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Occasionally, it can occur to people with busy or particularly punishing schedules that they've been feeling spread thin, often for months or years, without being consciously aware of it. This feeling is the body's way of saying that something is wrong, that one's mind, spirit and identity have become hazy and obscured. Feelings like this are one reason why many Dahn Yoga members turn to Shim Sung workshops.
These sessions, which often are scheduled over the course of several days, are intended to remedy the sensations of purposelessness or instability by peeling away a person's mental layers, revealing at their core who they truly are.
Shim Sung consists of yoga exercises, stretching, deep breathing, meditation and group activities, all designed to eliminate distractions and to allow individuals to live in the moment and to love the person they have always been.
People of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels can sign up for Shim Sung classes, since it involves the pursuit of mental clarity as much as of physical health. Entering such a workshop is the first step toward answering the question "Who am I?"
Though Dahn Yoga offers many activities designed to improve the connection between the body and the mind, one in particular has generated an exciting amount of positive feedback lately. Many practitioners have been ecstatic over improvements made to the program's Shim Sung workshops, which help yoga enthusiasts re-solidify their deepest senses of self.
The class itself is held over two days. Its primary focus is the fourth Chakra, which draws energy to the heart and releases it throughout the body. Using yoga, meditation, tai chi and group exercises, individuals are taught how to improve the flow of Ki, their vital life force, through this seat of personal energy.
The benefits of this newly enhanced workshop extend far beyond the physical. Shim Sung activities allow individuals to focus on the proximity of their intentions to their actions. If the two have become more distant over the years, this class series can help draw them closer together.
This reacquaintance with one's own intentionality has helped thousands of happy Dahn Yoga members recall who they truly are, and always have been.
If you have ever gotten the feeling that you are performing for others – or that no one, least of all yourself, knows who you really are anymore – you are not the only one. A common consequence of modern living is the need to be accepted by others for who you think they think you should be, an unproductive cycle of rationalization that Shim Sung workshops can help break.
This year, Dahn Yoga and Health Centers is offering an enhanced version of the two-day workshop in order to give as many people as possible the chance to rediscover themselves.
"Shim Sung" is a Korean phrase that translates to "the root of the heart" or, more loosely, " the true self." Unlike a session of counseling, psychiatric therapy or life coaching, these workshops do not concentrate on the use of the logical faculties to explore the self.
Instead, Shim Sung sessions focus on letting go of hard-edged, intellectual probing and using relaxed, emotive sensation to recall one's deepest, realest persona. Much of this exploration is accomplished through yoga, meditation, tai chi and group exercises.
As a side effect of all this peaceful self-inquiry, many practitioners will notice their stress and tension melting away.
In recent Dahn Yoga news, practitioners of the mind-body fitness regimen recently visited South Korea as part of a tour designed to teach them where Dahn Yoga's meditation and relaxation techniques originated.
Besides sightseeing, shopping and trying plenty of the local food, tour members visited with the associates of several Korean Dahn Yoga centers. Many reported that this bonding opportunity was one of the most memorable moments of the trip.
Additionally, the tour involved several meditation sessions, both in and out of doors. Instructors led practitioners in a number of relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, stretches and yoga postures.
The tour group even hiked to the top of Moak Mountain, a peak near Jeonju, in order to meditate in the presence of a stunning and serene natural vista.
Dahn Yoga is a holistic mind-body system that incorporates elements of Korean yoga, relaxation techniques, self healing, tai chi, meridian channeling and brain wave vibration, which members describe as "moving meditation."
Many Dahn Yoga centers exist across the U.S. and are open to individuals of all ages who wish to calm themselves and reconnect to nature and one another.
Having a hangover can put a painful damper on one's day. Now, a new Dahn Yoga video offers some tips on how to overcome the unpleasant physical effects of a night of alcohol indulgence, mainly through breathing exercises and body tapping.
The video, which is titled Hang up the Hangover: Strengthen Your Stomach and Live, is part of the Dahn TV Winter Health series:
In it, instructors recommend two basic techniques to assist the body in processing and expelling toxins. The first is body tapping, in which the individuals cups their hands and uses them to pat or drum on stomach just below the ribs. This exercise gets moving the sluggish dregs leftover from the night before.
The second method is a basic deep breathing exercise. Besides airing out the lungs and releasing some toxins, deep breathing has been proven to relieve some bodily pain and to reduce headaches and fatigue.
By taking a few minutes to follow the instructions in this Dahn Yoga video, individuals who are feeling the lasting negative effects of alcohol may be able to get a little rest.
One of the basic workshops offered by Dahn Yoga and Health Centers nationwide is Shim Sung, a seminar on the fourth, or "heart," chakra. This two-day yoga class supplement focuses on balancing one's Ki, an energy that Dahn Yoga practitioners say pervades the body as it passes through the heart.
The fourth chakra channels the forces of the heart, which include compassion, sympathy, love and emotional warmth. The Shim Sung program offers beginners and advanced learners alike the chance to work on this chakra and to get it into wholesome alignment.
According to the tenets of Dahn Yoga, energy flows through the body's twelve meridians. This power keeps the processes of the body and mind in balance. However, should excess work or stress knock this energy out of alignment, one can begin to feel oppressed, physically or psychologically.
