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The body’s Ki is the key... Dahn yoga is a Korean yoga system that focuses on achieving connection and harmony of body and mind. Emphasis is placed on harnessing and channelling the body’s ‘Ki’ energy flow, which Dahn’s creators explain is comprised of meridians and chakras and is inherent in the wisdom of many older cultures.
Instructors insist that Dahn is a practice learned through experience, rather than acquisition of knowledge, however there are some key concepts that differentiate it from other yoga programmes. These concepts rest on three studies of mind-body development: study of principles, study of practice and study of living. Loosely speaking these principles represent a 3 step programme where the mind is first aligned, followed by the body, which both in turn lead to emotional wellbeing.
A typical class begins with what is called a ‘meridian stretching’ exercise, which is believed to stimulate the energy in the body. After these stretching exercises, practitioners normally follow a sequence of postures to accumulate and circulate energy in the body. Classes often also include elements of meditation. Dahn is also easy to do at home, with many simple stretches and exercises including low impact squats, jumps and breathing techniques.
Dahn is generally considered suitable for those of all ages and abilities due to its holistic focus and low physical impact. It has been particularly successful in slowly introducing exercise and healthy principles into the lives of many practitioners who had previously had very sedentary lifestyles. Some take Dahn merely as a class while others tend to adopt it as a lifestyle principle, but levels of participation are entirely individual decisions. If, however, you expect a lot more in the way of blood, sweat and tears out your exercise regime this may not be for you…
Dahn Yoga has been going from strength to strength since it was founded in 1985 by Ilchi Lee, South Korean author and founder of many other successful mind-body training methods such as Brain Respiration, Brain Education, and DahnMuDo.