Dance with the Dragon

The last few weeks we experimented with a type of flow yoga, which is a fusion of Tai Chi and Yoga. Last week we completed the first part of the dragon dance, the Yang Dragon. The characteristics of Yang movements are flowing and quite fast. Yang is ruled by the Sun and the male side of us. It works a great deal with the physical energy in and surrounding our bodies. The playing around with the ball of energy as a prelude to the dance, may be perceived as a little ‘airy fairy’, but it allows us to work on keeping an open mind to other possible perceptions of energy than the ones we are used to. Not only that, the visualisation and movement makes for a great warm up and the wonderful sensation of imaginary child’s play. The continuous movement  works our bodies aerobically, stimulating the heart and lung systems and at the same time we create inner heat, strength and flexibility. Our mind is completely occupied with the dancing movement and the breath, so there is no room for inner chatter. Personally I very much enjoyed the palpable energy that was created by the rhythmic flow of bodies and breaths moving in unison throughout the class. From the feedback I received, I have a feeling that the Yang dragon will definitely return from time to time.In the next couple of weeks we continue to dance with the dragon, but now we’ll experience the Yin component of the yin-yang balance. Yin is ruled by the moon and the female side of us. The Yin dance is characterised by slow, mentally charged movements as opposed to the physically charged energy of the Yang dance. This practice is mentally, but I think also physically, more confronting and demanding than the yang dance, as we will remain in the poses for a longer period of time – about 10 breaths. The Yin practice builds strength of body and strength of mind. To remain focused and balanced is at the core of this practice. It will be interesting to see who prefers Yin and who prefers Yang. It will also be interesting to explore if the type of movement we prefer, is the one we need or, whether the opposite is better to create balance in our lives. Because we live in a yang dominant society of being busy, busy, busy and are subject to constant movement, my prediction is that most would prefer the Yang dance and also because we tend to prefer those things that are familiar to us. We’ll see what happens.I hope you all enjoyed this little side-track into ‘fusion yoga’ as much as I have.

For those who would like to practice a little yoga nidra at home, I have now recorded and posted a 10 minute yoga nidra practice on my website. You will find it underyoga/meditation time table and then you will see yoga nidra in the drop-down menu.

I will be on holidays, visiting my family in Europe, from 3rd September to 22nd September. Di and I are looking for a replacement teacher, so yoga will be on as usual in Hawthorn. However, the Malvern yoga classes will stop over this period. Also no meditation classes will be held.

May the benefits of your practice stay with you and extend beyond you,