“Perfect activity leaves no track behind it; perfect speech is like a jade worker whose tool leaves no mark. “Tao Te Ching
The concept of Yin Yang rests on the principle of natural and complementary forces, patterns and behaviors that depend on one another and influence the balance or the ebb and flow of events in all of life. My yoga exercise class today got me thinking about this notion of finding our balance; recognizing the natural ebb and flow of conditions, and the vision we bring to shifts in nature and in our personal lives and surroundings. How do we learn to find balance in the ebb and flow of life?
The yoga center in my village offers many types of classes and one in particular, Yin Yang yoga, is a 1 ½ hour class where the instructor has the students work through a series of short and fast, heat generating postures (yang), followed by longer holds on restorative and deep relaxation poses (yin). It is a rejuvenating class that offers both cardio and mind centering boons.
The Yin Yang class is one of my favorite classes because it helps me regroup and re-focus my energy on learning how to master the postures that don’t come easily to me, while recognizing the grace in the postures that do. It is with the same vision that we can look at the good things that exist and matter in our lives, while respecting the fact that those things that make us impatient are very much in sync with nature and the flow of time.
Since the class meets in a space facing the beautiful Hudson River, the views are quite spectacular. In the summer time, the gentle breeze blowing over the blue green Hudson river waterfront, and the beckoning hilly rocks and colorful flora of the palisades, make the grueling movements of a challenging class speed by. The floor to ceiling windows bring in lots of light and the side door is left open so sweaty bodies can benefit from the fresh air. Classes are often packed in the summer.
Winter time, on the other hand, is another story. If you’ve ever lived or do live by water; by a river, lake or ocean, you know the temperature drops drastically in the winter. Those summer breezes become chilling winds gusting at high speeds, and everything outside looks gray and gloomy with nary a leaf or flower in sight. The side door stays shut and for those of us brave enough to show up for class, we hope the heating system stays warm long enough for the restorative, cooling down portion of the class. As you can imagine, the sun filtering in through the windows is a glaring, harsh winter sun… If we didn’t understand the natural flow of things, we would ask: Is this ironic or what? But we all do. You do too.
What we tend to forget is that the very same yin yang patterns occur in our lives; more so for some, less so for others. When I’m having a particularly bad day or struggling with my writing goals, it is easy to get caught up in the Maya, the illusion of the veil of ignorance, and imagine that the situation has no end. But it does, as good flows into not so good and back again; very much in tune with the natural order or seemingly chaotic disorder of the universe.
Finding our balance in the ebb and flow of life; both in its blessings and burdens can sometimes seem frightening. However, it won’t be as frightening if we remember that life is about seeing and appreciating the work in progress that we all are. If we were perfect then we will have no purpose; the struggle for meaning and creativity will be a pointless proposition. If we remember that all life is about moments; yin yang moments, then we can and must move forward. Our lives are made up of events that elevate and enervate us and we can fight the shifts or go with the flow. We can’t appreciate the balance if we don’t experience the ebb and flow of life; our positive response to the ebb and flow will make a difference. 😉
Could the ebb and flow be the call to an exotic vacation? My buddies at JustLuxe have [“Trips of a Lifetime”] to enter.
Where are you in this time of your life; yin or yang moment? What are you doing to move forward and restore the calm in the chaos?
Positive Motivation Tip: Finding balance means going with the flow; we need the ups and downs to know the difference as one is not incongruous with the other.
- (10/2010) The Yin And Yang Of Tai Chi (basilandspice.com)
- Bay Area Feng Shui Expert Builds a Mobile Dwelling Cube for his Loft Apartment (prweb.com)
- Arthur Rosenfeld: Paying Attention to the Space Between Life’s Notes (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Yin Of Yin (wstedeford.wordpress.com)
PHOTO CREDITS: Yin Yang symbol by Klem via Wikipedia