Inscription by Bernie Clark to Paulie Zink in Clark’s Book “YinSights”

Corrections to the Bernie Clark book The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy & Practice of Yin Yoga 

Published by White Cloud Press ©2012

White Cloud Press also published Paul Grilley’s book “Yin Yoga- outline of a quiet practice.” Grilley self-published the first edition of this book titled “Taoist​ Yoga- outline of a quiet practice”​

Paul Grilley learned only a beginner level of Paulie Zink’s Yin yoga. Bernie Clark has attended a total of two weekend Yin yoga workshops taught by Paulie Zink, and he purchased Paulie Zink’s Yin yoga DVDs “Beginner’s” and “Live Sessions 1-4.​”

Several Yin yoga postures in the Bernie Clark book are not demonstrated in their complete aspect.​​ Bernie Clark does not personally demonstrate the yoga postures in his book. Instead, he enlisted a more skilled individual to model the poses. It’s important to note that Master Paulie Zink’s complete art of Yin yoga encompasses numerous more postures and variations, philosophy, and essential alchemy—elements not covered in the book. The book’s representation falls short of capturing the entirety of Paulie Zink’s profound and expansive yoga practice.

Paulie Zink is the founder of Yin yoga. He developed Yin yoga in the 1980’s. Bernie Clark did not even meet Paulie Zink until around 2007. Bernie Clark is not the foremost authority on Paulie Zink’s life, his biology, or his achievements. Paulie Zink is the foremost authority on Paulie Zink and his complete art of Yin yoga.


The back cover of the Bernie Clark book states: “Yin yoga is part of the original Hatha yoga tradition.”

Correction: Yin yoga is rooted in the chi kung and flexibility training of the ancient ​T​aoist tradition of China.

The Bernie Clark ​​book Description says it “provides an in-depth look at the philosophy and practice of Yin yoga…”

Correction: In Paulie’s expert opinion, Bernie Clark does not possess an in-depth understanding of the philosophy ​or practice ​of Master Zink’s Complete art of Yin yoga​ as he intended it to be taught, practiced, and embodied​. In Paulie’s opinion, it would be more accurate to explain that the book represents the beginner level of Yin yoga that Paul Grilley learned from Master Zink, along with other theories and academic studies that Grilley has incorporated into his teachings. ​

BERNIE CLARK BOOK: “Master Ling taught Paulie [Zink] Daoist alchemy theory but Paulie’s innate flexibility allowed him to take this even further.”

Correction: Paulie was of average flexibility when he first began studying yoga. His extreme flexibility is the product of many years of intense and proper training.

Paulie studied ​Taoist alchemy theory and observed animals on his own initiative. Paulie developed his alchemy and numerous additional Yin yoga postures, variations of postures, movements, and meditations independently of his master’s teachings.

BERNIE CLARK BOOK: “[Zink] never had a large group of students and charged virtually nothing for his time.”

Correction: Master Zink did charge for the private and semi-private classes he taught at his home​.​ However ​on occasion, when a dedicated student was having financial difficulty, Master Zink would allow the student to attend classes without paying until he or she had recovered. Master Zink ​also charged for the private lessons, classes, and workshops he taught at other locations. And he did teach large groups of students in workshops at other venues.

Paul Grilley paid for every class and private lesson he took from Master Zink. Since Bernie Clark and Paul Grilley are long-time friends, I wonder why he doesn’t know this. It begs the question, who fabricated this falsehood, and for what purpose? Perhaps it is an attempt to trivialize the fact that Master Cho Chat Ling never asked Paulie for payment during the ten years of private training at Paulie’s home. This practice is a martial arts tradition exclusively observed between masters and their proteges.

BERNIE CLARK BOOK: “After trying to teach yoga at a small studio in Billings, Paulie withdrew entirely from teaching.”

Correction: Master Zink did not withdraw from teaching after closing the yoga studio in Billings​, MT​. Paulie has never stopped teaching yoga since he first began​ teaching over 40 years ago.

In conclusion, it becomes evident that the Bernie Clark book, “The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga,” presents a narrative that requires careful consideration of its journalistic integrity. The portrayal of Paulie Zink’s art of Yin yoga is incomplete and may lead to misconceptions. The origins, philosophy, and practice of Yin yoga, as intended by Master Paulie Zink, extend beyond the book’s representation.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that Paulie Zink, the founder of Yin yoga, developed this practice in the 1980s. Bernie Clark’s encounter with Paulie Zink occurred much later, around 2007. While Clark may have attended workshops and purchased DVDs, his level of understanding does not fully capture the essence and depth of Master Zink’s complete art of Yin yoga.

The corrections provided shed light on inaccuracies in the Bernie Clark book, addressing misconceptions about Paulie Zink’s flexibility, alchemy theory, and teaching approach. It’s essential to recognize that Paulie Zink, as the foremost authority on his own life and achievements, holds a unique perspective that goes beyond the book’s narrative.

Moreover, discrepancies in the portrayal of Paulie Zink’s teaching fees and his continued commitment to teaching highlight the need for a nuanced understanding of his contributions to modern yoga. The traditions of Taoism and martial arts, where masters and proteges share a reciprocal relationship, further emphasize the importance of acknowledging the complexities surrounding this narrative.

In essence, this evaluation encourages a more comprehensive understanding of Paulie Zink’s art of Yin yoga, urging readers to consider a broader perspective that aligns with the master’s own experiences and teachings.


Read Bernie Clark’s criticisms of the founder of Yin yoga

Read the Yoga International article The Art of Yin Yoga with the Founder Paulie Zink