On & off the mat: Yin Yoga in daily life!

Routine and Pathway to presence & Mindfulness: Yin Yoga in daily life!

Jeanette Fuchs, founder and CEO of yogaretreats.at took the time to ask me a couple of questions about Yin Yoga in daily life when I recently visited Salzburg, teaching a couple of masterclasses @ YOGA PLACE Salzburg. What exactly defines a Yin attitude in daily life? How can we tune down and arrive – despite the overstimulation with information and tasks that we are being bombarded with day in day out?

What defines YIN for you on the mat? Where do you observe and experience the YIN quality in daily life?

Yin Yoga Yoga in daily life for me means conscious perception and presence – the courage to dive deeper into the inner, more hidden realms of our thoughts and emotions. A journey of rediscovering the “obviously hidden”.

In daily life we encounter Yin as a journey from one moment to the next while being in contact with our energy movements – the “positive” and the “negative” ones – and by being present and aware enabling us to regulate deeply ingrained patterns of perception or reaction. To maybe just let them happen passively so we can learn more about our body and its wisdom.

Both strategies are valuable and correct and are orchestrated and balanced through OUR INTUITION AND ABILITY TO BE HONEST TO OURSELVES as an act of self-love. Both of these qualities are practised in Yin Yoga.

Yin openes the door to enjoy life fully and with all senses. This will then be available to us even during difficult times or difficult circumstances: As life challenges us, we are able to remember TO CONSCIOUSLY CREATE SPACE IN ORDER TO STAY PRESENT AND RELAXED. This will most certainly lead to epiphanies that strengthens our self – love and gratitude towards life. Because in essence, this is what we are able to take with us (or pass on to our progeny) once our body ceases to exist.

Deliberately slowing down: Do you feel society is already changing? Do you see Yin as becoming “trendy”?

More and more people are consciously realizing that constant outer activity & the Darwinian thought of “only the strong survive” – let´s call it an OVERFOCUS ON OUTER PERFORMANCE WITHOUT ANY REGARDS TO THE INNER LIFE AND ITS RICHES – will kill the soul in the end.

In situations where we encounter conflict (as for example in personal or intimate relationships) we quickly realize that pure force and assertiveness of your own center or opinion will quickly lead us into a dominant standoff position that creates a deadlock, strangling life and its dynamics.

Without the ABILITY TO SELF – REFLECT, FLEXIBILITY AND UNDERSTANDING THE DEEPER MOTIVES OF ACTION of another person there is no vitality nor zest for life. This concerns not only our relations with other beings – be it persons, animals or plants or the relation we form with our own anthroposphere or habitat – but encompasses the relation we hold with ourself.

Yin Yoga in daily life
Yin in daily life, off the mat: I love to focus my creative energies on creating something with my hands – for example this contemplative stencil and spray work on wood.

Its absolutely understandable that after a time of total, global destruction 75 years ago, the main focus rested on accomplishment and effort to recreate a functioning society and structures that support it. This process has now gone overboard and a lot of people are realizing that the outer (often artificially created and manipulated) pictures and numbers do not reflect the reality they feel they need in their heart. People are suffering physically, mentally and emotionally because they sense that something is “off” and that without honoring our essential roots of sustainable and nourishing relationships, truthfulness and authenticity, we simply get sick while destroying life around us and within us.

As in nature, where Yang and Yin create a harmonious exchange and AUTOMATIC COURSE CORRECTION ARE “NATURAL” IN ORDER TO BALANCE EXTREMES TO REGAIN A NEUTRAL CENTER, the same dynamic is now influencing the human psyche from deep within and is already palpable within our social context.

What can people do in order to balance their Yang overemphasized lives?

To consciously make the decision to slow down. For “speed and action addicts” this very often needs to be put “on the weekly agenda”: “I consciously decide that I will – during the course of the next week – take 2 HOURS OF MY TIME TO DO NOTHING AND ENJOY: a hot bath with seasalt and an etheric oil I love, a leisurely stroll through the woods where I only listen to birdsong and let my heart rejoice in this. Selfmassage with warm oil during which I become aware of how I am touching myself. Sitting down for 5 minutes, closing my eyes and SIMPLY PBSERVING FOR HOW LONG I CAN DO THIS BEFORE I DRIFT OFF MENTALLY. Then I remember my breath and sense the inhale and exhale moving my body. Taking time for my food, sensing the taste and structure of what I am taking in.

Yin Yoga in daily life
Closing your eyes for a couple of moments and being in contact with your heart and life. A helpful tool that quickly calms and grounds you even during chaotic periods and allows for a re-connection to center.

Daily routine offers a lot of opportunities to COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE PRESENT (MOMENT) AND OUR OWN PERCEPTION. As with all diciplines, mindfulness needs to be trained to become part of consciousness. To take part in a consciously crafted and well guided Yin Yoga class offers the possibility to invite a “change of gear” into our life while practising in a group and offers the potential of complete renewal of our life.

Any practical hints how to strengthen YIN in our daily lives?

We have two wonderful, handy tools that we can use as long as we are here in our bodies: OUR BREATH AND THE EARTH BENEATH US.

To feel the ground allows us to arrive at the present moment while our breath is our main instrument to dive into our inner world and to bring it into relation with the outer one – sensing our breath without directing or forcing it.Taking “time outs”, “social media & electronic device abstinence”: Bye-bye Handy & Tablet, hello to sitting in silence or simply resting in it. Whenever I can I love to lie down and put ONE HAND ON MY BELLY THE OTHER ONE ON MY HEART AND BREATHE without striving to achieve anything in particular.

Eat, as we eat, walk as we walk, clean up as we are cleaning up. Feeling, how things feel that we are doing, MAKING OUR CURRENT ACTION THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. Carefully, consciously being present!

Here you can read the full interview! (In German)