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Iron and Silk: Balancing Power and Grace by Nina Crist

04/22/2021 6:43 AM | Anonymous

Are there moments when you feel your strength isn’t supporting you physically, emotionally, or spiritually? Or times that you had excess energy and wished you had softened to allow for more ease for yourself and others, allowing for your inner grace to shine through? Life has a way of providing opportunities to feel into the depths of self whether we are up for it or not. The ancient teachings of martial arts and yoga help to navigate energetic ups and downs and inform one’s response to them, supporting a life of vitality and ease.

Yoga postures, pranayama, and meditation infused with martial arts are a profound practice to connect with your inner yin (passive) and yang (active) energies. We all possess the qualities needed to balance these energies as they flow in and out of our daily living. Whether there is an excessive flow of energy or a feeling of depletion, these ancient teachings offer guidance and tools to balance these energies along the journey of life. Each one of us is unique, while at the same time there are universal laws of energy that determine and truly dictate our way of being in the world. The practices of yoga and kung fu together offer a unique pathway to balance the inner energy that helps us move with more clarity.

As the the tides of life rise and fall, ebb and flow, the practice on your mat offers a greater depth of wisdom that can inform your actions and decisions in day to day life. These practices teach the universal principles of energy efficiency, such as redirection of energy and balancing yin and yang, and are reflected in how we manage our inner and outer environment. As you step back on the mat each day, your life experiences offer a greater depth of receptivity to the teachings nourishing and taking root within each fiber of your being. As the waves of life approach, yoga and kung fu reset the motor system and enable one to rise above and relax into a flow. Guided by breath, one can conserve energy and move more efficiently.

In life there are times when it is helpful to muster up strength and energy to move through a challenge and also times when finding ways to yield and harmonize with life is the wiser choice. These practices empower us to have the ability to see and recognize situations as yin and yang and fortify us with the ability to respond accordingly. Being with sensation and fluctuations of energy on the mat teaches us how to integrate these principles off the mat in everyday circumstances. Moving between yin and yang, we are always sensing and flowing to allow for balance, homeostasis, and abundance in our life.

Life is the ongoing dance of managing energy. Regardless of gender, we learn when it is time to draw upon our feminine energy of receptivity and gentleness, nourishment, and affection and when to increase our masculine energy of direction, commitment, determination, and kindness. This awareness gives us insight into what our best looks like and feels like so we can walk in the world with more confidence, ease, power, and grace.

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