Tao Yoga ® is one of the names used in the West (and especially in Europe) to the refer to the practices based on ancient Taoist knowledge and Traditional Chinese Medicine which were systematized and disseminated in the West since the 70s by the Taoist master Mantak Chia within the system he created, the Universal Healing Tao System ®.
The objective of these practices, as taught by Mantak Chia, is to increase health and longevity, preventing disease and achieving wellness and balance at all levels.
Among the many practices of the Tao Healing System created by Mantak Chia include the Taoist Meditations, the Chi Self-massage, the Tao Yin, the Chi Kung Iron Shirt, the Tai Chi Chi Kung and the Healing Love.
Taoist meditations (冥想)
Meditation, more known in the West as «mindfulness», is a set of techniques that train the mind with different objectives (calm the mind and eliminate stress, reach full consciousness in the present moment, stimulate cognitive and intellectual abilities, increase internal energy, develop feelings of love and compassion, etc).
The most well-known Taoist meditations with the Inner Smile and the Six Healing Sounds, and use concentration and visualization with the aim of relaxing the nervous system and the mind, releasing negative energy and emotions stagnating in the internal organs, as well as increasing the internal energy .
Chi Kung (氣功)
It is a practice of cultivating vital energy, and includes a variety of techniques that combine gentle movements and conscious breathing, in a «meditation in movement».
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chi Kung aligns bones and joints, creating and storing energy («Chi» in Chinese, «Ki» in Japanese) to achieve a better state of general health at all levels (physical, mental and emotional).
The Chi Kung Iron Shirt is an ancient form of Kung Fu designed to strengthen internal organs and thus protect them from external attacks. In addition, this type of Chi Kung teaches how to take root with the energy of the Earth.
Tao Yin (導引)
The Tao Yin (Taoist Yoga or Chinese Yoga) is an ancient oriental discipline, practiced in Chinese Taoist monasteries to cultivate health. It combines meditation with conscious movement and consists of a series of physical exercises, movements and gentle stretching, carried out in rhythm with breathing on the floor (either sitting or lying down).
The Tao Yin is considered as the basis and internal structure of other more advanced practices (Chi Kung, Tai Chi and Kung Fu).
Tai Chi (太極)
It is considered an internal martial art that is practiced as a system of personal defense and for its benefits for health and longevity.
The practice of Taoist sexual alchemy (or Chinese sexual Kung Fu) is aimed at cultivating sexual energy (jing) and circulating it throughout the body to increase vitality and spiritual development, helping to harmonize female energy (Yin, water ) and masculine energy (Yang, fire).