Yin & Yang Yoga, Balancing One’s Energy

On February 22, 2013 by admin

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When I come to my yoga mat, I ask myself what kind of yoga practice is going to help me rebalance my energy today?

“Do I practice in a Yin way, holding gentle poses for a few minutes and relaxing into my body or do I move my body through a flow of poses, engage in a more active form of yoga?” When I practice in a Yin way, the poses are the platform where I explore the concept of simply being in my body and allowing the sensations to come and go, relaxing my usual physical and mental reactivity. When I practice in a Yang way, I engage my muscles to hold poses with steadiness and I make constant adjustments to find more strength and ease in the pose.

According to the Taoist philosophy, all forms of energy that materialize contain two complementary polarities called Yin and Yang. Yin is the hidden, cold, still aspect of things while yang is the exposed, warm, moving aspect.  It is also expressed as the Tha and Ha of Hatha Yoga, the reflective moon energy and radiant sun energy.  These two aspects always coexist.  This concept is really important, Yin and Yang are never separate, they constantly change into and become the other.  They are constantly seeking for some equilibrium. One is not better than the other, although our Western culture certainly values more Yang aspects of ourselves and our life: light, activity, excitement.

Imbalances in these opposites can manifest in various forms. In my twenties I was caught in a constant swing of very excessive Yin and Yang episodes, known in the western medicine as manic depression.  Through Yin Yoga practice and meditation, I was able to nurture and accept myself and I learned to relax into overwhelming sensations of anxiety. My active Yoga practice helped me move energy blocks, gradually regaining confidence in my body and mind’s abilities and flexibility.  I truly understand now the necessity of including both Yin and Yang practices to heal and to find a sustainable sense of wellbeing.

Balancing Yin and Yang in our daily yoga practice and life starts with becoming aware of the imbalance. With Yin and Yang being present in everything, the practice of balancing is always happening. It is a perpetual dance with opposites: doing and being, changing and allowing, becoming and awaiting, acting and observing…  The swinging motion is always here, the more we practice, the more it becomes graceful and graceful feels good!

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