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Yin & Yang: How Balanced Are You?

Yin & Yang: How Balanced Are You?


The Yin Yang Theory is based on ancient Daoism. With darkness comes light, as we observe closer to nature, we realize that the universe is a delicate balance of the Yin and Yang energy. 

Yin represents softness, grace, Divine Mother, passive, darkness, and shade. Yang represents rising, power, action, masculine force, action, and brightness. As humans, we are in the ebb and flow of these two essential components of life. We rise with the Sun and rest with the Moon. We take actions in life and retreat into solitude to rest. Like the season, our true nature embeds this delicate balance.

When we're off balance, our body, mind, and spirit dwindle. Juggling too many things, we fall short on sleep, over-caffeinated, digestion slows down, and anxiety or depression sets in. In Yoga, life is a journey of reaching a higher state of consciousness. What does that mean? From the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, the Eight Limbs Path is a step-by-step manual showing us how to reach fixed concentration (meditation) and ultimately reaching Samadhi (absorption). 

How we do anything is how we do everything. Our yoga practice is a sacred mirror of our life. Are you practicing just power-based yoga and not balancing with meditation or Yin yoga? Are you rushing in life from one stop to another and never stop to smell the roses? 

Take a look. 

If you feel that you're out of balance, here are a few tips you can try:

1. Practice In The Morning

Morning is usually the best time to practice yoga. It can be physical postures, or seated meditation and breathing exercises. Starting the day with yoga can help harmonize the rest of your hectic day. If that is not feasible, do a 5-minute meditation before you eat breakfast and see how small actions can have a huge effect on your mind.

2. Mindfulness Time-Out

Every hour or so, take a mindfulness time-out. A mindfulness time-out is when you pause and tune back to your senses. Smell the air, taste your coffee, listen to the sound in your surrounding, and take a look at the fine details of a flower or painting. Mindfulness time-out can help take you out of your mind and back to the present moment.

3. Choose your yoga practice wisely

Sometimes we get fixated on the style of yoga we practice. The truth is, we have to practice to what our body truly needs that day. I am a supporter of discipline and feel that we should keep to a routine. However, if we're already having a super busy day, it's good to end the day with some gentle Yin yoga and meditation. 

4. No yoga is sometimes the best yoga

If you're constantly busy doing a million things from the moment you get up, see if you can take a day where you do absolutely nothing. Eat alone and enjoy the taste of the food, read or take a slow walk in nature; smell the air and appreciate the beauty of the people and things around you. 

Finding balance is a skill that we can cultivate. Try these tips out and see how it feels to be in complete harmony.

Love. What Does It Mean?

“To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.” – Mary Oliver

 

I find in most of my twenties, I’ve been chasing for love or being chased by love. The unbearable sadness that over washes me with every break up inevitably counters by warm comfort in new encounters. Weaving through this connectedness of sadness and joy, I tirelessly search for happiness. Slowly I come to realize that the true essence of happiness is absurdly fleeting. When grasping desperately to our mortal love, it essentially yields to nothing but sorrow, disappointment and pain, lots of pain. Not just emotional pain, also the physical pain in my heart that penetrates so deeply into my soul; it hurts on so many levels. Letting the tears fall freely, I witness the weaknesses in me. Though there is an underlying beauty here; I’m quite familiar with indeed. It is the grace that comes with every fall will and always followed by limitless opportunities; for that I courageously smile. 

There are two types of love, one that we dive in headfirst and another where we wade in the water. Which is fuller? I’ll let you decide. A friend once said, 'we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience.' If so, to love wholeheartedly with no expectations and conditions, that I believe, is the greatest form of human experience. Like a mother loving her children, can we also extend that infinite love to our partner? And when it is time to let go, can we detach from what we once proclaimed as ours?

The pendulum of emotions swings vivaciously as we tread through this life. If happiness is fleeting, so is sadness. As I recognize the impermanence of life, I also see beauty in it. In the end, whenever that is, having known that I have loved what is mortal, harbor that love with all that I had and graciously let go when it was the time, I’d reckon I have participated fully in this human life. 

 

This article is written by Annie Au. RYT 500, yoga teacher, vegan and traveler. 

Spirit Soul Surf

Flowing through the creeks and grooves of life, at times it’s smooth and at times it’s not. My spirit is my smile, witty jokes, ambition, handstands; napping on a blanket in a warm summer day and sipping chilled mango shakes under the swaying palm trees. I would ride that spirit wave high to elation and giggles; laugh until my stomach aches and my arms sore from doing too many cartwheels. Let’s radiate my positive light to my lover, friends and strangers. I am invincible, secured and bright. This is my spirit.

When the moon wanes and the tides are low, my spirit dwindles so thin that it flickers unnoticeably even in the darkest night. Who is there then? Who is there to caress my insecure heart and hold my trembling hand?


My soul replies: “me.”

Like draping a fresh warm towel over my stone cold feet or slowly dipping my overworked rigid body into a hot simmering bath, my soul soothes the wrinkles on my forehead and wipes the tear lines off my cheeks. It is my aloneness and quietness, a cup of hot tea and a good fictional book or to curl myself under the heavy blanket listening to the monsoon falling tumultuously outside. Like plugged-in to the blues music at an underground jazz lounge, my soul enwraps me entirely and transcends me into a self-healing plane of existence. 

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This is my ride on my Spirit Soul surf. I know when I fall, it’s when I cling on to the sense of ‘foreverness’.  Nothing is forever. My perceived ever-lasting elation is fleeting and so is the last drop of tears before I helplessly smile again. 

So hang on to your dreams and goals when your spirit runs high; and surrender with grace when your soul sets in.

Sending out this Serenity prayer to the vast universe, I hope it will reach you, when you need it most:

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can;
 and the wisdom to know the difference.

 Oceans of LOVE

Annie