What it means to take your yoga off the mat

Hatha yoga means the yoking, or joining of the sun (ha) and moon (tha) - essentially finding the balance of opposing energies. Yoga sutra 11.46 states that our seat should be steady and joyful - Sthira (solid, strong, firm) Sukham (pleasing, easy, relaxed, comfortable) Asanam (seat).

Yoga is embracing the paradoxes of life:

Be optimistic + practice defensive pessimism (visualize + prepare for the worst)
Be happy with where you are + always strive for growth and evolving into someone different
10X your actions + take baby steps
Trust your own wisdom + always be a student
Try, work hard, apply effort + surrender, let go
Recognize you’re already perfect + never be satisfied and realize there’s always room for improvement
Practice towards a goal + be detached to the outcome

According to Tantric philosophy one of the attributes of consciousness is spanda - or pulsation. It’s the back and forth between opposites that brings us into balance. “Balanced” living is being able to see-saw the poles of life to find "just right" in the middle. 

We all have tendencies towards one side of the spectrum - we either have more sun energy which is more masculine, active, aggressive and structured or we have more of the moon energy which is more feminine, fluid, receptive and passive. 

If you’ve got more sun energy you’re likely high achieving, mentally stimulated, and physically active. You’re a go-getter who works hard and strives for constant improvement. 

If you’ve got more moon energy you’re chilled-out, you go with the flow, and have a more relaxed, passive nature.

While we want to embrace our unique qualities, we also want to counterbalance with the opposing energy. (hence the paradox again)

How do we bring the balance of opposites into our daily life? 

Live in rhythm.

If we’re always going, we’ll eventually peter out. If we never get off our ass, we’ll always be stuck. If we find a pulsation between being active and passive, work and rest, and structure and flow we will be in a dynamic balance that allows us to be vibrantly healthy.

Living in rhythm is stepping into alignment with nature’s pulsation of energy moving up and down. When we sync up with this flow of life we bring all of our bodily systems into harmony - in body, mind and spirit.

Nature determines when energy should go up and when it should go down. We are diurnal creatures highly influenced by the natural world - whether we recognize it or not. Circadian science is now proving what ancient seers knew all along. The sooner we surrender to this flow of life the better off we’ll be.

This means we rise and fall with the sun. We fully express and withdraw with the moon. We bloom and dissolve with the seasons. 

When we do we become more integrated with the whole and more integrated within ourselves. 

In Align and Thrive we learn how to align with these cycles of energy so that we can experience thrive. It’s simple but not always easy since the majority of our culture is completely disconnected with these cycles. But when you connect with a community who is actively aligning to their personal values and to the greater rhythms of nature you get pulled into balanced living simply by being a part of the tribe. It’s effective, it’s efficient and it’s deeply rewarding. Your body begins to flourish once you’ve created the conditions and the environment for self-healing to take place.