I set my 2017 to be a year of growth, of doing more of what I love and making conscious choices that are in alignment with the life that I want to live
Throughout the years that I have been practicing yoga, one of the biggest most valuable things I have learnt is to breathe; to breathe fully and deeply, and to be aware of this as often as I can, yoga set up my journey of self study which is one of the first principles within the niyamas in the yoga sutras known as "svadyaya"
Once I began to be more present through conscious breathing, I realised the many ways in which my body talks to me, so I now know which foods, sleep patterns, types of yoga, breathing techniques and even season benefit my personal constitution and the ones which don’t.
I noticed that too much yang (anything active) ends up taking its toll on the body and nervous system. There was a couple of years in my life where I was working tons and had lots going on, and I kept experiencing the strongest tummy pains, not often but I had them at least 6 times in a two year period. I went to the doctor and everything seemed fine on my stomach, and then found out it was just my nervous system trying to tell me something… What happens when we go to a doctor is that we are given something to numb the very signal that is here to help us be in our best health, not only physical but also emotional, and if we just numb the pain, we miss the opportunity for true healing and transformation
I knew that it was time to slow down, I am in constant movement, and my life always seems to be go go go, that’s why meditation became an essential part of my life, and now yin yoga
Both these practices are passive, great for balancing the yang qualities in us… Too much yin, we can either have a nervous break down, injury or imbalance, too much yin, we become lethargic, unfit, depressed, and stagnant
The body and the mind need a balance between both opposite natures, and without them we will experience tension, dis-ease, blockages, illness, ailments, etc, but the more we create conditions for both to be present, as simple as setting some time to be active and some to have peace and quiet, both are equally important, though with our western minds sometimes we equate our worth depending on how much we “get done”, and our lives pass by in the business of both our heads and lives, until time take its toll. Once I slowed down, the stomach problem disappeared and has not come back since, it’s been 2 years since the last time I had that excruciating pain
We need the yang qualities to stay fit, to get things done, to work, to play, and to exist in the eyes of society, but we also need the yin passive qualities to connect to ourselves, to create space in our heads, and this is not an easy task, we have to work for it by training ourselves to be okay “not doing” and simply “Being”, as only in silent times is when we can truly hear to our hearts and soul’s desire.
In regards to my yoga practice, I combine the yin qualities by always starting with a calming breathing technique like nadi shodana, or sama vritti pranayama, then I meditate for 15 minutes, and after that I have an yang practice, normally a vinyasa flow. I practice yin yoga once a week, and I can see the many benefits that it has brought to my life, from feeling more balanced, calmer, more open to change and the feeling of discomfort.
Thanks to this, I have seen how my overall practice has improved. I normally practice 6 days a week and rest and spend the day out on Sundays =)
I always say that balance is not something you find, but something you create, and once we create this balance, our health and well being (which to me are the key to being content,) will be our companion <3
May you create balance in your thoughts, words and actions
Love and light, Amor