Dao Yin (Chinese Yoga)

Dao Yin is the Chinese equivalent to yoga, pre-dating Chi Gong.

It is part of the Daoist cultivation path where it is used as a complement to sitting meditation, to protect from the potentially harmful effects of meditation. (Such as energetic stagnation, painful knees, lower back pain,...)

For daoists, practices such as Daoyin, as well as self-massage, help to relieve stagnation and support continued meditation practice.

It is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat and aide recovery from illness.

In general, the gentle movements of Dao Yin serve to unwind the stresses of life from the body and return to a sense of natural movement and calmness of mind.  It is a very effective way to stay relaxed, fit and healthy.

Dragon stretches tail
Dragon stretches tail

Lying and sitting postures and stretches

The Dao Yin exercises in this class consist mainly of lying and sitting postures and stretches. We focus on:

  • Stretching and opening up the "energy gates"
    By stretching along the meridian paths we stimulate the chi flow and open up specific energetic centers in the body. In this way, any 'stagnation' or 'pathogenic energy' can then leave the body. 'Pathogenic energy' can mean physical blockages, but also emotional issues that are still stuck in the body.
  • Flexibility and strength of the spine
    By performing gentle twists, we open up the area on the back around the spine and create more space.
  • Moving from the Dan Tian
    Also, the initiation of the movement from the lower abdomen and lumbar area is very important. By learning to breathe and move from the Dan Tian (lower abdomen), your body and mind become more efficient and you'll find you have more energy during your day.
  • Strengthening the psoas muscle
    As the physical centre of our body, and the connector between our legs and torso, it is essential to keep our psoas muscle strong as well as flexible. A short, tight psoas may result in back, hip or knee pain, as well as in digestive trouble.

    In fact, the psoas muscle has such an essential role in your body, that there is a link with basic physical or emotional responses, such as the fight or flight reaction. A tight psoas is linked to fear signals in the body, as if it's telling your body that there is danger. So in time this can lead to tiredness and exhaustion of the adrenals.

    The psoas may technically be a muscle (or rather: a complex of muscles), but it is actually a very sensitive and responsive 'organ'.

    In short, the state of your psoas has a profound influence on your body, mind, and emotions.


Also, Dao Yin is characterized by an interchange between movement and stillness. The period of rest between the exercises allows you to feel how your body has been affected.

At the end of each class, we end by resting in the silence that we have generated.

The class is suitable for all levels of flexibility or experience.

Some examples of exercises

Pull bow, shoot arrow
Pull bow, shoot arrow
Peacock looks at tail
Peacock looks at tail
Monkey stretches leg
Monkey stretches leg
Bamboo swinging in the wind
Bamboo swinging in the wind
Opening lung meridian
Opening lung meridian

Benefits of Dao Yin Yoga:

  • helps to create a strong & flexible spine
  • strengthens the psoas muscles
  • teaches you to initiate movements from the lower abdomen
  • clears energetic and emotional blockages from the body


Flying in dreams
Flying in dreams

Where & when

Mondays 17:30-19:00 hr.

See calendar for exact dates and holidays.

Ongoing drop-in class. If you're new, contact me beforehand (live, email or phone), to make sure there's still enough space left in the room.


Try-out class: 5 eur
Then: 8 eur per class, or 25 euro for 4 classes.


Brenda's Yurt, Orgiva.

email: tom (at) livingflow.org
phone: 64 20 63 297

or through the contact form

"Happiness is nothing but good health and a short memory."

- Albert Schweitzer


Mindful Movement