The Shim Sung yoga class supplement will concentrate on the heart chakra by guiding those who attend through basic exercises, yoga postures, deep breathing, meditation and interpersonal interactions.
Happy New Year everyone!
While this blog usually contains Dahn Yoga exercises, tips, and events, a new website has just been created for sharing Dahn Yoga’s voice. At http://dahnyogavoice.com, you will find the real opinions and stories of many Dahn Yoga instructors and members, as well as official documents and timelines from any lawsuits or media attention it’s involved in. Find out the behind-the-scenes information the media can’t or won’t portray. Now you can even share your own story.
This article was posted by blogger Nancy A. Ruhling on The Huffington Post. I posted the whole touching article for your convenience, but you can read the original article by clicking here. It’s a nice little snapshot of what being in a Dahn Yoga Center is like. Astoria Characters: The Yoga Guru Dressed in her loose-fitting uniform, Hee Jung Jang goes to the head of the class and bows deeply. The dozen yoga students return her greeting then gather in a circle as Hee Jung leads them in warm-ups. Knees bent, they tap their abdomens 1,000 times to get the blood flowing then pace themselves for the intestinal exercises. At her direction, they move their abdomens in and out. It sounds easy, but it’s tough. Try it 1,000 times. You won’t like it. Neither do they. They grunt and groan, but they know the pain will bring gain. This exercise may help them lose weight and ease constipation.”Do you feel the warmth in your abdomens yet?” an exuberant Hee Jung excitedly asks.”YES!” the sweaty students shout in union and in the hopes that she will proceed to the less strenuous stretches. “CONGRATULATIONS!” she shouts back, beaming. They smile. “Smile with teeth,” she tells them. “Smiling will change your energy, and it will feel easier.”
Hee Jung works for Astoria’s Dahn Yoga center, which has nothing to do with ladies in leotards performing pretzel poses. Founded in South Korea by Ilchi Lee some three decades ago, it is a spiritual practice dedicated to the betterment of brain and body; its format is monkey posture meets meditation.Whoever chose the location must have been a practical joker, because it’s between a honky-tonk and a recently deceased funeral home. It certainly wasn’t Hee Jung, because the center just turned 4 and she’s only been here 1½ years, but it suits her sense of humor. Hee Jung, who is a little shy and sly about her age and will only say that she is thirtysomething, has been practicing Dahn Yoga for a dozen years and has been an instructor for a decade.
She’s tall and keeps her long black hair rolled in bun topped by a perky bow. The distinctive hair ornament bobs up and down like a downward-facing dog’s wagging tail when she goes through her routine.She didn’t plan this life or this location. The universe took her on this journey to bring her joy.Growing up on a farm in South Korea’s Kyung Sang State, she was an unhappy, unhealthy child. “When I was born, I was sick with a heart problem,” she says.
“And when I was six, I had a stroke that left my face twisted. The doctors gave me medicine and wrote notes to my school saying I couldn’t exercise. And every day I thought I was going to die.”Because she couldn’t help herself, she decided to dedicate her life to others. After earning a degree in social work, she worked with disabled children and then the elderly.”There was only one other person working in the nursing home who was my age,” she says. “The place was at the top of a mountain, and even though it was near a city, there was nothing to do. We decided to do yoga and chose the Dahn center because the person who answered the phone had such a nice voice.
“After a month, the yoga made her feel better and within six months, she decided to make it her life’s calling. “It was a turning point in my life,” she says. “It helped me find hope in my heart, and if this didn’t happen, I would have continued to be sad. Suddenly, I wanted to live, and to do that I knew I had to be stronger physically and mentally. “Becoming a Dahn Yoga instructor requires commitment to a disciplined lifestyle. Hee Jung trains for one to two hours a day. In between group classes, she holds private sessions, which means that some of her workdays can start as early as 7 a.m. and others can end as late as 10 p.m.
“Because I am focused on my on work right now, I don’t have time for a husband or children,” she says. “Marriage is a very big part of Korean culture. All my brothers and sisters are married, but my parents understand my commitment, and they know that someday I will meet the right person.”Before coming to Astoria, Hee Jung worked at centers in South Korea, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. “I have been living away from Korea for 10 years,” she says. “I miss my country and my family sometimes, but we talk on the phone and we are very close and when possible they visit. We connect more than we ever did when I lived there. I also feel that the students and the other instructors are my family.”The transition to American life wasn’t easy. She didn’t speak English and had to learn it on the yoga mat. “I was so scared that instead of speaking I cried,” she says.
She’s still concerned about her English. She may not know every word, but her witty jokes prove that she aces the test of the tongue. Hee Jung doesn’t know how long she will be working at the Astoria center, but she’s excited to follow her future. “I want to keep doing this,” she says. “In fact, I see myself teaching Dahn yoga in a city in Europe someday. This is not just a job. I’m connected to it with my heart. “The class over, she hugs each student. Alone, she watches at the front window as everyone else walks off into the night. And she smiles—with teeth.
Follow Nancy Ruhling on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NancyRuhling