What Is Tao Yin (Daoyin)?

Tao Yin (Daoyin), also called Dao Yoga, Do-Ying, Chinese Yoga or Taoist Neigong, is a system of Taoist body-mind exercises practiced to develop the Jing (Essence) and guide, develop and improve Qi. Tao Yin is a type of exercise designed to revitalize a person’s internal energy, which is also called qi. Dao Yin exercises are the ancient forerunner of qigong and are practiced for health and spiritual improvement. The practice of Dao Yin was the forerunner of qigong and was practiced in Chinese Taoist monasteries to develop spiritual awareness and overall bodily health.

Daoyin is still practiced in Chinese Taoist monasteries (such as the Taoist temple in Wudang Mountain) as a way to promote health and cultivate spirituality. This type of meditation is considered a spiritual practice in China, and can be practiced completely correctly in both the context of the Taoist philosophy of life (Daojia) and Taoism. According to TCM, Daoyin is a series of breathing exercises performed by Taoists to develop qi (the body’s internal energy).

Tao Yin movements and stretching exercises are usually followed by a relaxed state in which breathing exercises direct internal energy to the parts of the body involved in movement and stretching. A typical daoyin exercise involves moving the arms and body over time with controlled inhalation and exhalation.

Daoyin is often divided into yin postures, lying and sitting, and yang postures, standing and moving. Some of the exercises act as sedatives, others as stimulants or invigorators, and still others help to activate, use, and cultivate the internal Chi energy and the external life force Li. The main Tao Yin exercises are recumbent and seated practices that open up the body in such a way that for the most part it can only be done on the floor or similar surface. Indeed, Tao Yin is a form of exercise and meditation in motion, which is extremely valuable in itself, but also designed to improve the rest of the practices of the Universal Tao.

Tao Yin is practiced with an emphasis on meridian lines and pays great attention to how energy circulates in the body. Dao Yin exercises help your inner life force or Qi circulate more freely to refresh, tune, regulate and restore your personal energy. Through physical movement, the practice of Dao Yin exercises can create the harmony of qi and blood in the body, thereby achieving the goal of preventing disease, improving health, and accelerating the recovery of limb function.

Traditional Chinese medicine has a close relationship and laid a solid theoretical foundation for the Tao Yin exercises, whose principles of maintaining health and curing diseases are mainly based on the theories of traditional Chinese medicine, such as “Yin and Yang”, “qi”, “main and side channels” , “essence, qi and spirits”, “nature-life”, “qi, blood and bodily fluid”, etc. Ru states that the practice of Dao Yin Exercise will increase the flexibility of the limbs and lengthen the movements of the body, thereby deepening the internal channels, through which qi and blood circulate to promote qi circulation. Through breathing exercise, bending and stretching the limbs, adjusting the body and mind (that is, regulating the breath, regulating the form and regulating the mind), the practice of Tao Yin exercise leads to maintaining health, strengthening the body, preventing diseases, curing diseases, and developing potential and longevity. While a very active yoga practice stimulates the flow of blood and energy in the muscles and superficial layers of the body, the practice of Yin yoga is more passive and contemplative, allowing energy to circulate in deeper layers of the body such as tendons, ligaments, etc.

The practice of yin yoga develops an awareness of inner stillness, which increases mental and emotional relaxation, clarity, and stability.

Not surprisingly, due to its origins, Yin Yoga is closely related to the Chinese understanding of cultivating energy and activating its flow in the meridians. Founded by martial arts expert Paulie Zink in the late 1970s, Yin Yoga is a modern Western yoga practice that has its roots in the Taoist yoga system. The practice of Daoyin is sometimes associated with Qigong training, especially the variant known as Nei Gong, and is often practiced in conjunction with Chinese internal martial arts such as Tai Chi. Navigation is a beautiful and effective exercise. Tao Yin is like a combination of fitness classes, yoga classes, acupressure and meditation classes.

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