open quite well without physically stretching the area. If you stand “correctly” it doesn’t take much time to start feeling the Qi. 
 

Just think about it, if you’re perched up on the balls of your feet for long periods of time (like a ballerina), you essentially are holding a “calf raise”. Why won’t your calf muscles not “burn/sting” or even cramp? 

 

Standing on the balls of the feet isnt really the point...it is more to redistribute the weight to spread the tarsal bones wider.

 

A 2:1 or so  ratio of weight isnt so much a calf raise as an adjustment...certainly nothing like a  ballerina :) 

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2 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

 

Standing on the balls of the feet isnt really the point...it is more to redistribute the weight to spread the tarsal bones wider.

 

A 2:1 or so  ratio of weight isnt so much a calf raise as an adjustment...certainly nothing like a  ballerina :) 

That is possible to do just as well by balancing the weight between the heels and the balls of the feet. I've seen various versions of this kind of instruction -- "spread the tarsal bones wider, apply more weight/pressure on the K1 point, treat the big toe, K1 point and the center of the heel as 3 nails you've dug into the earth and so on". 


FWIW, in my experience (and I've been doing this for more than 20 years now) -- the best way to stand in wuji is when you are neither falling forward nor backward -- and your weight simply falls through to the ground. The more important thing to watch out for in wuji stance is really about suspending the crown point, tucking the chin slightly,  leaning the torso slightly forward,  and letting the chest muscles sink downward. Another thing is to not let your toes splay out -- keep the toes perpendicular to each other or even better, slightly splayed inward. 

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14 hours ago, dwai said:

The weight needs to be distributed evenly between your heels and the balls of the feet.


I’d say it’s probably best to listen to your teacher than a friendly fellow on the internet.

 

There’s a reason for using the front of the foot.


It’s obviously not included in Dwai’s system but is included in Damo’s and several others I’ve come across.
 

Follow the system not your assumptions and ideas - or the assumptions and ideas of others not qualified in the system.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, dwai said:

FWIW, in my experience (and I've been doing this for more than 20 years now) -- the best way to stand in wuji is when you are neither falling forward nor backward -- and your weight simply falls through to the ground.


There is a way to have the weight pressurize the front of the feet without you falling forward, it has to do with the manipulation of the kua/pelvis region. I have noticed this error in my practice as well, leaning forward in a way that was not helpful, almost doing a “calf raise” as you say, then found that putting the weight forward was not the issue, but the how of doing it was.

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