Generally speaking, as a culture we are busy. We aim to accomplish a lot and strive to achieve. Still, there are people who are depressed, apathetic and unmotivated about life, keeping their dreams as that rather than a reality.
It has been my experience that when a balance is found between these two extreme life situations, we receive so much--which provides energy to give more fully. Aren’t we busy because we want to succeed? Isn’t giving and receiving abundance the true meaning of success? Is that not what we “strive” for or dream about?
Rituals and routine set in the grooves that lead to a way of living. For example, the woman who desires to feel more comfortable in her body could choose to create new neurological pathways in her mind by saying to herself as she gets dressed in the morning, “I am beautiful, healthy and strong” in lue of her previous self talk of “I am fat and ugly.” When this internal dialog is shifted from negative to positive along with intelligent meal choices and daily movement like hiking and yoga, indeed her health goals will be accomplished.
When one realizes that their life is heavy in either the yin or the yang characteristics, with yang being very active, driven, hard, fast and yin being slow, soft and nurturing and inactive, they may ask the question, “How do I shift this? How do I find a comfortable place in the middle?
For me, as a person who leans more to the side of overdoing, controlling, and being hard on myself, (yang) I experienced a great deal of suffering before finding the balance. I have a dear friend who has big dreams of living a full and exciting life, but he lacks the provocation to co-create with his surroundings to see results. Neither sides of the scale are fulfilling when endured on its own.
So after a period of suffering and a moment of awareness, we want tools for change. My claim is that the style of yoga that I offer can be that tool. I am not alone in the realization that how one behaves on their yoga mat is a prototype for their life as a whole. If you are pushy and cheating in your practice, you are pushy and cheating in life. In the same way if you want to be more giving and gentle in your life, you can start by being so on your mat.
I teach a yoga I call “Strong~Slow~Flow” that balances the powerful with the gentle, the masculine with the feminine, the sun characteristics with the moon characteristics. Imagine if the sun was blaring bright non-stop, or if we never had moonlight and darkness. We can enjoy the moon because we have the sun and vice versa. If your yoga practice is all ‘sun’ and no ‘moon’, or vice –versa, side effects will eventually erupt as they would if our earth had all sunny days or only night sky.
This concept was beautifully described by physiological spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson, in her first book, A Return to Love.
“We basically have been taught that it is our job as responsible adults to be active, to be masculine in nature to go out and get the job, to take control of our lives, and to take the bull by the horns. We’ve been taught that that’s our power. We think we’re powerful because of what we’ve achieved rather than because of what we are. If somebody comes along and suggests we go with the flow, maybe lighten up a bit, we really feel hysterical. After all, we’re total underachievers as is, as far as we can see. The last thing we can imagine doing is becoming any more passive than we already are.
Passive energy has its own kind of strength. Personal power results from a balance of masculine and feminine forces. Passive energy without active energy becomes lazy, but active energy without passive energy becomes tyrannous. An overdose of male, aggressive energy is macho, controlling, unbalanced and unnatural. The feminine, surrendered place in us is passive. It doesn’t do anything. The spiritualization process-in men as well as women--is a feminization process, a quieting of the mind. It is the cultivation of personal magnetism. It exerts its power through attraction rather than activity. This attractive, receptive, feminine aspect of our consciousness is the space of mental surrender.”
If these words are a mirror of your experience of life and you are realizing the scale has tipped, I offer you a way to trans mutate your pattern.
Join me in my Strong~Slow~Flow yoga classes at Yoga Mountain in Fairfax, at MoveMe Studio in San Rafael, and in Yoga at the Log Cabin in San Anselmo’s Memorial Park to begin this shift and to find balance. You will be amazed at the positive changes this will make in every corner of your life