Sometime over the last couple weeks, while standing, I felt my "sides drop". Anatomically this could mean I felt my Obliques let go, stop holding, relax. I wasn't thinking about or imagining or visualizing doing this. It just happened! The result was a feeling of lengthening on both sides.
In a recent Wujifa class, while doing the secret leaf-raking training (well, ok, practicing side to side using the slight resistance of the rake to help me notice the feeling of connection), I received external validation of when I was holding or lengthening the sides. Nice!
What's interesting to me is that along with this side-drop feeling came the feeling of weight sliding down my quads and into and slightly through the knee which feels like the knees sliding forward.
I remember, maybe a year or more ago, observing (data) that the knees sliding forward is more about intention than actual physical sliding forward. Now, I feel the knees "sliding forward" and the feeling is completely different from what I "achieved" using imagination/intention.
One of the corrections I routinely received in class was to "drop" the elbows. As with the knees, I previously noted (data) that "drop the elbows" is about the imagined/visualized/intention of the elbows hanging. However, I never experienced a real kinesthetic feeling of the elbows dropping, that is, until now. This elbow-dropping-feeling just "naturally" showed up one day.
What is most exciting for me is that I can now distinguish two feelings: holding and relaxing.
Holding elbows up or dropping elbows.
Holding sides up or dropping sides.
Pulling knees back and up into the thigh or sliding down and forward.
I also notice that these component feelings suggest or point to a single whole body feeling, however, I'm not able to get my mind around the whole as easy as the components at this time.
So after a long period where "nothing" (that I could notice) was happening, then BOOM! a perceived "big jump".
I was reminded that plateaus are gestation periods where new neural pathways are being formed. Practicing and not noticing subtle shifts and growths is like planting a seed and watering and watering and watering, not seeing any growth, trusting that there is growth until one day, BOOM! noticing a sprout!
During the plateau time, I wasn't able to notice the level at which changes were occurring. What I notice surely points to the level of my noticing ability which too, is wonderful to notice!!