Yin Yoga teacher from Byron Bay, Tara Fitzgibbon, says everyone – absolutely everyone – needs more rest. It’s difficult to argue that point. After all, the kind query of how one has been is often mindlessly met with the half-hearted response; ‘oh, really busy … but good, thanks’. Ah, yes – that old chestnut! Why is breathlessly busy ‘good’, anyway? Of course, a degree of busyness is essential, but physical and psychological health may decline if constant chaos governs our lives and depletes vital energy. This also applies to our yoga practice; we all need to balance strength and sweat with softness and stillness, integrate mindfulness of yin with movement of yang.
“Life is about balance. We are always striving for this. The scale tips left and right, goes up and down. Yin is the restorative yoga that got left behind when hot, power yang yoga became popular 15 years ago. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for us to realise we need to practice both,” says Fitzgibbon.
For thousands of years, Eastern cultures have believed optimal health relies on free-flowing energy circulating the body via invisible vessel-like pathways; forming the basis for modalities like acupuncture, tai chi and yoga. Yogic philosophy calls this energetic life-force ‘prana’, flowing throughout 72,000 ‘nadis’. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers it ‘chi’, which comprises two vital forces of yin and yang that circulate via ‘meridians’. Largely pioneered by Japanese Scholar, Dr Hiroshi Motoyama, scientific research has begun supporting intuitive wisdom of these complex networks. Researchers at Seoul National University recently provided visible evidence that meridians exist by injecting dye into acupuncture points; a major breakthrough following scepticism from western medicine.