Dahn Yoga Exercises – Simple Act of Dahn Yoga Bowing Heals or Reveals Cultural Dimensions to Life
Article by Jeff
In most countries and more pronounced in Asian cultures, bowing (stooping) is a social gesture shown by bending at the waist or lowering the torso and head. A bow could be a nod of the head to a protracted 90 degree bend at the waist. It’s a profoundly noble and widely accepted culture.
It has varied significant implications from being a sign of reverence, submission, and greeting. In humility people kneel in order to bow and this matters with social standings of different individuals. For those of higher social status, it’s deeper and longer to indicate respect, a smaller head nod is considered casual and informal. Foreigners to countries with this practice might not know proper bowing rules and uses what is sufficient.
It’s common that a bow also expresses gratitude, regrets, apology or humble request. Where this practice is rampant, shaking hands is uncommon. Bowing is an exclusively male practice and longer and deeper bows send stronger emotions. This act can be divided into three main types, which are informal, formal, and very formal based on angle in degrees. Bows may be used alongside handshakes and maybe performed either before or after.
The significance of bowing varies by culture and is normally reserved for occasions such as marriage ceremonies, a gesture to show respect for the deceased, as an integral part of traditional martial arts to begin and end practice sessions, bouts and competitions. A religious inclination to this act of bending the knees in worship, touching the ground with the forehead comes out as a sign of respect or submission to supreme beings.
In certain cultures there exist many degrees to bowing, each with a different meaning. Strict rules are adhered to guiding type of a bow for use at any particular time. In Christianity, bowing is a sign of respect or deference applied when passing in front of the altar, at certain points during service. A profound bow done in substitution for genuflection is done deep from the waist. It could also be observed as a daily ritual with practitioners doing 1,080 full prostration bows spread throughout the day.
Visitors to shrines attract the attention of the enshrined deity by clapping or ring a bell, clasping the hands in prayer, and then bowing. Muslims perform Sajdah or Sujud as ritual bows during daily prayers as established by bending over, putting hands to knees until the individual attains “calmness”.
Controversial moments may also be witnessed in acts of bowing. Sovereign states or a nations people could feel betrayed, enslaved or undermined when their leaders bow before those they consider tyrants or threats to global peace. This is however a source of peace rather than a threat to peace.
About the Author
Jeff Brendan is a Dahn Yoga student and enthusiast. Jeff’s favorite personality and his spiritual teacher is Mr. Ilchi Lee.