The Complete Book of Oriental Yoga: Hatha and Taoist Yoga for the Seasons By Michael Hetherington (L. Ac, Yoga Teacher) – Smashwords Edition
“Those who flow as life flows, know they need no other force”
~ Lao Tzu
is a fusion of traditional Indian Hatha yoga with traditional Oriental medicine and Taoist cosmology. The aim of applying this knowledge is, like all yoga’s and spiritual paths, to help the practitioner align with the natural cosmic forces of the universe. When one aligns with these natural forces, the path becomes more harmonious, more easeful and more joyful, for these are the innate qualities of the universal way.
This book aims to give the yoga practitioner an understanding of basic Taoist philosophical concepts, as well as provide practical tools and techniques to apply this theory to enhance one’s daily life. As do all systems and philosophies, they arc not absolute, as the absolute lies beyond the world of concepts and ideals. Therefore, this philosophical framework serves more as a practice to prepare one to springboard toward the absolute.
The aim of this book is to help one come to a deeper understanding of the natural forces at play and how we fit into this dance we call life. I hope to equip you with tools and techniques to assist you in making useful and beneficial lifestyle adjustments and also influence your yoga practice so that it may be in harmony with the natural order of things.
I also hope to encourage and inspire a willing attitude, so that you remain open and allow intuition and flow to become an everyday reality and occurrence. When we find this flow in our daily lives, joy and happiness arc not far away. In truth, they are already there. When we cultivate this flow in our daily lives, the mind becomes steadier and intuition— our inner wisdom beyond the world of thoughts—becomes a lot stronger and more prevalent in our lives, saving us a great deal of stress and exertion.
The first part of this book aims to cover the fundamental principles and overarching philosophical approach to the practices of Oriental yoga. The second part of the book is focused more on practical aspects, which take into consideration the 5 elements and the 5 seasons.
I have found this information to be very helpful and useful in my life, as well as in the lives of those who arc familiar with it. Therefore, I’m sure it will serve you in many beneficial ways, also.
Thank you for taking the time to pick up this book. I’m positive it will help you make a stronger connection with the natural forces of life and also help with the deepening of your yoga practice.
Yoga and the Seasons
There is no doubt that energy moves through us differently according to the time of day, the climatic conditions, the attitudes vve harbor and the cycles of the moon, just to name a few. With the natural flow of seasons, so too it makes sense that our yoga practice is to reflect these changes.
Throughout Chinese medicine and Taoist thought, the aim is to find and establish harmony by aligning with the natural flow of life. To live the path of least resistance means that one is aligned with nature and with the divine expression of life itself. These ideas are not limited to Chinese thought and can be found throughout ayurvedic medicine (said to be the oldest medicine on the planet), yogic science and many other traditions and cultures who place great importance on learning from the changes in nature.
No amount of individualized effort, willpower or force can be sustained and supported when working against the natural flow of nature and the universe. Only when one comes to flow with the natural forces of life and the universe, can one begin to uncover the deep peace, joy and stillness that reside within.
In the western world, we are familiar with the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. However, in the Taoist understanding of time and change they devised five seasons. They arc spring, summer, late summer, autumn and winter. The extra season is called late summer and refers to the end of the summer season when it becomes more humid. In section 2 of this book we will explore each of the 5 elements in much greater detail.
About the Author Michael Hetherington
Is a qualified acupuncturist, health practitioner and yoga teacher based in Brisbane, Australia. He has a keen interest in mind-body medicine, energetic anatomy, yoga nidra and Buddhist style meditation. Inspired by the teachings of many, he has leamt that a light-hearted, joyful approach to life serves best.
About the Author
Yoga and the Seasons
PART 1 – ORIENTAL YOGA FUNDAMENTALS
- Introduction to the 5-Elements/Phases
- Yin and Yang and the Whole Shi-Bang!
- Meridians and Chakras
- Introduction to Oriental Diet Therapy
- Muscles Associated with the Organs
- Principles of Oriental Yoga
- Fundamentals of a Yoga Class
PART 2 – YOGA FOR THE SEASONS
- Earth Element
- Earth Organ Physiology
- The Earth Element Meridians
- Muscles Associated with the Stomach
- Muscles Associated with the Spleen
- Asanas f Postures) for Late Summer
- Earth Element Daily Lifestyle Practices
- Supporting the Other Elements to Assist the Earth Element
- Food / Oriental Diet Therapy ~ Late Slimmer
- Herbs to Support the Stomach and Spleen
- Late Summer Meditations
- Metal Element
- Metal Organ Physiology
- The Metal Element Meridians
- Muscles Associated with the I.lings
- Muscles Associated with the Large Intestine
- Asanas (Postures) for Autumn
- Metal Element Daily l ifestyle Practices
- Supporting the Other Elements to Assist the Metal Element
- Food / Oriental Diet Therapy ~ Autumn
- Herbs to Support Lungs and Large Intestine
- Autumn Meditations
- Water Element
- Water Organ Physiology
- The Water Element Meridians
- Muscles Associated with the Kidneys
- Muscles Associated with the Bladder
- Asanas (Postures) for Winter
- Water F.lement Daily lifestyle Practices
- Supporting the Other Elements to Assist the Water Element
- Food / Oriental Diet Therapy ~ Winter
- Herbs to Support the Kidneys and Bladder
- Winter Meditations
- Wood Element
- Wood Organ Physiology
- The Wood Element Meridians
- Muscles Associated with the Liver
- Muscles Associated with the Gallbladder
- Asanas (Postures) for Spring
- Wood F.lement Daily lifestyle Practices
- Supporting the Other Elements to Assist the Wood Element
- Food / Oriental Diet Therapy ~ Spring
- Herbs to Support the Liver and Gallbladder
- Spring Meditations
- Fire Element
- Fire Organ Physiology
- The Fire Element Meridians
- Muscles Associated with the Heart
- Muscles Associated with the Small Intestine
- Asanas (Postures) for Summer
- Fire Element Daily Lifestyle Practices
- Supporting the Other Elements to Assist the Fire Elements Food / Oriental Diet
- Therapy ~ Summer Herbs to Support the Heart and Small Intestine
- Summer Meditations
- Recommended Reading