You've been there before. That yoga class that pushes your boundaries with challenging poses and gets your heart rate pumping and sweat dripping. It is the definition of yang: hot, active, muscular, powerful, exhilarating.
And we need that yang energy in our lives. It’s how we stoke our internal fire. It makes us stronger. It makes us grow.
Try as we might though, we can't submit to a continuous stream of Power yoga, intense bootcamp classes, rigorous hockey practices, long endurance runs, and all sorts of other high intensity stimuli without burning out.
Can we balance our nervous system so we’re not all fight or flight and no chill? Can we bring relaxation to our stress? Yin to our yang?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it is when your body is moving that you can most easily connect to the stillness in your mind. You can become so immersed in your movement that your mind stops, time stops, you are in the zone.
Take these steps in your next Power yoga class and see if you can bring a sense of calmness (or yin) to your practice.
Constrict the throat in your “ujjayi” breath. It stimulates your vagus nerve to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, making your body want to chill and be still.
Also, making your exhales longer than inhales helps slow the heart rate and calm you down.
2. Be Curious
Approach your body like it’s something to be explored and not something that needs to be better, slimmer, stronger, taller, bendier, and on and on.
When is curiosity ever stressful? Tap into your innate sense of curiosity you give yourself the opportunity to get out of your judgment zone and just feel something.
3. Get Your Jam On
Some might argue that music distracts the mind rather than helps you tap into it. Maybe when you’re sitting still, but when you are moving through a Power yoga flow, music is a great way to get out of your head and into your body.
It silences your thoughts and encourages your awareness to be with your body as it moves in space to the sound of the music. Just you, your body, and the beat.
How do you bring a bit of yin chill to your yang yoga practice? Share with the rest of the community in the comments below!