How to connect to your Yin side
Duality is within every single one of us, we constantly move and change, flowing and transitioning between different energetic, emotional and physical states.
Within us is the darkness and lightness, yin and yang, moon and sun, passive and active, hot and cold, restless and stillness, feminine and masculine, left and right.
Ida and Pingala are 2 nadis which run alongside the main central nadi - Sushumna. Nadis are energy pathways - the word in sanskrit translates to ‘Little River’.
Ida - Yin, Chandra, stillness, cold, dark.
Pingala - Yang, Sun, energy, heat, light.
These two Nadi's start at the base of the Sushumna, Mulhadara and they spiral around the Sushumna nadi - they cross at each chakra - interweaving like snakes - travel over the back of the head and into the nostrils.
These two Nadis have also been related to the two different states of the nervous system, yang being our sympathetic (fight and flight response) and yin being our para-sympathetic (rest and digest)
Nadi Shodhana breathwork can help to balance the Ida and Pingala nadis. Finding balance between these two energies is not static, there is a constant ebb and flow throughout our days. Similar to the yin and yang symbol, within the darkness of the yin section there is still a spot of yang light and vica versa within the light section of yang there is still yin energy. This can be applied to any situation, even when you are feeling your lightest and brightest, there will still be darker areas or shadows within you. When you are feeling really dark and low, you can remember that spot of light that it there within you. The line between these two energetic states is fluid, this can represent the natural flow of life, the constant shift and change within us all. We are never set and will move between yin and yang energies throughout the day and night.
There is no good or bad, no right or wrong. All of these areas make up you, beautiful and unique you. Its important to try to find peace with yourself - both light and dark. Yes it's feels good to move towards your lighter, brighter energy but it's also not about trying to remove the darkness or the shadows but being able to see both light and dark, the whole spectrum - being a neutral observer looking in. The darkness can get lighter if we lean into those areas more - feel connected with what is going on deep down.
We need light, dark, shadows, grey tones to be able to feel. To know balance - to feel fear, joy, anger, excitement, highs and lows. Know that the darkness is there always and that is ok. Maybe it's just a case of sitting with the stillness, darkness, that yin energy more and finding acceptance rather than trying to maybe avoid what is there. Take the time to explore and embrace all of your tones.
The elements connecting to yang are fire and air. Elements connected to yin are earth and water.
How to connect to your Yin side
Take time for stillness - slow down and allow yourself time to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a sense of being present in whatever activity you are doing. You are able to fully engage in something allowing the fluctuations within your busy ind to settle and become less busy.
Practice Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma pranayama are two breathwork techniques which are really beneficial for balancing both yin and yang energy. Alternate nostril breathing can help to balance both left and right sides of the body, breathing through each nostril channels the air through the Ida and Pingala Nadi's. Every 90 minutes our breath switches sides between the Ida and Pingala channels. You can test which side is more dominant by observing your breath breathing in and out through both nostrils - close a nostril and breathe, try again on the other side. You can try Nadi Shodhana and a few other breathing techniques on this free video to see what you think.
Notice when you are your most yang and when you are your most yin and honour that within yourself. This is a way of finding balance, by listening in we are able to really understand our physical and emotional energetic patterns. Are there times throughout your day or week where you are more comfortable with slowing down and embracing stillness and are there times when you feel most energetic? If you can identify these then you can plan when you can find some time to connect to your Yin side without forcing or pushing yourself.
Practicing meditation can help to listen in to your emotional and physical energy. Making time for meditation can give you a way to connect to your parasympathetic nervous system, slowing your body and mind down. This is a way of connecting to your yin side.
Practice yin yoga. Yin yoga is a much slower practice, where poses can be held from between 3 - 8 minutes. Targeting different areas of the body with slower and longer holds can allow our bodies and minds the space and time to become still. Connecting to the breath, the muscles, joints and tissues in the body are encouraged to relax and release tension. You are encourages to feel all of the sensations which become present in the body and also the mind. If you want to try a free session, you can practice on my YOUTUBE.
If you wanted to join a live online Yin session I am running one every Month. This will be on the first Thursday of every month 19:00pm and you can book here!