I teach a Yin-Yang yoga class every Wednesday at noon (sales pitch over!)
Ever Wednesday I like to refer to the yin and yang in our lives. For those not familiar with these terms, you’ll find many different definitions. Eastern philosophy tells us that yin and yang are complementary forces that are all connected to one another, and may even give rise to one another. Think of light and darkness; joy and sadness; winter and summer; male and female. In general, yin is seen as a more passive energy and yang the more energetic force. The forces are not seen as opposites, but as two parts of a whole; ie. there is no light without darkness, there is no joy without sadness. Together, they’re depicted as two halves of a circle.
And ain’t that the way life really is? In my yin-yang classes, I often speak of our common daily search for *balance* in our lives. Obviously, we’re not referring to standing on one leg here. I remind clients that yoga is about effort and ease. Slowing down just enough to observe what feels good in *our* bodies, and then seeing if we can create space to stretch. Literally and figuratively. In our bodies, but more importantly, in our minds.
Can we strengthen ~ but then soften?
Can we focus ~ but then let ourselves be?
Can we work ~ but then rest?
Can we speak our truth ~ but then listen attentively?
Can we allow ourselves to feel happy ~ while at the same time allow ourselves to feel pain and sadness?
Can we see the light we have to offer others ~ and also the darkness that still lives within us?
There are so many paradoxes like this in our lives and this is what we think about on our yoga mats.
This ~ is what we’re encouraged to think about when we think about balance.
Wishing all of us the presence of mind to see the light in our lives, and accept the darkness; the presence of mind to know when to work hard, and when to rest; the presence of mind to speak our truth, and yet to listen twice as much as we speak; the presence of mind to allow ourselves to feel all the feelings, yin and yang.