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Y102: Hatha Yoga For Embodying The Yin Aspects Of Movement, Change And Softness

hatha yoga movement yin Dec 15, 2019

Last week I shared how deep rest is as important as focused work. I shared ways to find both in your practice and your daily schedule.
 
In today's episode I share ways to embody the yin aspects of practice. Sukha. Ease. Softness. Change. Receptivity. These are in contrast to the strong ujayi breath and bandhas of 2 weeks ago. My intention is to help us move towards the end of 2019 open and receptive to new possibilities. 
 
As always we are exploring opposites in our practice. The terms I have come back to the most over the years are yin & yang, stirha & sukha, and masculine & feminine. It's important to note that I don't mean man and woman - but I'm pointing to qualities within everyone. 
 
In general, western culture rewards and reinforces the masculine / yang / stirha qualities. This can lead to difficulty in knowing how to navigate the sukha qualities in our practice and in our lives. As I shared last week, this was a major challenge for my friend and for me. It's easy to get caught in the cycle of always trying to DO more. To become uncomfortable with uncertainty, change, the unknown, and making time to BE. 
 
Yoga turns that upside down by being goalless, non-competitive and always evolving. Though, it is so malleable that it can become exactly the opposite. As always, the art is in making space for both. Can your yoga practice be both structured and spontaneous? What would that look like? Could there be room for discovery and curiosity, while also being precise and firm?
 
Is it even correct to say that effort & ease, yin & yang, masculine & feminine are opposites? Or are they two parts of the same thing? Life is full of contradictions and paradoxes, and yoga is a practice where we get to embody and explore them. 
 
The word Hatha itself means "force" - so to embody softness in a Hatha practice itself is a paradox. How does it - how could it - make sense? 
 
My intention in today's practice is that you begin to explore these paradoxes. In your practice and throughout your week. Are you being too yielding where more effort is appropriate? Are you to forceful when slowing down would be the way to speed things up? 
 
In next week’s episode I will how to build on this approach - to have our yoga practice be the support we often need. 
 
Props: 2 Blocks, 1 Blanket
 
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Want to apply this to your year ahead? Check out Mindful New Year - an online & in person retreat - Jan 17th - Yoga, Ayurveda & Vedic Astrology - Learn more at http://www.mindfulnewyear.com
 
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For my first 5 years of Yoga my hamstrings were tight. I stretched them often, so what was I doing wrong? I'll address this and the biggest mistakes I made in my first 10 years of practice so you can avoid them. With some easy adjustments you can start building strength, flexibility and balance today. Enter your email to begin: