August Newsletter

Sedona Mago Retreat center

Feeling the energy of Sedona

Ah, August is here and so is the turning of our year as we move towards the end of summer and into the beginnings of fall.  We may begin to see some leaves changing color and already some cooler days are slipping in.  The picture above was taken at the Mago Retreat Center from my recent travels to Sedona, Arizona.  The Mago Retreat Center is a spiritual center following the principles of Taoism.  According to Wikipedia,

“The Tao can be roughly thought of as the flow of the Universe, or as some essence or pattern behind the natural world that keeps the Universe balanced and ordered.”

In September, I am leading a Yin Yoga Teacher Training program.  Yin Yoga is based on both the traditional Hindu philosophy of yoga as well as the Taoist/Daoist approach of balancing the yin/yang energies.  Below is an example of Yin/Yang:

                                                  YIN                                              YANG

                                                  Cold                                            Hot
                                                  Water                                         Fire
                                                  Moon                                          Sun
                                                  Mysterious                                Obvious
                                                  Feminine                                   Masculine
                                                  Dark                                            Light
The practice of Yin Yoga is a re-balancing of the yin and yang energies which allows us to flow harmoniously in life.  Yin and yang cannot exist without each other, they are like two sides of a coin.  Our Yin Yoga practice (soft tissues, joints, bones) is an opportunity to balance our Yang Yoga practice (muscles).

Living life harmoniously is a balance of our yin/yang energies.  One area in particular focus is balancing our dark energies with our light.  Many times we only want to look at the light energy inside of us; however, our shadow/dark aspects are extremely important.

My recent focus has been on my darkness.  Someone just said to me, how can you feel guilty of your dark-side?  It’s as much a natural part of you as your dark hair.  The difference is the choices that we make to follow either dark behavior or light behavior.  So by embracing our shadow self, the darkness instead of trying to hide it, we embrace all of ourselves and open to the balance and the flow of life from season to season.  When you can embrace the darkness, you’re one step closer to the light.

The study of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teaches us that the highest spiritual practice is self awareness without judgement.  So, not judging our shadow self or our light self but being in awareness of it like a witness stepping outside of ourselves and watching from above.

Where can you see the yin/yang energies in your own life?  My invitation for you is to begin to notice the yin/yang energies in your own daily life.  Notice the differences without judgement and stop either thinking that you are ‘all that’ and putting yourself above others and also STOP putting yourself down or berating yourself!  Keep equanimity by keeping balance.

For instance, notice how you feel after drinking a cup of coffee (yang) as opposed to drinking a cup of herbal tea (yin).  Notice how you feel after a quick walk as opposed to meditation.  Or, notice how you feel after a Zumba class or Vinyasa Yoga class compared to a Yin Yoga class.  Notice when you have sad feelings and notice when you have happy feelings, then remind yourself that you are neither the sad nor the happy, you are a SELF that is ABOVE these emotions.

Can you begin to notice without judgement?  Just notice and open to the flow of life…

In honor of the Light & Dark within you,

Victoria Purcell-Goodwin, E-RYT
Master Practitioner of Yoga & Intuitive Healer