Ever told we live in a modern ‘yang’ world, what does this really mean for us on a everyday level? Traffic, light pollution, work demands, the buzz up of notifications, busyness happening all around on such a micro level we often don’t observe the effects of this on our inner world. And with this rising ‘yang,’ comes the powerful call for many of us to balance it out with more ‘yin,’ as we see in the popularity of wellbeing practices that reset us.
I increasingly find the deep value of the physical practice of yoga (the one path of many) is to unravel us from a place of tension, into spaciousness. As city dwellers can we cultivate more inner space, so than we may in turn have more spaciousness when dealing with our outer eco systems?
So in my teaching I like to offer up the idea of Sukha & Sthiram, ease & effort. Through dynamic movements we tap into our strength and explore mental challenge – this is Sthiram – and the sweetness – or Sukha – of the practice comes from combining this with full surrender and relaxation in softer shapes. Thinking of it like this, we need the two to coexist to get a feel for the other. In a way, it’s in their opposition that we come to understand the value of them.
Many traditions – Yogic, Buddhist, Hindu – tap into nature as a tool for understanding the power of stillness. If we see the mind as a sky, thoughts passing through it like clouds on a hazy day, the clouds themselves are not our true self but the fluid consciousness, or blue sky that lies beneath them. The drop of a leaf onto a still lake, a dragon fly touching the surface of it, and as easily as it lands, it flies away. Through meditation & relaxation practices we begin to recognize the value in learning to let these thoughts pass organically. Of releasing our attachment to stale or busy thought patterns and by doing so finding more clarity and calm. I find by pausing to experience things fully, we begin to unpack the richness of each moment.
I’ll offer you a Lao Tzu quote to end:
Nature never hurries yet everything is accomplished.