Jessica A. Sommar, MSc. Econ., is an award-winning business journalist, writer, Interfaith minister, CPE-certified chaplain, healer, martial artist and practitioner of Daoist longevity/cultivation techniques for over 14 years in New York City, China and the Berkshires. She works in marketing at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, where she also teaches taijiquan and daoyin in the R&R and Healthy Living programs. In 2012 she graduated from the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and became a certified Kripalu yoga teacher and an RYT — registered with the Yoga Alliance. She has added asana, meditation, pranayama and ayurvedic practices to her modalities.

Her studies in Chinese and Daoist arts began with the Healing Tao curriculum in 1998. Thereafter she trained in Dahn Yoga’s curriculum of Korean healing, meditation and exercise including Dahnmudo. She has since dedicated herself to the Classical Yang Family Style tai ji chuan fist (108 and chang chuan) and weapons forms (knife, sword and staff) studying with Sifu Rene Navarro [http://www.renenavarro.org/], a student of Master Gin Soon Chu, second disciple of Grandmaster Yang Sau-Cheung [www.gstaichi.org]. She has also learned Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture, moxibustion and herbs from Sifu Navarro and continues her studies in medical qi gong, Daoist nutrition and Daoyin healing exercises as well as Western herbs and energy medicine she has studied since 1993.

Her most recent studies include neigong practices such as Zhan Zhuang, Xing Shen Zhuang Fa, Sheng Zheng Gong and other internal Taoist arts in Rome with David Verdesi and Anna Vladimirova, disciples of Master Wang Liping, lineage holder of Quanzhen Longmen Pai. 

She attended as a delegate the 5th Annual Conference on Daoism in Wudangshan in June, 2009 and was invited to present a paper on Daoyin at The First International Summit on Laozi and Daoist Culture held Nov. 5-7, 2009 at the China World Hotel in Beijing. At that conference the PRC launched Daoism as an official religion of China. More than 600 Daoist academics and clergy from all over the world attended or made presentations. For more on this momentous conference see her China blog: http://jessgoestochina.spaces.live.com/default.aspx. The current entry is Part III — the tour post-conference. For earlier entries see Part II East/West Divide and Part I PRC Embraces Daoism.

Living in China from 2008 through January 2010, she taught business and economics at Zhejiang University’s Economics & Trade Polytechnic in Hangzhou, studied calligraphy and Chinese brush painting at the China Academy of Art and taught private students tai chi and Daoyin. She studied Mandarin at Mandarin Capital in Hangzhou.

She continues studying and practicing neigong, jing gong and other Daoist arts now living on the Connecticut/Rhode Island border – between the woods and the ocean. She has taught in Boston at the New England School of Acupuncture and in Hartford, CT at HOW www.heightsofwellness.com. She is available to teach Xing Shen Zhuang and other Daoyin and qi gong forms encompassing breath, nutrition and meditation. She is currently writing a book on Daoyin.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hlring Ra Ankh
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 20:37:06

    Would you happen to be coming to the D.C., MD, or Va. area to teach Xing Shen Zhuang? Invited David along with a friend to teach the form in Upstate NY around 2003, would like to brush off the dust and utilize it again in my cultivation practices.

    With Peace and Joy,
    Hlring Ra Ankh


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