Practical Daoism

Daoism For The Western Mind

Text By Liu I Ming Daoist and Book of Balance and Harmony quotes

Daoism and Health Cultivation - 

Yang Shen Dao

Welcome, this is a page for people living in the west with an interest in Daoism, that want to follow the path in a way (pun intended) compatible with our culture and environment.

In particular I hope that people just setting out on the path will find information here that will make their journey a little easier than mine. On this site you’ll find pages that cover a number of areas of study.

It should be noted that the contents of this site reflect my understanding and my personal interpretation, it's a big universe with plenty of room for all opinions!

Yang Shen Dao is a phrase used to capture a range of activities that are used individually or in combination to achieve good health and longevity. These two aspects of being are seen as essential to those who follow Daoism as a way of life. As you may not know anything of Daoism, also spelled Taoism, I want to  provide a little context of the areas of training and study that you’ll find here.

I’ve studies a range of Daoist traditions including the Longmen Dragon’s Gate Sect via the British Daoist Association.

A traditional landscape image illustrating the feaures and proportions of nature.

A Daoist Landscape Image

Dao Yin - Yoga (LIFE)

DaoYin actually translates as "guiding and leading", this refers to the idea that during the physical activity the mind is also engaged internally on guiding and leading energy through the body, it is this that is one of the main differentiators between it and Hatha / Vinyasa Yoga and brings it closer to the Tantric approach (visualisation within the body). You may think Daoist Yoga is new. While it is quite new to the west its history goes back over two thousand years.

The primary aim of Dao Yin is to develop a relaxed, strong and flexible body and a calm, clear and focused mind. The ultimate aim of DaoYin is to cultivate the three aspects of our existence; Vitality, Energy and Spirit (referred to as the three treasures - San Bao). 

The postures although stretching should never be forced or painful, pain creates tension which is self defeating. It has been shown to be of great benefit in achieving and maintaining general health. Once the basics of the Dao Yin postures are learnt the entire practice should be carried out in a meditative state of mind with controlled rhythmic breathing. Linking the physical to the mental is a similar approach to that used in Tantric Yoga. To go to the Dao Yin Page click here.

Meditation (ESSENCE)

Meditation is often practised as an aspect of DaoYin, if your mind is anxious or hyper active, no amount of stretching will bring true relaxation. So a Dao Yin session is often preceded by a short period of meditation to bring the mind to order. 

Most practitioners find that an extended meditation session is more effective and comfortable if it is done after a DaoYin session. After a prolonged session of sitting a follow up DaoYin session is a great way to reinvigorate the body. 

As can be seen above, the mind / body link in Dao Yin is very strong, as training evolves Meditation increases its focus on the mind, achieving higher levels of mental stillness and focus, this gives you the ability to gain a deeper understanding of your own mental processes, habits and possibly destructive psychological patterns of behaviour. To go to the Meditation Page click here.


BiGu (fasting) has a number of benefits. Firstly I should stress that the Southern Quanzhen Sect is not vegetarian, while it’s true to say that many practitioners are vegetarian it’s not a requirement. Bigu is used to help promote general health by resting and cleansing the intestinal tract and to help prepare the body for extended meditation. To go to the fasting page click here.

Physical Therapy

AnMo  is the original Chinese Physical Therapies that have been used for over 2,500 years. AnMo is the forerunner of Japanese Shiatsu having been transmitted by Master Jianzhen around the 750’s AD and Thai Massage, predating both by many centuries. It is a sophisticated system of holistic therapy based upon the traditional Chinese medical theory, being directed at lines of physical stress referred to as The Sinew Channels, balancing the body’s various systems; nervous, mental, skeletal, muscular and hormonal. To go to the AnMo  page click here.

Private On-Line training (not AnMo) can be arranged from £45. per 60 minute session.

If you’d like to discuss please email me to arrange a conversation.

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