In 2008 I spent one month with the Thai Massage Circus family in Greece, 2008. What a fabulous month we had, a thai yoga massage retreat for advanced practitioners. The retreat covered areas of biomechanics, anatomy, Chinese medicine, osteopathy, pregnancy, shiatsu and how to incorporate such aspects in our Thai massage practice. Learning how to give from the heart and listen to the silence of the body and the breath. We practised daily yoga and meditation and ate delicious, nutritious food.
One our classes was a Yin Yoga class with Biff Mithoefer and I was addicted from the start. With the doors wide open to the Greek mountains, the gentle sounds of a bell around a goat’s neck, candle light and Biff reading poetry whilst we were sinking into the asana. Delicious and Biff’s style of teaching, depth of knowledge and quite stillness was an inspiration.
I was therefore delighted to complete teacher training in Yin Yoga in early 2016, fulling a dream of 8 years. With the added element of mindfulness alongside, creating a potent mix of deeply nourishing relaxation.
When I heard Biff was coming to London in June 2016, to deliver 2 yin yoga workshops I took the opportunity, meet with a friend from the circus and off we went.
In the Taoist view of the cosmos, all that has been manifested is made up of the apparent dualistic relationship of Yin and Yang. In the indigenous cultures of the world, this relationship is often expanded and seen in terms of our relationship with the 4 directions, the seasons, the elements, and our four inherent natures: Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionary.
In the two day workshop we looked at our Yin practice through the archetypes of Warrior and Healer.
PATH OF THE WARRIOR
The Warrior archetype is associated with the direction of the North, the season of winter, and the element of air. The way of the warrior is not about force or power as we often think of it in our western cultures, but true Warriorhood is our willingness to show up and be present with what is true in our lives. It is about our ability to remain flexible and able to learn.
PATH OF THE HEALER
The Healer archetype is associated with the direction of the south, the season of Spring, and the element of air. The path of the healer is the path of compassion and loving kindness. In order to be fully open hearted and compassionate we must first practice acceptance, for it is only through acceptance that equanimity and compassion can grow.
It was such a joy to see Biff again, 8 years on and now a yin yoga teacher myself. My friend and I were blissed out after our practice and yet again confirmed the profound power of these practices to bring peace and balance to our lives.