FEATURE – We all need to balance the needs of both body and spirit, and heart and mind to fully have integrity and congruency in our life. When we embrace our authentic self, healing occurs.
The Institute of Balanced Health is a multidisciplinary Health Recovery Center that offers programs for balanced wellness, health recovery, and optimum performance. Its focus is to provide the very best, progressive yet practical, medical care anywhere, combined with unrivaled therapeutic support. This goal is accomplished by also integrating leading nutrition and fitness services, advanced methods for healing, an enlightened behavioral modification model, and incomparable lifestyle management education as vital parts of a complete health recovery program.
Our mission is to provide the best education, resources, and support for the prevention, intervention, and recovery from chronic health. The Institute is committed to the research and development of better methods to overcome limiting health and fitness conditions. We aim to lead the fight for better preventative and longevity medicine through integrating traditional and complimentary treatment methods that are proven to greatly improve the health and lives of our patients.
New scientific research and technologies are providing great breakthroughs in health recovery.
By combining advanced treatments to change the chemistry and synapses patterns of the brain and body, with the best energy medicine; cellular balance and optimum health of body, mind, heart and spirit are restored. As physical health is restored, mental processes shift, emotions are released, and self-reclamation occurs. With a new awareness patients can take the right actions and anchor empowering new behavior patterns. Better life strategies get better results, which motivates the permanent adoption of a healthier lifestyle. This supports a balanced life and continued long-term improvement of health, productivity, and meaning.
One great method of balancing is through yoga practice. It becomes a metaphor for life. In yoga the sun and moon are representative symbolically of the masculine and feminine energies.
The yoga we are most familiar with – the practicing of physical poses or asanas – is often called Hatha yoga. In Sanskrit, Ha equals sun and Tha equals moon. Together, Iyengar defines hatha as “force or determined effort.” Combined with the meaning of yoga, to “bind, join, attach,” and also “union” or “communion” we reach the understanding that the practice of hatha yoga is a joining or balancing of the sun and moon energies in the body by determined effort in order to achieve union or communion. To what is up to you.
In theory when we practice yoga we are trying to join the masculine and feminine energies of our body, thus becoming whole and achieving a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly. I participated in a yoga workshop a few years ago, in which the teacher discussed this balancing principle. He discussed masculine energy as muscular energy. It is that energy which is powerful, energetic, and giving. When you push up from plank pose, kumbhakasana, to downward-facing dog, adho muka svasana, that would be masculine energy. But once you arrive in the pose, you invoke your feminine energy to soften the upper back and the shoulders and sink gracefully into a deeper stretch. The feminine energy is what allows us to be creative, countering the strong but rigid masculine energy with a gentle breath, flexibility, and an open heart.
What amazes me is that after years of practicing yoga, I was only just discovering this concept. How did I miss it? It’s fascinating to me that in western yoga, which is so female-dominated, the feminine principal of yoga seems to play second fiddle. Is this because the main styles of yoga we practice today were male-initiated? Or is it because I myself get so logical and task driven in my male thinking, or that western society is full of those rigid, energetic masculine principles? Because we are so focused on the individual, or on attaining instead of letting go? One example is our typical yoga mat – straight and narrow. Why did it take me 10 years of yoga practice to hear a teacher say: “Go ahead and go outside your mat” be more creative!
Simple, yet it can change the whole way you practice yoga and/or life. It feels like coming home.
From this we learn a valuable lesson. Yoga is neither masculine nor feminine but both. It is strong yet soft, rigid yet fluid, it is fixed in a moment but flexible and changing always. Somewhere in there is a balance – a moment when time stops, when the ego dissolves, when our own internal yogini or yogi just is. Not in the doing but in the being. And that is yoga.
Kevin is the Programs Manager at the Institute of Balanced Health of St. George. He has over 20 years of experience in the development of programs for teens, adults and families dealing with chronic pain, addiction and life balance issues.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., and St. George Health and Wellness magazine, 2013, all rights reserved.