First off, although this blog post may be helpful for many, it is especially directed towards yogis and those who love yoga. If that’s you, you’re in the perfect place! If yoga isn’t really your thing that’s okay too. There’s still some great information for you here.
If you’re a dedicated yoga practitioner or teacher you know that yoga is a constant journey of learning and evolving. Like Qi Gong, yoga is not merely a physical practice, but one that offers a boundless opportunity for wisdom and growth in all areas of your life.
As a yoga practitioner, you also seek to embody your yoga practice in how you live your life. Similarly, you seek to learn from the world around you and bring those lessons back to your yoga practice. Yoga informs how you live life, and how you live life informs how you practice yoga. It’s a beautiful synergy that adds to the purpose, meaning, and beauty of everything you do.
Sometimes, you may encounter a specific experience or tradition that is particularly impactful and relevant for you, and thus, relevant for your journey as a yogi. At Holden QiGong, we feel that Tao Yin is an amazing way for yogis to expand their practice or enhance their teaching.
Why Tao Yin?
First of all, if you’re still wondering what Tao Yin is, feel free to start by reading our previous blog post on the topic: Tao Yin. This previous blog post will give you a great understanding of what Tao Yin is and how it can be used to cultivate health and well-being.
So, why is Tao Yin an exceptionally valuable practice for yoga practitioners and teachers?
Since Tao Yin is the common ancestor of both Qi Gong as well as yoga, it is only natural that yoga already contains many of the practices and lessons that Tao Yin teaches. You can think of your yoga practice as the child of Tao Yin. Before Tao Yin evolved to become either Qi Gong or yoga, it was a single practice that combined both Chinese and Indian wisdom.
By learning Tao Yin, you’re really just furthering your exploration into the origins of yoga. Many yoga practitioners and teachers have read books about the story of yoga, but learning the practices of its path is an entirely different experience. Think about what it’s like to date someone and then go home to meet their parents. Even if they’ve told you about their family, meeting them in person and seeing how they interact will give you an entirely new understanding of your potential partner. That experience may make some people uncomfortable, but learning Tao Yin is purely positive for all who try it.
Many yoga practitioners feel that Tao Yin expands their practice and gives it new meaning. By learning many of the practices on which yoga is based, yoga practitioners experience a renewed appreciation for the path of their beloved practice.
In Tao Yin, many of the practices reflect lessons we’ve learned from animals in nature. Many of these practices continued evolving into modern-day yoga. Therefore, yogis are able to harness a greater understanding of how the natural world has informed their yoga practice. Yoga feels great all on its own, but it feels even better when you’re aware of the ancient origins and natural energies that are alive in your practice.
A Broader Connection
Tao Yin also reflects Chinese wisdom and the original practices of Qi Gong. Therefore, it offers not just a glimpse into a history of yoga, but also into the story that yoga shares with Qi Gong. By really understanding the origins and similarities of Chinese and Indian wisdom, yogis can gain a clearer awareness of the greater connectivity of the two practices that emerged. We already know that Qi Gong and yoga are two paths to the same destination, and Tao Yin helps us to really see how parallel those paths truly are.
Tao Yin also offers another lens through which to view yoga. This can lead to powerful new lessons about your yoga practice.
Let’s use language as an example. If we think of yoga as our native language and Tao Yin as a new language, we can see how this might affect our understanding of yoga. If you’ve ever learned a new language, you know that it provides you with new reflections on your native tongue. It’s well known that language has deep implications into how people think and feel. Even if you directly translate a sentence from one language to another, you’ll immediately notice that there are some subtle differences in meaning.
For example, in English, if you’re hungry you might say, “I am hungry.” In France, a French person would probably say, “j’ai faim.” However, “j’ai faim” literally means “I have hunger” which is slightly different than “I am hungry.” In English, a person is their hunger, while in French, hunger is something that a person possesses as if it’s outside of themselves. If you want food, which sentence is correct? Are you the hunger, or is hunger something distinct from yourself like a bag you’re carrying?
Without learning French you may have never have realized how such subtle aspects of the English language are informing how you see the world. Similarly, by learning Tao Yin, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on yoga with new eyes and realize insights you haven’t noticed before. Perhaps you’ll start to ask yourself questions you haven’t thought of before, just as you did now about what it means to be hungry.
Two Practices Flowing Together
In Qi Gong, we’re constantly talking about flow. Flow is our natural state within ourselves, with each other, and with the universe. To be in flow is to be in harmony, which is a wonderful thing.
We also like to practice with flow. Whether you’re doing a yoga routine or Qi Gong workout, we all strive to find flow and ease within our efforts. Therefore, it’s important to choose movements that go together nicely throughout our entire practice.
Although it’s very possible to blend modern day Qi Gong and yoga into one session or class, you may need to find a proper juncture to transition between the two. Some Qi Gong practices can go smoothly with a yoga routine, but others are in a different realm and are best divided into different sessions.
Tao Yin is one practice that can flow nicely with a yoga routine. Because many Tao Yin exercises resemble yoga, they can be interwoven gracefully and with beauty. This allows you to get all of the wonderful benefits of your usual yoga practice with the added value that Tao Yin can offer. This can be an amazing thing if you’re seeking to expand your own personal yoga practice.
For all you yoga teachers out there, Tao Yin can also offer you the incredible opportunity to provide new and enriching practices in your classes. This can be transformative for those who have never practiced Tao Yin or Qi Gong, and can allow you to offer uniquely inspiring lessons for the students you serve.
Yoga is probably already a source of great nourishment, healing, and growth for yourself. Allow that path to continue and dive deeper into its rich and exciting past.
Tao Yin Immersion Program
To teach all of the great lessons and practices that Tao Yin has to offer, Lee will be holding a Tao Yin immersion from March 18th to March 22nd, 2019. In this five-day immersion, Lee will dive in deep to share all of his wisdom about the ancient tradition.
The immersion will take place in Santa Cruz at the Qi Center. In addition to teaching great lessons and powerful practices, Lee will also be answering questions from the audience. At Holden QiGong, our intention for the immersion is to provide you with the perfect environment to really learn and embody Tao Yin wisdom. Whether you’re seeking to explore the origin of yoga, expand your awareness, or enhance your practice, Tao Yin is an excellent choice for your continued journey. Click the banner below to learn more or to sign up.