Nothing is more important than your health and wellness. Health is life itself, and at some point, we all need to make important decisions about how we take care of ourselves.
Tao Yin is an ancient Qi Gong practice that works with the body’s internal life force energy to nurture health and vitality. In our last blog post, we explored the origins of Tao Yin and how it is practiced. Today, we’ll look deeper at its primary intention that we can all relate to: To maintain and nurture health throughout our entire life.
In the west, medical care dedicates relatively little time and attention to preventing illness. Western medicine is amazing at helping to treat many challenging ailments but impressively ineffective at helping people stay healthy. The emphasis on treatment rather than prevention leads to a constant battle of fighting against what is taking place within the body, rather than working with the body gracefully while it is still healthy.
Many people only see their doctor when they’re already ill, and sometimes that’s too late. Even if you do see your doctor when you’re healthy, most doctors can only provide vague guidance on what you should do to stay healthy. Monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol is very important, but there’s a lot more going on in the human body than what a set of numbers can describe.
In ancient China, Taoist sages knew that being healthy is about taking good care of yourself even when you’re already feeling great.
Tao Yin and Health
There’s an ancient proverb that describes why we practice Tao Yin: “Don’t dig your well when you’re dying of thirst, do so before.” Once you’re sick, it is more difficult to regain health. Therefore, in Chinese Medicine, we put great attention and energy into maintaining our health while we’re still strong.
Like modern-day Qi Gong, Tao Yin is a practice that empowers the individual by allowing them to cultivate their own health. In Tao Yin, the practice is very centered around the intentions of health and well-being. Most of the routines focus on working with the body’s primary energy pathways which are called meridians.
Meridian lines are important channels that run throughout the body. When our meridian lines are open and clear, energy runs fluidly throughout all parts of our being. However, when our meridians are blocked, we can develop blocked, noxious Qi.
Blockages can occur for a variety of reasons and cause different ailments depending on where the blockages occur. Sometimes stagnant emotional energy can cause a change in our physical body. At other times, anxiety in the mind can lead to stress and tension throughout our neck and shoulders.
Tao Yin uses stretching movements similar to yoga to release tension and restore fluidity in all of our meridian pathways. By focussing on the specific parts of our body in an intentional way, we’re able to experience the release of blockages and opening of channels.
Sometimes this is apparent in an emotional context. Often we look to thought and reasoning to address our emotions when really, the emotions live within our body. Emotions can cause very real constrictions and contractions in the body, which are harmful to the flow of energy. Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling sad or depressed you seem to have less energy? By practicing Tao Yin you can work to release the emotional blockages in your body and restore peace and tranquility in your heart and mind.
If you’re lucky enough to not have any harmful blockages in your body, Tao Yin can help you to stay that way. Just as an active yogi is unlikely to get stiff, an active Tao Yin practitioner is much less likely to develop blockages compared to someone who doesn’t practice. If some trial of life does create a blockage or stagnation, Tao Yin can help release the block before it develops into something more serious such as a disease.
All things in life are formed by the habits they practice, and Tao Yin is one with the intention of flowing energy and healthy living.
Tao Yin Workshop
Starting on Saturday, October 13th, Lee will be teaching a Tao Yin immersion program designed to teach the ancient practices for health and vitality. The immersion will take place on four weekends spread over the course of four months and end January.
In the immersion, Lee will talk about the powerful lessons used by Taoist sages, as well as teach the practices that accompany their understanding. All students will be able to attend in person in Santa Cruz, California, or follow along online from the comfort of their own home. All classes will be recorded so participants can go back and rewatch the material for up to sixty days from the end of the course.
The ancient practice is waiting to be discovered, so click on the “Learn More” button below to learn more or sign up:
By Ian Drogin