This summer we will be doing the most comprehensive study to date. Qigong Classes will combine Taoist longevity breathing with TAO Yoga. Breath awareness is fundamental to enhancing the ability to feel inside and increase efficiency and functionality of the body’s internal systems. In this class we will bring to awareness all the potential physical mechanics of breath until they are consistently engaged and integrated; as well as progressively lengthened.
Ancient Taoists observed that this quality of breath could be sustained while doing practices, chores or any activity. As this skill is practiced and developed throughout the day, it can lead to profound life altering shifts within one’s being. Wisdom from ancient Taoist culture tells us that being deeply quiet in the mist of disorder or chaos reveals the nature of healing for mind and body.
Five yoga postures will be introduced as the gateway to whole body breathing. Tao Yoga is a form of qigong. All qigong is “energy work”, for developing the power to heal.
How does TAO Yoga differ from Hatha Yoga?
Hatha yoga uses postures or asanas and breath control (pranayama), to energize subtle channels (nadis). Tao Yoga uses gentle movement and breath to move and balance chi. In Hatha Yoga you stretch to relax; whereas in TAO Yoga you relax to loosen, expand and relax the body. You find a comfortable point, which is around 70% of your physical extension or range of motion, then release and relax the body. When the body becomes deeply relaxed, the mind becomes quieter and spirit is engaged.
TAO Yoga can improve Hatha or any yoga practice because the internal training tunes the body through the different postures which transform the physical and emotional layers. The emphasis, which is on moderation and softening, allows the nerves to release the muscles so that the body gains the flexibility needed to get into the postures. The goal is to progressively incorporate all the principles of internal qigong (nei gong) with each posture.
I’ve found within my 45 years of exploring mind/body practices that the combination of Taoist longevity breathing and TAO Yoga is the least complicated way of achieving the “rhythm of stillness”. Developing the skill to feel discomfort, energy flows, or imbalances, increases your ability to affect your vibration or frequency. This knowledge is not gained through the intellect, but through a kinetic sense of who you are. Understand, this is an entirely different paradigm that overrides linear thinking and conditioning.
Explorations in TAO – 4 classes
Discussion, experience and exploration, from a Taoist perspective in this class, will encompass the vast expanse of scientific and spiritual knowledge that comes from the wisdom and sacred traditions of the TAO. Inherent in Taoist tradition and arts is the reality that everything exists on multiple levels of energy; everything is energetically connected and energy is in constant transformation.
Topics will include: understanding cyclic energy transformations, I Ching consulting and mapping, nutrition, diet & food preparation, astrology, meditation, spiritual practices and other related material. Readings from Taoist literature and other spiritual classics will be a part of each class, as well as experiential lessons to enhance right brain intuition to create a balance of linear thinking and analog understanding.
Our purpose will be to inspire, increase individual awareness, develop creativity, and contribute positively to the collective whole of the group and planet. Everyone is encouraged to contribute, ask questions and share their own experience and wisdom with the group.
Classes this summer will be taught in four modules. Each module will consist of three weeks of movement and one week of Explorations in TAO, for a total of 12 movement classes and 4 Exploration classes. Each class will include review as well as new material. You’re welcome to attend any number of classes in any combination you choose; however, the more consistent your attendance and practice, the easier it will be to integrate your knowledge at a deeper level.
First Session Qigong Sunday, May 11th. 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Sunday, May 25th. 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Sunday, June 1st. 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
TAO Explorations Sunday, June 8th. 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Class Fees: Individuals – $25.00 per class Couples – $40.00 per class
Sunday Classes will continue throughout August with one week off. Date will be announced along with the rest of the schedule in May.