Kung Fu/Taoist Yoga Classes
Kung fu- Every Saturday @ Irving Park 2:00-4:30pm (Rain or Shine)
Taoist Yoga- Every Thursday @ Tango Berretin 6:30-8:30pm
Kung Fu in it’s wholeness is taoist yoga. It is a complete practice that is very similar to Patanjali’s 8 Fold path of yoga. However, the question I am most often asked is, “do you teach chi gong or yoga also?”. So to make sense of this I am writing this description.
Taoist Yoga is a spiritual practice that is based on the idea of the Tao or the universal energy of wholeness that creates and permeates all life. The fundamental philosophy of Taoism is that the laws of heaven and the laws of earth are the same. Because of this Taoism focuses on the balancing of the mind/body/spirit in a very practical way, using daily life and steady progress as the path. A simple way to think about it is that in Hindu Yoga the goal is to connect your energy and awareness out into the infinite(Brahma) and so discover Heaven. Taoist yoga believes Heaven and Earth follow the same principles so mastering earthly life will teach you to master Heaven as well.
Taoist yoga focuses on the energies of Yin and Yang, the 3 Dan Tien, the 5 elements, and the meridians as the primary awareness for spiritual development with almost no attention paid to the chakras. This is the most tangible difference between Taoist and Hindu Yoga. The primary practice is to keep your chi centered and stay present in the body. Taoist Yoga also includes whole systems of stretching and strengthening the body and training for the mind and heart.
Kung Fu is taoist yoga applied to martial arts. Kung Fu was developed when Buddhidharma taught the 18 movements of Chuan Fa to the Taoist Monks of China in the 6th century A.D. He did this the help them strengthen their bodies so they could perform deeper meditation practice. The Taoists combined their attunement to nature with the movements and breathing of Chuan Fa to give birth to Shaolin Kung Fu.
The practice of Kung Fu allows for the development of one’s chi to a level that is unique to the practice. In this way it is a way of mastering many of the practices of taoism to the highest degree. It develops incredible strength/flexibility. It teaches patience, perseverance, and determination. It deeply strengthens one’s chi and focuses one’s mind.
Taoist Yoga and Kung fu are actually one practice. I use the title Taoist Yoga to talk about the softer/slower practices and the title Kung Fu to talk about the stronger/vitalizing practices.