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All posts for the month December, 2018

At Its Deepest

Even on this most Yin day of the year— the Winter Solstice— Yang is present. And as depicted by the Taoist symbol where a white dot resides within the black paisley, and conversely a black within the white, neither is an absolute. Not unlike the idea of Zero Point Energy, where molecular vibration persists even in the vacuum of empty space— that shade at a temperature of absolute zero— Yang stirs at its nadir, within the extreme Yin.

On a Tangible Level

Yin and Yang are relative, complementary, continuously changing and only meaningful when an observer is there to appreciate the contrast.

Consider if you will dipping your hands into one of three buckets of water, each of differing temperature. At once you put the left into cold, 40°F water, the right into hot, 120°F water and note the sensations. Then, place both into tepid, 80°F water and observe. What’s your experience?

Clearly none of these experiences is static. Even as the first immersion feels cold to the left hand and hot to the right, the left hand is already warming the water while the right is cooling it. This dynamic is shown by the swirling image of the Tao. Of course, once submerged in the tepid water the experience is immediately reversed.

Taoist symbol

The Taoist symbol elegantly depicts the relative nature and the inherent movement of Yin & Yang. A duality for sure, but not simply black & white.

 

Tonight

I couldn’t have asked Nature to illustrate this any more literally than through tonight’s full moon punctuating the darkness of the year’s longest night. This Yin yoga class is in tribute.

Here’s the series—

  • Seiza— kneeling, shins on floor, sitting on heels: 5′
  • Supported Back Extension— lying supine, block beneath sacrum: 10′
  • Caterpillar— seated forward fold over outstretched legs: 10′
  • Sphinx— prone backbend using elbows for support: 5′
  • Seal— prone backbend using hands for support: 5′
  • Gambling— deep squat: 10′
  • Cat Tail Right— lying side twist with top arm reaching back to grasp bottom foot: 5′
  • Cat Tail Left— lying side twist with top arm reaching back to grasp bottom foot: 5′
  • Saddle— kneeling, supine back bend: 10′
  • Pentacle— lying supine, palms up, tip of index finger resting on thumbnail: 8′
  • Seiza— kneeling, shins on floor, sitting on heels: 2′

Here’s the soundtrack—

Tibetan Monks Chanting with Every 3 Minutes a Tibetan Bowl | Reiki Hands of Light

Here’s the meditation—

Returning. Continue.
In coming and going, there is neither sickness nor distress.
Companions come without fault.
Returning is its Tao.
In seven, returning comes.
Gain by having a place to go.

— King Wen

Hexagram 24

Hexagram 24— Returning (Fu).

Hexagram 24 “Returning” is associated with the Winter Solstice & the 11th moon. Earth trigram atop Thunder trigram; a Yang sliver of light patiently awaits rising from beneath a Yin mountain of darkness. A submerged dragon.

Tonight’s Yin yoga class at the Yoga NoHo Center is celebrating the 11th Moon— the Winter Moon— which is near the darkest (shortest) day of the year, the Winter Solstice. It is very Yin. Can you say even longer, long-hold postures? Yeah, I thought you could.

Trigram: Earth

This trigram consisting of three broken lines represents Earth (kun or k’un) and is considered Yin, dark & cold. It’s the symbol of the female principle in the ancient Chinese tradition.

Here’s the series—

  • Seiza— shins on floor, sitting on heels: 5′
  • Caterpillar— seated forward fold over outstretched legs: 10′
  • Gambling— deep squat: 10′
  • Square R— seated forward fold over crossed legs, right in front: 10′
  • Square L— seated forward fold over crossed legs, left in front: 10′
  • Twisted Root R— lying side twist with right arm outstretched on diagonal: 5′
  • Twisted Root L— lying side twist with left arm outstretched on diagonal: 5′
  • Saddle— kneeling back bend: 10′
  • Pentacle— lying supine, palms up, tip of index finger resting on thumbnail: 8′
  • Seiza— shins on floor, sitting on heels: 2′

Here’s the soundtrack—

Tibetan Flute Music + Om Chanting | Meditative Mind

Here’s a meditation on the Winter Moon—

Bamboo Grove
Sit alone, hidden in bamboo.
Pluck the qin and whoop with joy.
Forest so deep no one knows it:
the bright moon comes to shine on me.

— Wang Wei (699-759)