Zen Yoga - gentle, mindful energy training

As more people seek to bring balance into their lives Zen yoga is becoming increasingly popular, offering a deep, mindful and transformational experience.

Zen yoga is a branch of physical, energetic and mind training practices that can be found within Zen Buddhist tradition.

A-Way Therapy 4 ladies enjoying Qigong

Practicing Unity of Yoga

Zen yoga focuses on three interconnected aspects of yoga training:

Physical Alignment

Flow of Energy

Awareness or Mindfulness

If you are familiar with Qigong (Chi Kung) training you will recognize the areas of focus are the same. In Qigong they are:

Jing (essence or body)

Chi (energy flow)

Shen (mind or spirit)

Happy thoughts from our Zen Arts practitioners

Tim’s teaching style is a delight; Utterly relaxed yet focused, direct and effective, playful, systematic, comprehensive and tailored to our individual unique needs. His awareness and appreciation of energy, it’s properties, how it manifests and how to work with it (from many perspectives and modalities) is truly staggering. 

I enjoyed the combination of the bone yoga , zen yoga and Qi Gong approach - doing an exercise slowly with awareness of each vertebra in the movement and later doing the same exercise with fluidity and Qi flow.

Very friendly group and excellent instruction from Tim, left feeling energised and woke up this morning with a clear mind and body lacking the aches and pains which have built up over the past few months. Really looking forward to going again next week and learning more.

Yoga and Qigong

It is no surprise that Qigong and Zen yoga have similarities, as the tradition of Zen yoga and the tradition of the Shaolin Arts both have roots at the Shaolin Temple in China. One important figure that brought mind, body, energy and spiritual training to the world, as an organized school of teaching, was Bodhidharma.

Bodhidharma taught a series of mind, body and energy practices to improve health and cultivate the spirit at the Shaolin Temple in China around 527 to help the monks practice sitting meditation. The Qigong methods taught have been referred to as Chinese yoga or Qigong.

As the teachings of Bodhidharma spread across Japan, they were assimilated with other practices that led to liberation, realization and healthy living (in the now). Including traditional practices of yoga that have become popular today.

Tim Lifting the Sky - A-Way Therapy

Releasing Tensions and Blockages

The exercises in Zen yoga are designed to release held tensions (that can lead to illness, blockages, stress and pain), open and unblock the body in preparation for sitting meditation. They help develop a deeper awareness of the body, and as an opportunity to practice “becoming one” with what’s happening in the moment.

On an everyday level the practice helps you relax at the physical, mental and emotional levels, releasing the things that get in the way of good health and happiness. In addition the practice of Zen yoga helps develop balance, flexibility, strength, resilience and ease of movement.

Zen yoga provides you with an opportunity to become aware of, investigate and realize where you hold tensions and habitual patterns that get in the way of smooth flow.

A-Way Therapy explaing reset sequence

Working on the Physical, Mental and Emotional Levels

Our health is affected on the physical, mental and emotional levels. How we hold ourselves, view ourselves, breathe, move, think, eat, sleep, relax and let go, all impact on our wellbeing.

To only train at the physical level limits the opportunity to change and enhance your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. By training the mind, body and energy you are able to access the various aspects of your being more completely and usefully.

The practice of Zen yoga is a complete system as it is. It also compliments other training of Qigong and Shaolin Kungfu and can be used in combination or separately.

A Therapeutic Approach

As a therapist for around 20 years the emphasis in the yoga classes I teach is on the things that enhance your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing;

Alignment of the body

Noticing where and how you hold unnecessary tension

Habitual breathing patterns

How to move uninhibited

A-Way Therapy releasing neck and spine

From avoidance to being deeply immersed

Personally, I was put off from yoga training for many years, as physically I lacked the flexibility of many yoga practitioners. My misunderstanding was that the aim of yoga was to get into a posture, which seemed impossible for me at that time. And as I wasn’t into big stretches and poses I stayed away from yoga.

Later I was introduced to Daizan, a Zen yoga teacher who’s understanding of the mind, body, energy, spiritual training and health practices was aligned with my own understanding and experience. Through his teaching, I experienced the importance of awareness in the here and now during the yoga practice and in everyday life. It was then I had the experience that yoga was not just about the pose (asana), but the journey we take, the learning that takes place and the realization of ‘who am I’.

The yoga is included in the A-Way Health & Wellbeing class and combines Zen yoga and Bone yoga. They are gentle, mindful and transformational. Classes are suitable for all levels and can offer you new ways to train and benefit from your yoga practice.