The Kung Fu Connection

Hatha yoga vinyasa from a somatic Taoist perspective | 27 June 2023

I practice and teach a style of Hatha Yoga Vinyasa that uses a Qi Gong movement template based on the martial art of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan.

Qi Gong relies heavily on the cultural context of the Tao Te Ching and the concepts of balancing yin and yang energies and the nature of change. These concepts are integral to practicing Kung Fu and provide a useful movement model that is compatible with practicing hatha yoga vinyasa.

Taoism is based on balancing yin and yang energies. Knowing where your centre is helps us find neutral points, pivot points and balancing points while we move or stay still. Staying connected to our centres has many benefits including physical, mental and energetic, especially if we co-incidentally organise and activate our fascial system.

This art is about feeling - Underneath the choreography of Tai Chi Qi Gong movement are a set of internal feelings.

How this series of workshops will work

I am calling for yogis, and anyone really, to register your interest in attending one of these workshops. Once I get 8-10 names I'll start the process of setting a date and finding a venue that suits and then we'll have the workshop. This keeps it simpler for me and easier to manage overall. I hope you agree and take the time to register your interest.

If you are a studio owner and want something different on your playlist I can come to you. All I need is a group of interested participants.

The movement template models well for the stillness, movement, stillness pattern of hatha yoga vinyasa. The template is based on balancing yin and yang energy and learning to move from your core and stay neutral at the same time.

You can see in the choreography how I am using circular movement to transition between asana, this is a key feature of Kung Fu movement. What you can't see, but I can feel as I practice, is the change from yin to yang to yin to yang energy as I initiate and complete an asana. Also, it isn't apparent but my breath is linked to those feelings and that is what the Kung Fu connection is about.

Let's define or re-define vinyasa

Traditionally vinyasa is defined as 'placing with precision' , i.e. moving into stillness. OK, what about moving out of stillness? The process of vinyasa includes the entire practice and we practice to develop awareness in stillness and movement, ideal skills to have out in the day to day world we live in. Other contemporary definitions of vinyasa include the Ashtanga series, the Sun Salutation series and other fast paced cardio type asana practice.

In this context the term vinyasa is being used to describe the yoga practice of progressing through a series of logically sequenced asana. A to B to C etc. That progression will include stillness as we hold asana A and then movement as we change to the stillness of asana B. In this context vinyasa describes the stillness, movement, stillness pattern that we practice. Stop start stop start. So start in stillness and then we initiate movement, sustain movement and complete movement back to stillness over and over as our vinyasa practice.


What is Your Reference for Moving?

“Stay in the centre, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” Alan Watts

The Tao gives birth to the One. The One gives birth to two. Two gives birth to three. And three gives birth to the ten thousand things. (Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

Empty everything out; hold fast to your stillness. Even though all things are stirring together, watch for the movement of return. (as in back to NEUTRAL) (Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

Moon Salutation - hatha yoga vinyasa with a yin bias



This is an interesting vinyasa because it incorporates the reflective nature of moon light in as much as the vinyasa mirrors the first half in the second half. You begin and end with standing mountain pose. After the first half reaches the garland pose (#9), the second half is a reflection of the first half. The details of the vinyasa above can be found at Moon Salutation: Try This Cooling Yoga Sequence Soon.



This is a different version of Chandra Namaskar, the reference is found at Moon Salutation Yoga (Chandra Namaskar): Poses, Steps, Benefits, & More. It's very different, not reflective but circular.



Yin from a yang perspective

In my experience men often miss the neutral point and over project energy at the point of contact. This can lead to miss conceptions around intent and directly impact the quality of the connections in our lives.

I can show you some simple and safe partner drills that cultivate sensitivity around the way we connect to others. The drills are somatic but represent a model for all sorts of connections. These activation and organisation drills also help bias the physiology generally into a yin body state characterized by a calm body and mind.

Join me in a men's circle to explore some basic energetics around yin energy from a yang perspective.

How do you move in and out of stillness?

What is a Yin Body state?


How does Qi Gong and Yoga movement intersect?


Offering hands


Hatha Yoga Vinyasa – The Kung Fu Connection from a somatic Taoist perspective

Register your interest to attend a workshop, either at the Morley Noranda Recreation Club or at your studio.


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