We’ve all heard we need balance in our lives. In yoga we cultivate physical balance with tree pose and handstands. Eating a balanced diet will keep you healthy. Postural balance will keep you aligned. Hormonal balance will keep you happy and work-life balance will keep you sane. There’s financial balance, emotional balance, spiritual balance .Ultimately, balance is about finding center so you don’t fall over. It’s about sustaining life and feeling good.
The ancients of China, in their deep wisdom, offered the world a synthesized and integrated view of balance, the Yin-Yang. They taught us that the Yin must be balanced with the Yang to create wholeness. And with wholeness comes health, vitality, peace and harmony.
Despite our prevailing conversations about balance, the dominant M.O. of western society continues to be one of high activity, achievement and stimulation. Let’s be honest, we’re seriously yanged out in our culture.
When we hit the gym, and even in our yoga, we rush to classes to find the strongest workout to ensure we get our sweat on after a long day at the office. We go harder, faster, longer. We do it all. We “Just Do It”. And as a result we’re often left with shoulder tension, irritable bowels, vision problems, lowered sex drive, menstrual irregularities, mood swings and a growing sense of general malaise (just to name a few hallmark signs of yang imbalance) – not exactly the picture of health we were striving for.
When the pace of life feels like a bullet train it can be difficult to slow down – but ultimately if you want to be energized, fit, sexy, healthy and happy, you must honor the Yin. At Temple, our “Work In. Work Out.” philosophy respects your evolving daily needs for invigorating, hard, Yang or rejuvenating, gentle, Yin activities.
The “Work-Out” is the portion of our day spent in the act of doing. It’s the thinking, moving, going – sympathetically driven acts of our day that serve to outwardly create. It could show up as a vinyasa flow, a kettlebell workout or ninja training class. It’s when we’re on the go, getting tasks accomplished and kicking butt while taking names.
The “Work-In” is the portion of our day that is parasympathetically driven – the being, the stillness, the emptying, the resting. It can look like meditation, reading poetry, enjoying qi-gong, gentle stretching or taking a break to watch the leaves falling from the trees.
Take a moment to think back over the events of your past week. How many of your daily activities require you to exert energy, and how many cultivate energy? Are there any activities that should be energizing, but are actually depleting? Are you feeling pressure to keep going, when the voice inside says stop?
The very essence of health is to cultivate this yin-yang balance. It is to be sensitive to our bodymind’s ever changing need to either work-out or work-in. It is to bring wholeness into your being where you can move effortlessly from the eternal place of stillness into the chaotic joys of movement.
At Temple, we’re committed to helping you create balance in your bodymind in a holistic way by addressing movement, lifestyle, emotional and mental well-being. We assess your daily energy needs and offer private fitness training, nutrition counseling, coaching and programs to help each client find their own deep and satisfying sense of balance. For more information on our offerings visit us online at www.templesb.com.