Written by Maike, TTC Volunteer in September 2018
As there are several types of yang yoga there are also a several types of yin yoga. When we have too much yang energy in our lives, we can practice yin yoga and the other way around. While yang is there to build up and to let the active energy flow, there is yin to slow yourself down and to let go. As within the Hatha Yoga there are many yin & yang aspects. As we warm up the body we are yang and as we lay in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) we are yin. As we hold a posture for a certain time, we are yang. When we let go of the pose we become yin. As the centre of the yin & yang is the moment of being. The moment you breathe out and are ready to take a breath in again. This moment in between is the ultimate stillness. The center, the balance and the present moment.
As the course itself includes a lot of yang. There is discipline, activity and movements. Students need to be in time and keep going to be able to catch up with the lessons. At the first week the yang flow was very visible. People are excited and getting everything organized. As in the second week the flow starts to slow down a bit. Students are getting more tired and there is the need to come back to yin. As many injuries starting to arise in the asana classes, people need to take little steps back. While it is more difficult during the course to balance out the yang, there is still room to apply yin. For example taking it easier in an asana class. Listening to what the body needs. Getting early to bed and keep more silence during the day. As well the moments in Shavasana and Yoga Nidra are a very good opportunity for the students to come back to yin. As well during the breakfast and lunch they keep the silence to be present with the meal, but at dinner time the energy in the group is full on and everyone is talking out loud. At the end of the course people starting to become very nervous and start to apply a lot of yang again. They all want to do well at the exam so the discipline level is very high. As we will be sure after the exam all the students are able to let go their stress and will see the experience as a highlight in their lives.
After coming out of the jungle of Costa Rica I was very excited to be in the Ashram again and ground myself. As when the course started I felt a lot of yang. I was excited to work with a new group of students and excited to see my evolution within a year. Also I was excited to focus completely on yoga again. Starting the morning meditations where surprisingly more heavy for me this time. I couldn’t catch up with the breathing and I felt dizzy all the time. As I wanted to be there and keep my discipline, my body was telling me it‘s not the right time. As the second week I felt it getting heavier. The students started to ask lots of questions and there was not a moment I couldn’t get my mind to rest without having something to do for them. While I had to be in a yang mode I needed to be in a yin mode and slow down. Here I had to make a lot of limits for myself. I tried to spend my free time very efficient and tried to stay more inside in every moment I could. As in the third week I felt the yang energy coming back more. It was great to see the progress of the students while we were giving them feedback. As well as to be able to help them with the right corrections gave me a good feeling. As we come slowly towards the end exams there is a lot of yang going on, but for myself it starts to cool down and I am really enjoying the presence of the students, staff and the volunteers around me. As together with the volunteers we created a good balance. When one needed to take a step back, there was the other that could take a bit more. Like this we where a perfect team.
There is no yin without yang and no yang without yin. As we use too much yang we need to balance it out with yin and the other way around. If we are able to listen to our being, we are able to create our limits. When we know our boundaries we can respect them and switch between yin and yang whenever we need to. In this way we are able to dance and to flow with life. Whenever we don‘t respect our limits we self sabotage and life will force us to switch between yin and yang. As the perfect place to be is the middle, the center, the balance. Once we reach the balance we can stay peaceful in every situation, where peace comes from inside and not from outside.