One such form is Dahn yoga, which originates from Korea. Read through this post to learn basics of this art.
Ilchi Lee founded this new form of yoga, which is a mix of Tai chi, martial arts and yoga. He named it Dahn yoga, which was soon adapted by many other countries, and came to the US by 1991. Its original Korean name is Dahn Hak. Dahn Hak focuses on both emotional and physical well-being of an individual.
It mainly works on the energy levels and brings about a positive physical change. The concept of Dahn Hak was introduced to people in the year 1985, with the set up of a center in Seoul.
Its benefits have attracted many people to add this form of yoga in their daily exercise regimen. However, the proper way of beginning a Dahn Hak class is by meridian stretching, which enhances the energy level and recharges the mind. After the meridian stretching, the class continues some different forms of stretching in specific postures.
These stretching postures are performed in order to increase the flow of energy in the body. Dahn Hak class also includes meditation time to bring tranquility of body and mind. This form of yoga has proved to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and boosted the self-esteem of an individual.
From mind to matter, Water up, fire down and From health to happiness to peace are the three principles of Dahn Hak. The objective of this yoga is to instill these principles within its practitioners and make their life healthy and joyful.
There are 8 ways of meridian stretching and working towards a healthy lifespan. These different 8 stretches help in curing health ailments and increase the level of vital energy in the body. Meridian exercises reduce stress and tiredness. Also, it cures the body from all the imbalances created through tension and pressure.
While performing the stretches, it is important to maintain the correct posture to achieve maximum benefit from it. There are 8 types of meridian stretching that are well designed for all the 8 main vessels of our body.
Governing Vessel, Conception Vessel, Yang Ankle Vessel, Yin Ankle Vessel, Through Going Vessel, Belt Vessel, Yang Linking Vessel and Yin Linking vessel are the eight forms of performing the meridian stretches.
Governing Vessel In order to perform the governing vessel, lie on your back and raise your legs and bend them towards the back of your head. Hold the soles and gently rock on your back. Breathe normally while getting into the posture. Slowly lift your legs to 90 degrees and gently flatten them to the ground.
Conception Vessel Lie flat on your stomach. Hold your feet by your hands arching your back. Keep your head straight and move back and forth, breathing normal. If you are unable to reach out to your feet, try holding your ankles. Attaining the posture and being comfortable is important. In case of back aches and menstrual period, avoid this form of exercise as it brings strain on the back as well the abdomen.
Yang Ankle Vessel Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you. Reach out to your toe and firmly hold it and bring your leg to the side. Follow the leg as you move it to the side and avoid lifting the other leg. Inhale while you shift your leg and exhale while you bring it back to the original position. Repeat the same for the other leg.
Yin Ankle Vessel Sit on the floor with one leg folded to your side. Keep the other leg stretched in front of you. Hold the toes of the stretched leg with both hands and lift it to eye level. Try to lift and get it close to your chest. Inhale while lifting the leg and exhale while bringing it back to the same position. Repeat the same on the other leg.
Through Going Vessel Keep both legs stretched in front of you. Maintaining an erect posture, place one foot on the other leg. Bend forward to touch the toes of the stretched leg. Repeat the exercise 5-6 times.
Belt Vessel Sit with your both legs wide apart. Place one hand on the hips and other just below your rib cage. Bend to the side where your hand rests on the thigh. Repeat this exercise on either side and at least 5-6 times.
Yang Linking Vessel Stretch your legs wide apart and place your hands in front of you. Keeping the back straight, bend forward stretching your back and hands. Keep the head straight and breathe normally.
Yin Linking Vessel Sit on the floor. Stretch one leg on front of you and place one foot on the thigh of the other leg. Keeping the back straight, take one hand from the back and hold the toes of the foot placed on the thigh. Bending forward, hold the toes of the stretched leg. Remember to breathe normally while performing this exercise.
Jung-Choong means fulfillment of vital energy. This is among the Dahn Hak basics that is practiced by many Dahn Hak students. It is easy to perform and good for keeping the mind calm and focused. Relaxation, Accumulation and Circulation are three postures in which Jung-Choong breathing can be performed.
Relaxation Lie on your back and bend your knees and bring them closer to your chest. Keep a foot distance between your feet. Rest your elbows rest on either side of the body and keep your hands on the abdomen. Slightly curl your tail bone and allow your lower back to touch the floor. Relax your legs while doing so. Once you get into the right position, slowly focus on your breath and feel the energy flow in your body.
Accumulation Lie on your back on the floor. Lift your legs 90 degrees from your hips. Slightly bend your knees to lift the tail bone. Bring the knees a little closer to the chest. This will create slight tension in the abdomen, but as you lift your tailbone and bend, straighten your legs back to 90 degrees.
Flex the feet to avoid any sort of blockages. Breath deeply without opening your mouth. In case breathing gets difficult, you can breathe through your mouth. In case this posture is getting difficult then keep your knees slightly bent towards your chest.
Circulation Rest on your back and hold your toes. Begin to stretch your legs without losing the grip on your toes. Keep your head on the floor while you stretch out your legs. Keep your shoulders relaxed and breathe once you settle in the position.
These are few a Dahn Hak basics that can be performed very easily. Towards the end of these exercises, you can even include meditation to completely calm and relax your body and mind.