24 Apr 2011

Yin Yang Yoga with Malika

This morning I woke up without alarm before six. My stomack was still hurting, so I couldn’t really think doing my normal practice. At Yogabarns was a class called Yin Yang Yoga at seven o’clock, so I decided to try that. According to class description, this class was supposed to explore the body’s polarity activating yang energy through movement, and yin energy by relaxing both body and mind to attain inner balance and harmony with nature.

According to Wikipedia in Chinese philosophy the concept of yin yang, normally referred to in the West as yin and yang, is used to describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other.

Traditionallay yin is female and yang is male. They fit together as two parts of a whole. From a philosophical standpoint, practitioners of Zen Yoga see yin-yang as a flow. In Wikipedia it’s mentioned that the Taijitu is one of the oldest and best-known life symbols in the world, but few understand its full meaning. It represents one of the most fundamental and profound theories of ancient Taoist philosophy. At its heart are the two poles of existence, which are opposite but complementary. The light, white Yang moving up blends into the dark, black Yin moving down. Yin and Yang are dependent opposing forces that flow in a natural cycle, always seeking balance. Though they are opposing, they are not in opposition to one another. As part of the Tao, they are merely two aspects of a single reality. Each contains the seed of the other, which is why we see a black spot of Yin in the white Yang and vice versa. They do not merely replace each other but actually become each other through the constant flow of the universe.

The teacher of the class was called Malika and her English was very hard to understand because of her really strong Asian accent. She was obviously aware of this problem herself, because she apoligized her English a couple of times. Her opening mantra was totally wrong, but never mind. Quite in the beginning of the class she advised us to do a deep twist (where you sit in half-lotus, turn and take a grip of your big toe with your fingers so that your hand is behind your back), which was ok for me and for one other girl, but the rest of the room couldn’t even do half of the asked rotation. I was a bit afraid, that the class will be too demanding based on the beginning, but then Malika started to show modifications and the class got better.

I liked the class, but some of the asanas were too demanding for that group. Malika herself was superflexible, but clearly pretty unexperienced teacher, because she was teaching so demanding poses for that group (for example twisted variation of Ardha Chandrasana) and sometimes it felt like she was reading a speech aloud and not actually teaching something she has experienced. I enjoyed the class anyway, because I was able to modify the poses and my focus was good. Many poses were good for my back and my lower back felt good after the class. I enjoy so much practicing at Yogabarns upstairs, where you can see rice fields, everything around you is green and you can hear monkeys as well as birds. After class my mind was still and I walked to Little K to have my morning cappuccino. Oh, how much I liked that coffee!

I am so glad that I decided to try different yoga classes. I have already learned so much about different teaching styles and this experience will be beneficial for me specially, if I start to teach later. After these experimental classes here I feel that I could teach those classes and maybe even do better. On the other hand I have noticed that ashtanga easily becomes serious and the joy of yoga disappears, when people start to be too fixed getting new poses and making physical progress. It’s nice to try different styles, modifications and poses and then get back to your own practice.

No comments:

Post a Comment