Definition - What does Taoist Yoga mean?
Taoist yoga is a type of yoga which combines the ancient Indian traditions with the Chinese theories of energy maps of the body. It is generally considered to be a modern hybrid of the two systems. This combination is thought to enhance the benefits of yoga as well as provide deeper insights into how the body works. It is said to be appropriate for all people, regardless of their fitness, age or body type.
As well as having close links with traditional yoga, with its stretching, breathing and movement exercises, Taoist yoga is also connected to Tai Chi. It is thought of as a relatively simple system, despite some of the complex exercises integrated from the Hatha yoga and Tai Chi lineages.
Yogapedia explains Taoist Yoga
One way to think about Taoist yoga is as a way to fully understand the body and the self. It is said to have three main goals:
- To increase the energy circulating in the body
- To become more aware of the body, breath and the mind, and their relationship to each other
- To increase physical flexibility, and ease and depth of breathing
All of these goals mean Taoist yoga is considered an ideal practice for enhancing well-being on all levels.
A Taoist yoga practice may include warmup exercises like Sun Salutations, standing movements, standing meditation, floor exercises, relaxation, mantra and breathing practices. The practice is deliberately flexible to suit the individual yogi.
Taoist yoga was a key influence in the development of Yin yoga by Paul Grilley and other practitioners. Yin yoga utilizes the Taoist philosophy of the opposing yet complementary energies of yin and yang in everything. It also works with the Taoist yoga practice of using postures to help the body and mind sit more easily in meditation, which is generally considered to be a yin activity.
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