Friday, January 25, 2008

Wall Stretch? Anyone?

Poorooop.... Pooorooop... Poorooooooop...

(That's cricket sound in Thailand.)

What happened to the good old wall stretch or just helping each other stretch in general? Is it because we are too lazy to clean up the walls and mirror after the class? Is it because self-stretch benefits more? Is it because we don't want to touch other people's stinky hairy legs?

Two years ago when I first started, I thought it was mandatory to help other people stretch. Now it looks like stretching alone is preferable.

I like to wall stretch because I think my flexibility improved significantly because of it and also because I get to learn people names and then torture them...

Can anybody tell my why we wall stretched at the first place? And now we don't do it that much anymore?

Poorooop.... Pooorooop... Poorooooooop...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quadruple Happiness!

Though I was exhausted when it started, here are four reasons why today was good, in chronological order:

1. At the end of the day, I found out from my boss that I received the maximum possible raise and

2. maximum bonus possible at work. This is fantastic.

3. During training tonight, Heng Han had us do this lovely move in line -- a Ceshoufan in place, 5 times. What came to mind was a needle and thread, sewing ahead a little bit, but always backtracking as reinforcement -- move ahead, sure, but keep the foundation strong. And it also made me think of how the universe folds back into itself, and joyfully re-discovers itself anew each time. As I flipped around over and over, I kept thinking, "That's where I was! And here I am! And there I go!" but I was going everywhere and nowhere. It didn't feel like I ever really strayed much from the space on the carpet containing my cartwheels, but still I felt like I was infinitely expansive -- like scuba diving, or elation.

4. We started Xiaohongquan tonight. It felt beautiful, raising your arm, making fists, keeping them tight and close, and dingbu, and gongbu, and gongbu, and that quick shift, chambered hands, it felt really good.

Icing was getting to see some of what Cheng, Richu and De learned in Austria. Sprinkles on the icing is that my fatigue and bedtime are currently aligned. Quadruple happy good nights!


After a long flight with multiple delays, the Austria crew landed late Monday afternoon. We had an amazing time and have lots of stories to share, but really I recommend everyone take the trip themselves because really there's no way to convey the experience without being there yourself, well, experiencing it. But-

I am sooooooooo happy to be back! Last night I rolled into training at my usual time of 6:00 and was surprised and excited to see there were already several students there. After a big Amituofo from Sifu and Randy, whom haven't gotten to train with in some time, I was in a off the wall fantastic mood and couldn't wait for class to start.

Start we did and it was FAST! Austria training is definitely much slower, but I had so much adrenaline going that the speed perfectly matched my energy level. You'd think after two weeks of traveling and training, and essentially five weeks of various combined vacation, I'd be ready for a little recuperation time. Instead, this was one of the best classes ever. There were so many people training there was barely room on the carpet for us all once teaching was underway! It simply felt so good to be home and to see everyone I've been missing that my chi was through the roof. So amituofo to everyone! There's no place like home!