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What Is Zen Yoga?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Zen yoga combines simple stretching exercises, breathing techniques, and meditation to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit. It is a holistic practice that helps to calm the body and produce a feeling of well being. This type of yoga can be practiced by anyone because the exercises are gentle and simple. The exercises and movements used in Zen yoga are taken from the tai chi, which is a Chinese martial art. They are slow and controlled movements.

Breathing techniques are an important part of the Zen yoga practice. The Chi Kung or qigong breathing exercise is used to stimulate and balance the body. Qi is the vital energy of the body. Gong refers to gaining power and control to achieve a certain goal. This type of breathing helps to cultivate energy, increase flexibility, and improve concentration.

Shanti yoga techniques are also incorporated into the Zen yoga practice. This type of yoga includes movements that work against gravity. They are not strenuous or fast movements, but they are thought to be therapeutic and beneficial. Shanti yoga can improve bodily functions, decrease pain brought on by illness, and decrease stress levels. It can be especially good for people who suffer with consistent painful ailments.

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Meditation is a technique used to quiet the mind and soul. It involves concentrating on a specific object or sound and clearing the mind of all other thoughts. Disciplining the mind through meditation can help to reduce stress and gain an overall relaxed feeling. Over time, meditating can also aid in controlling angry or negative reactions to problems. It is an imperative component of the Zen yoga practice.

Yoga is a combination of many beliefs and practices. It is thought that yoga began in India and was practiced by Buddha. He wanted to be able to ignore any outside interference and learn to concentrate on controlling his own spirit. Buddha eventually reached a higher level of consciousness. His disciples took what he had learned and taught these principles to the people of China and Japan.

Many people believe that Zen yoga can cure diseases, rejuvenate the body, and cure mental illnesses. By removing negative thoughts and concentrating on the here and now, Zen, or enlightenment, can be achieved. There is no proof that any of these claims are true, though numerous doctors commonly recommend yoga therapy to their patients. Exercise in general can greatly benefit the body.

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candyquilt
Post 3

What I love about zen yoga is that there is a focus on awareness. It helps the practitioner concentrate on the now. It helps me feel alive and helps clear my worries.

Many of us are often busy thinking of what has happened or what might happen. We are either caught in the past or worried about the future. Zen yoga helps us focus on the now by becoming aware of our body and our movements. So it relieves the stresses associated with unhealthy worries and anxieties about the past and future.

Aside from these spiritual and psychological benefits, it strengthens our body and I believe that it helps with immunity as well.

serenesurface
Post 2

@literally45-- Zen yoga is a type of yoga so naturally it is based on traditional yoga. However, I disagree with you because Zen yoga does have its differences. It's unique because of its history. You can think of Zen yoga as yoga that is combined with Taoism and practiced in a unique way in Japan. It is the result of the arrival of Buddhism and yoga to China and Japan and its fusion with Taoism and to some degree, Confucianism.

So there is a rich history there. Zen yoga is practiced in temples in Japan. This is not a type of fad yoga that suddenly came about because it sounds cool. It is a yoga that has evolved slowly and that many people have invested in.

literally45
Post 1

Why are there so many different types of yoga with so many names?! Stretching, breathing and meditation are aspects of regular yoga. As for the use of tai chi movements, there is already a yoga type that combines these: tai chi yoga.

To be honest, I cannot tell the difference between different types of yoga. There might be a few subtle differences in terms of style, but everything else is mostly the same. It doesn't matter what type of fancy names we give these practices, the benefits are the same with all. It doesn't matter which type we do.

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