Welcome to the fourth quarterly edition of Yin Yoga Insights, where will examine two very interesting version of “chi”.
For many thousands of years, Chinese Daoist yogis intuitively detected flows of energy in, through and around our bodies. These yogis counted up to 32 different kinds of energy, or chi (in India, we would call them pranas). Today, in the West, scientists and medical researchers are also detecting many esoteric forms of energy that mobilize and communicate information inside our bodies.
It is fascinating to map out points of correspondence between these different models, and realize that what the ancient yogis in the East were experiencing can be measured and explained with Western science. Two interesting points of correspondence are “earth chi” and “sun chi.” Read more in this YinSights Newsletter about the consequences of cutting ourselves off from the earth and demonizing the sun.
Yin Yoga Insights also lets you know about several opportunities to learn more about Yin Yoga via our Upcoming Events listing. You can view a short synopsis of all these items on the side bar on the right.
Enjoy the journey! Cheers, Bernie
Earth Chi & Vitamin G
Up until a few hundred years ago, our ancestors lived in direct contact with the Earth’s surface. They walked barefoot upon the ground, slept close to the earth, or perhaps were separated only by the thinnest of animal skins and plant based bedding materials. Our ancestors were constantly grounded, and lived in intimate contact with the earth. In China, the ancient Daoist yogis intuitively felt that the earth possessed energy, called earth chi. In many places the chi was strong; near flowing water, near ocean beaches, in the rocks … and it was easily absorbed through the soles of our feet.
Today, we have adopted a very different lifestyle from our ancient forbearers; we wear shoes with rubber soles and sleep in beds and houses that are insulated from the ground. We also experience diseases and maladies that were very rare for our ancestors. Is there a correlation? Could cutting ourselves off from the surface of our planet somehow be a cause or a contributor to many of our modern ailments? If there is such a thing as earth chi, are we chronically deficient?
At dawn, yogis face to the east, and honouring the rising sun, they salute it with 108 prostrations. These exercises, these sun salutations, have been performed in cultures all over the world: ancient and modern. Today, people rarely rise with the dawn to soak in the rays of the sun, but thousands flock to beaches and parks when the summer sun’s power is strongest, to bask in its warmth.
What is it about the sun that draws us under its spell, and yet at the same time makes us fearful of its power? We protect ourselves from its harmful ultraviolet radiation by sporting sunglasses and smearing ourselves with 30-block lotion. We have developed a love/hate relationship with that awesome power, but mostly we fear the sun. This fear has led us to demonize our first god, and take steps to shelter ourselves from its harmful aspects.
Yin is In! And, it is growing in popularity. Yin Yoga has been with us since the beginning of Hatha Yoga centuries ago. But since the early 19th century, yoga has become more and more yang-like in nature. Everything requires balance: yin completes yang. Yin Yoga is the balancing practice for the more active, muscular yang yogas. There are more and more teachers offering Yin Yoga today, and more workshops and opportunities to learn how to become a Yin Yoga teacher. If diving deeper into the yin-side of life is on your bucket list, there are lots of opportunities for you. [If you are a student looking for a Yin Yoga teacher near you, check out our Teacher Directory.]
Upcoming Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings & Retreats
Nov 1st to 15th, 2010: Yin Yoga Teacher Training
With Bernie Clark at the Prana Yoga College, in Vancouver, Canada. This 40-hour Yin Yoga teaching training course is weaved over two weeks, at various times of the day, to accommodate a parrallel 500 hour Hatha Yoga teacher training course, which it is embedded into. For more details or to register, check the Prana Yoga College web page or call them at 604-676-8812.
Future Trainings with Bernie
Jan 15 – 30th, 2011: A 35 hour, 3-Weekend Yin Yoga Teacher Training
Aug 23 – 30th, 2010: A 50 hour, 7-Day Yin Yoga Teacher Training Intensive
Both of these will be at the Semperviva Yoga Studios, in Vancouver, Canada. For more details or to register, check the Semperviva web page or call them at 604-739-2009.
May 22 – 29th, 2011: A 60 hour, 7-Day Yin Yoga Teacher Training & Retreat
This will be at the lovely Sea-to-Sky Retreat Center. Visit Upcoming Events for more information
Many teachers around the world are creating Yin Yoga based workshops and retreats. Some of them are posting these activities on our Forum page. Check it out. There may be one happening near you. (If you are a teacher, feel free to add yours to the page!)
Earth Chi & Vitamin D There is a point, on the soles of each foot, where the Daoist yogis say we absorp earth chi. What could earth chi possibly be and does it make a difference in our health? And, more importantly, do we still get the benefits from this form of chi if we are wearing shoes? Click here to learn more.
Sun Chi From the heavens above pours down energy, know as chi. Like all powers, the energy from the sun can be harmful or healing, depending upon how we take it in. We all know about the harmful aspects of the sun’s power, but how can it heal us? Click here to learn more.
Recent Forum Topics On the YinYoga.com website there is a forum where anyone can ask questions about Yin Yoga or other topics, and everyone is free to offer wise commentary. Included in this newsletter is a link to one woman’s story about sciatica. Click here to learn more.
Teacher Trainings & Retreats There are several Yin Yoga teacher training courses being held by Bernie Clark over the next 12 months. The next one is happening Nov 1st to 15th, 2010 in Vancouver Click here to learn more about these.
Checking out Other Interesting Events There are many teachers leading workshops, Yin Yoga retreats and Teacher Trainings. Click here to learn more.