What is Dao Yin and its benefits

Dao Yin is an ancient movement practice from China.

This is a reconstruction of a “Guiding and Pulling Chart” excavated from the Mawangdui Tomb 3 (168BC). The original is in the Hunan Provincial Museum, Changsha, China. (1)

The words “Dao Yin” in this context means “guiding” and “leading or pulling.”

Dao Yin practice differs from Qi Gong in a few ways:

  1. The intention of Dao Yin is to forcefully clear stagnation out of the body tissues and meridians, whereas Qi Gong focuses on circulating Qi (“chee”) through the meridian system.
  2. Since the emphasis is on clearing out stagnation, Dao Yin is practiced with the eyes open holding the intention to lead the stagnant Qi out of the body.  Qi Gong is more frequently practiced with the eyes closed and the mind placed within the body to feel and sense the Qi.
  3. Due to the vigorous nature of Dao Yin, a great deal of heat is generated.  Qi Gong is more of a balancing practice which does not create such extreme temperatures.
  4. My personal experience with Dao Yin (which at this point is very limited) is that the movements focus on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue in order to open and stretch these structures.




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