After a winter rest, the power of springtime surges through nature - and through us. Spring is an expression of life at its strongest. In spring, those aspects of us that have been dormant over the winter months begin to awaken. Just as nature enters a cycle of renewal, growth and expansion—so does the energy within us. In traditional Chinese medicine, WOOD is the energy of spring and the Wood element represents the liver and the gall bladder. This is the season to plant seeds for a future harvest, to look ahead and make new plans, formulate new ideas, make decisions, and determine our direction for the coming year - and to take action. Here is a closer look into the Chinese wisdom around this season and what it represents and asks of us, the qualities that harmony in Wood element brings forth and some Yin sequences to balance and support the functioning of Liver and Gallbladder.
I was posting yet another Yin video on my YOGA ONLINE section and wanted to say a few word about when and why use props in a Yin practice, but then realized that it was going to be more that just a few words.
Since I teach both yin yoga and restorative yoga I often get a question about how are they different - as both are (very) slow and seem to require a wide arrangement of props. So I'll look at the two practices from the point of view of props:
Why slow yoga?
Recently I find myself, more than ever before, explaining why I teach what I teach. Why slow yoga?
Maybe the lack of slow practice offered is a Berlin thing - a typical big city phenomenon when an overload of options, stimuli, experiences to consume, places to see and people to meet sends us spiraling off in thousand different directions (off our center). Or maybe it is my own evolutionary thing - my personal quest for ways to slow down cannot BUT reflect in my practice and in what I want to share with my community.
We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
~ MARCEL PROUST
This is the last part of a trilogy where I'm looking into the synchronicity that has influenced and redirected my life and some major choices I've made. The first story is about me discovering yoga, the second one about me becoming the explorer of inner and outer landscapes and the final third one looks into the random circumstances that had to line up for me to become a teacher.
Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” ~ Miriam Beard
The nagging reminder: "there has to be more to life..." was always there like a subtle wake-up call. As I was re-evaluating my life and questioning the choices I was making, my focus was still very much turned outward. The only way I knew how to measure success, the level of happiness or being a good person, was in comparison to those around me and based on the criteria set by social standards. So I kept pursuing my career (to be successful), I kept my radar open for the perfect man (to make me happy) and was doing my best to please people (to be viewed as a good person).
Writing is easy. You just sit down and bleed (Hemingway).
I ran across this quote, when for the hundredth time I was hushing down a voice that from time to time urges me to do just that - sit down and write (read bleed). In some bizarre way, the acknowledgment that there is some shared sense of suffering, anguish and release in the process of writing gave me the last push.