Dynamic Yoga is an ancient practice which brings
enormous health benefits. As its name suggests, it is a fluid, lively form of movement that is much less static than traditional yoga. The benefits are huge.It tonifies the internal
organs, strengthens the connective tissue, corrects
misalignment of the spine, clears stagnation in the meridians, develops good breathing
technique, stills the mind and purifies the spirit.
The key aspects of Dyanamic Yoga which make it distinct from pure traditional Vedic forms like hatha yoga, are (a) philosophical, in terms of an emphasis on oriental systems of mind / body understanding and (b) physical, in that the spectrum of moves is broader with a range of dynamic variations in the manner the postures are performed.
The practice of yoga became well known in the west only relatively recently. It was popularised in the 1960's when young westerners became fascinated by eastern religions and culture. Various yoga masters, encouraged by this interest, moved from India to teach (mainly in the U.S.A. ).
However, the culture of yoga spread eastward from India to other Asian cultures in far more ancient times. In Tibet , yoga was well established from the 16 th century . A series of yoga postures (known as the nine Tibetans) was demonstrated to Captain Younghusband, one of the earliest western explorers of the region. Yoga was introduced to China in the 5 th century and many yoga movements were integrated within the framework of the Taoist metaphysical system. Taoism is a sophisticated philosophy based around the principle of oppositions found in nature (e.g. night and day, moon and sun, passive and active) and the currents moving between these polarities. Buddhism became the official religion of China during the Tang Dynasty in the 7 th century, and the development of various postures into the oriental art forms of Tai Chi, Kung Fu and other are attributed to the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma.Japan has traditionally borrowed and adapted much of Chinese culture and Japanese Yoga (Shin-Shin Toitsu Do) was first developed and taught by Sensei Tempu Nakamura in the early 1900s .
It is through this essentially eastern and oriental influence on the art that Dynamic Yoga has developed. It was introduced to the UK and Europe in the 1960's through the teachings of Nagaboshi Tomio within the Buddhist Mushindokai organisation. Dynamic Yoga therefore shares certain movements with Tai-Chi and Karate, as well as utilising the full spectrum of traditional yoga postures. In a Dynamic Yoga class, we work through the elements of Eath, Water, Fire and Air. A student would consequently find themselves standing in kiba dachi (horse riding stance), massaging a partner's meridians, holding crocodile posture, or breathing in crane stance, all of which are alien to traditional yoga.