Dahn Yoga exercises stems from the ancient Korean tradition of Sundo. The practice embraces the powerful energy, or ki, found within nature and all throughout the body, including in the brain. As such, Dahn Yoga incorporates various techniques, particularly lower abdominal breathing, to improve and harness the circulation of energy.
The energy of the universe flows through meridians and converges in the chakras. As such, this ki serves as a bridge that connects the body and mind. In fact, there are three main energy principles emphasized in Ilchi Lee education:
•Shim Ki Hyul Jung
holds that energy goes where the mind goes and, with that, that consciousness is the true reality behind physical matter.
•Seu Sung Hwa Gang
is the "Water Up, Fire Down" principle, stating that water ki collected in the kidney flows back upward to keep the head cool and clear. Meanwhile, fire energy from the chest moves downward to keep the body warm.
•Jung Choong Ki Jang Shin Myung
holds that, by stabilizing one's physical health, emotional energy is purified to provide a clean, clear mind to illuminate spiritual energy.
Brain Sensitizing for Expanding Mind-Body Awareness
In his book "In Full Bloom: A Brain Education Guide for Successful Aging,
" The New York Times bestselling author provides guidance to help you expand awareness not only of your own body but also your mental processes. Lee introduces the act of brain sensitizing, which stimulates certain parts of the brain in order to free ki that may be blocked. It involves not only deep stretching and mindful meditation techniques, but also energy awareness. One of the key exercises for brain sensitizing through improved energy flow is abdominal breathing, which involves these steps:
1. Lie on your back on a warm, hard surface.
2. Squeeze the legs together tightly, then relax them completely, allowing them to part naturally to about a foot's distance. Each foot should be at about a 30- to 45-degree angle from the floor.
3. Place the palms of your hands on your lower abdomen. Keep the elbows at a resting state on the floor beside you (if they lift off the floor, let your hands slide down the sides of your abdomen until the elbows rest comfortably on the ground).
4. Relax the body entirely, especially the shoulders, chest and upper body.
5. Curl the tailbone upward gently, allowing your lower back to touch the floor as much as comfortably possible. As the tailbone tucks inward, imagine that your abdomen is taking on the shape of a bowl to gather ki. You will feel a gentle tension in the lower abdomen.
6. Close your eyes as you concentrate on the energy flowing through your body. Breathe deep down into your lower abdomen.
This exercise can release tension that has built up in the body over time, which can cause your breath to become shallow. By teaching you to breathe deeply and completely, this technique can improve the flow of blood and energy to the brain, helping you become more aware of the integral connection between the mind and the body.