Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Yin & Yang of It All

We started another 200 hour teacher training program at Santosha a few weeks ago and I have been introducing the importance of both yin and yang poses in the practice of yoga.

Without getting too technical (life seems complicated enough at times) yang is a more muscularly active pose while yin still has some muscle to it but the poses (seated) are held for a longer period of time, usually 1 to 3 minutes.  Yin poses are needed to help break up "the fuzz" that accumulates between our muscles while we sleep or due to an injury. Remember the old saying "if we don't use it, we will loose it". Exactly!  If you want to learn more about "the fuzz" check out "The Fuzz Speech" by Gil Hedley.  HOWEVER...if are squeamish you may want to pass on this as he does use a cadaver for demonstration.

So, getting back to yin and yang, we need both in our practice to balance out because isn't that what a good portion of yoga is about bringing everything into balance?  Learning to breathe the same whether we are in a yin or yang pose?

This reminded me of how everyday of our life we encounter yin and yang.  Soft and strong.  But can we learn to bring a balanced breath throughout all of it.  Of course we can.

I will even suggest a topic in your life to help you practice this.  Gas prices.  They go up and they go down. Back and forth, yin and yang.  Can complaining, worrying, getting angry or stressing change the gas prices. No.  Can we change how we react to it? Yes.  Getting upset has no effect on lowering the gas prices and being ecstatic when they go down doesn't guarantee that they will stay there.  See where this is going.  It's all about balancing of the yin and yang of our life. Trying to work though it all with the same quality of breathe and mind.

If this concept doesn't speak to you yet then come and try it on your yoga mat first,  work through the breath and the poses, both yin and yang.  Once that feels second nature to you then you are ready to take it off the mat and of course don't forget to breathe.

P.S. Go Tigers!

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