This weekend I had the unique (and powerful) experience of taking a training with Sarah Powers. She has a depth of knowledge that I want to absorb just by being around her. This training led to several epiphanies for me… many of which I hope to share with you over the next few weeks. Sarah Powers is known for leading what is called Yin Yoga. However, she is very clear to explain that Yin is not a style of Yoga. Yin is a way of being and practicing that can bring us into balance.
This piece from Sarah Powers explains Yin / Yang in a clear way:
Our energy can be spoken of in a sister/ brother or Chandra/ Surya relationship. They are both always present, while one is being more manifest at any given time than another. Yin/ Yang is NOT a concept of two opposing opposites clashing, but the unity of two aspects of Qi energy whose continual movement revolves in a constant interplay of balance which moves in cycles. NEITHER ASPECT IS MORE IMPORTANT.
There are ways to practice yoga that are very Yang (think fast flow, hot yoga, power yoga) and very Yin (think slow flow, longer holds, gentle yoga, restorative yoga). The key to practice is balancing out your energy on a given week, day or hour. If you are in a Yang state (pushing harder, trying to be the best), you may benefit from a more Yin style of yoga- something that allows you to be more receptive and open. If you are in a Yin state (you passively sit back or are indecisive) you may want to amp up your practice and build a little more internal fire. One is not better than the other– the key is to move toward BALANCE.
A Yang type practice can allow you to use your natural intelligence to find positive change. A Yin type practice allows us to remove what’s in the way to discover deeper truths and let our light shine through. Both are necessary for our own evolution.