Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paulie Zink's Taoist Yoga is Not Just Sitting and Doing Long Holds

I attended Monkey Kung Fu Master Paulie Zink's five-hour workshop at CYC on Sunday.

As expected, it was awesome.

The poses and flows are mostly different than those in Indian asana, although they are also based on animals. They are designed to get the chi (life-force) flowing and maintain health. The goal is to get in touch with one's true, primal nature and move like a monkey.

It is not Yin Yoga, although that is one aspect of it. It is Yin/Yang yoga - which requires strength, balance, and flexibility (NOTE: According to Paulie, Yin teacher Paul Grilley studied with Paulie Zink for a year and learned only one aspect of Taoist Yoga from him). Paulie does not use a timer, and is one of the most laid-back teachers I've ever encountered.

A few the poses are similar to what we do in Indian yoga. His Philosopher's Pose, in which you stand and take the arms around the legs, grab the head and look up at the anus, is the same as Dharma Mittra's Stork Pose (about which a student once came up to me after class and said, "There's no stork pose in Light on Yoga").

Dharma spent 11 years with his guru before heading out on his own. He spent many years exploring different poses and probably invented 300 or more.

Paulie spent 10 years with his guru (their sessions were all-nighters!) and spent many years exploring differeret poses and also invented scores of them.

Both have a humble, playful demeanor - despite being accomplished masters - and have inventive flows and teach several levels of student at the same time.

Which makes me feel very lucky indeed.

(Still sore, though. - although my chronic hip pain has miraculously disappeared).

Read more about Paulie here.


  1. Anonymous5:40 PM

    please inform us in advance of cool yoga stuff. LD

  2. Sorry about that!

    He's coming back next year at the end of October / beginning of November, and will again do a weekend workshop and week-long teacher training. Highly recommended - especially for those who are accustomed to a more linear practice.

  3. And in July of next year, Dharma will teach at the Yoga Journal conference at the Grand Geneva resort in Wisconsin.

    Start saving now!

  4. Boo Boo Bear9:25 PM

    Watching the link, I felt as if I were watching interpretive dance. It's also interesting to see a yoga teacher who is on the cover of Kung Fu magazines. I don't know much about him, but I already like how he cannot be pigeon-holed!