Dancing Tao

cover image of acuyoga

Acu-Yoga by Michael Reed Gach from Amazon.com


I was introduced to yoga related meditation long before I began practicing tai chi, though I didn't really try yoga till much later.  In high school an older friend turned me on to Ram Dass and his eclectic approach to spiritual growth.  I began to explore meditation and became quite serious about it by my final years of college.  I did a lot of work with Hindu inspired meditations, especially chanting and the opening of chakras.  For a while, I considered myself a follower of Neem Karoli Baba, an inspired being who some consider the reincarnation of Hanuman.

However, though this work definitely altered my consciousness, it often drained me, particularly as I opened my chakras and moved Kundalini up my spine.  Often I would feel dispersed and vulnerable after an intense session of moving energy.  Eventually I stopped regular practice, in part because so much of Hindu related practices emphasized this world as illusion and I felt that I needed to be in this world while here on planet Earth.

It wasn't until attending Ohio State that I began to practice hatha-style yoga on a regular basis.  I also eventually taught a beginning yoga class, much as I had with tai chi.  I enjoyed it and discovered that it did go much further than focused stretching.  Although I often felt a bit spaced after class, I also tended to feel more whole and grounded than I had when meditating.  My study of tai chi and concurrent introduction to the Healing Tao practices were also helping me contain my energy.

The work with yoga seemed to support and interrelate with my tai chi practice, both for flexibility and to make my whole body more accessible.  When I eventually found the book Acu-Yoga, by Michael Reed Gach of the Acupressure Institute, I realized that a thorough yoga class stretched all my meridians.  Although Acu-Yoga focused more on specific health issues, the illustrations revealed that I could support my overall energetic flow without having to focus on specific points or lines of energy.  In many ways, my practices were converging on Taoist practices as a connection. but it was the Healing Tao work of Mantak Chia, now called the Universal Tao, that brought things together for me.

Next - Universal Tao


Please feel free to contact Clyde Smith at: