Yin is slow, making it accessible for all

Yin is slow. I usually like to spend about 5-7 min in each pose. This gives ample time for them to soak into the target areas, and it gives me plenty of time to check on the students.

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I am blessed with a repertoire of props available @belive_practice, they are used extensively by the students for comfort and also to better access the target areas. To quote Jivana, founder of Accessible Yoga, “[when we shift] our understanding of yoga away from the perfect images we see in magazines and social media, we expand our perceptions of yoga and how it can serve the diversity of humankind.”

Here, we adapt the posture to the person, instead of the person to the pose. And thus, one pose, many forms and shapes. It is so heartening to watch how one who might be resistance to the use of props initially, begin to reach out for them so skillfully after few lessons.

As a Yin teacher, I hold space for magic to happen. Trusting the process; the breath soften, the heart opens, the mind sees.

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生命不是单直线

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我们心里都有一个自我主宰的方向仪。那是硬体-软体;务实-梦想;冲动-考量;悸动-分析;感性-理性两极的迷离空间。生命谓之曲折的,运动的,螺旋形地发展着。有人渐行渐远,有的左右徘徊,有的不偏不移。物极必反,过而不及。这是阴阳,即是易。

筹备新教室,一开始满脑子都是为了硬体而忙 – 预算,找铺,装潢,选材,采购,等货,签货,安装。体会到梦想是如此脆弱易碎,差点就死在硬体的五指山下。

The Be.Live Practice 衷于把当下的自我感官作为生活的修习。这修习不会并行不悖,他有矛盾也有挣扎。我们试着把这崎岖的生活规律程融入在设计概念里。

我们把《生命不是单直线》做为设计理念。从名字的设计到壁上的人体素描都以流畅不间断的线条完成。崎岖但说这故事。

我们也试着把社区的故事融入馆内。墙上画作的装框和安装是找了邻里的一家老店,uncle Steve 还为了赶在开幕日前完工,提前关店来帮我们安装。提供开放日茶点的是隔着一条街的西果饼店。店主秉着对烘培的热诚,以无糖无人工添加物的烘焙方式把满满的热诚放进糕点里。

瑜伽始于生命,源于日常。教室始于社群,源于故事。Be The Practice.

Life is not a Straight Line

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What started out as a “yoga passion project” has found a home – a brand new yoga studio located at Arc 380 Singapore, with its official opening today.

In this journey of setting up a yoga practice, I got to know of stories from those who attend our classes, on how yoga changed their lives “off the mat”, but I also got to know people we do business with in our community at Jalan Besar.

Jalan Besar is thriving with many entrepreneurs. Some have lived and worked here for many years – like Uncle Steve Chan who helped framed our pictures. Others have moved in more recently, hoping to make a career out of their passion – like Christine of Simple Indulgence Patisserie. She believes in only using natural ingredients in her handmade cakes and pastries (which we served today).

The studio (and the new design language “Life is not a Straight Line”) is dedicated to all these amazing life stories and to our yoga practice. (If you look closely, the logo and portraits are hand-drawn in one continuous line.)

Many thanks to talented designers, artists and craftspeople who helped translate that vision into reality! Thank you Chris Chong (for the initial inspiration), Eunice Hee (for the logo design), Hao Weikai (for drawing all the yoga poses), Chee Peng Neo (for digitising the drawings) and Jake, Arjuna & Javier of NIJ Design Concept Pte Ltd for putting every element together.

It takes a community to make a Home ❤️🙏🏻😄.

The importance of mid-day beauty sleep (子时大睡,午时小憩)

Mid day rest

The theory of Yin and Yang (阴阳) is fundamental to the practice of Chinese Medicine in terms of understanding, diagnosing, and treating health issues. In fact, the theory of Yin and Yang dated back as far as 700 B.C. to the I-Ching (易经). Yin and Yang are distinctively Chinese in terms of perception of profound fundamental principles and as an expression of a unique way of viewing the world and the greater universe (macro). Yin and Yang are the two energies that embody Universal law, which ensures that all things remain in harmony.

Treatment in Chinese Medicine seeks to balance these two forces within our body (our body as a micro-universe), by regulating primarily two elements in our body: Qi and Blood (气血). More importantly, the treatment effects could be augmented if it is synchronized with the Yin Yang forces at the macro level. It is said that if you can “understand Yin and Yang, you can hold the universe in your hands” (故阴阳四时者,万物之始终也,生死之本也,逆之则灾害生,从之则苛疾不起,是谓得道 – 《素问,四神调神大论》)

The Yin and Yang attributes are not absolute but relative. A concept like day has no meaning without the concept of night. This relativity means that under extreme conditions, Yin and Yang can be transformed into each other (物极必反). Here, we see the transformation of Yin and Yang each day: 11pm to 1am at midnight (“zi” hour,子时), and 11am to 1pm at midday (“wu” hour, 午时).

There is a Chinese saying, “to be in deep sleep by “zi” hour, and to rest the mind during “wu” hour” (子时大睡,午时小憩). At the “zi” hour (子时), the body is Yin: the body is making its transition to Yang. Body regeneration and healing are thought to happen in this window, which is why it’s the gallbladder’s time to shine. The gallbladder works to excrete bile and digest healthy fats. Detoxification, repair and regeneration takes over. This process of regenerating old cells to new cells can only take place at night, during your sleep. This is also to prepare our body for the next day as the Yang gradually swell, and the body’s physiological functions progressively turn from rest to excitement.

A lesser known fact is that, it is as important to rest our body during the “wu” hours (午时), 11am to 1pm as we see our body transit from Yang to Yin. Yang gradually declines, and the body’s physiological functions change from excitement to inhibition (子午之时,阴阳交接,极胜极衰… … 必欲静卧,以侯气夏).

Instead of choosing a high impact work-out during lunch hour, it is wiser to choose one that allow you to rest the mind and body . Alternatively, end lunch slightly earlier, find a quiet spot in your office, close your eyes and rest the mind for 5-10 min. This is extremely helpful to “reset” the mind and nourish the Yang in our body, in preparation for the second half of the day.

To know more about the Yin Yang theory of Chinese Medicine, check out the series of Chinese Medicine based Yin yoga workshops that Jensen will be co conducting with Physician Goh You Li in Feb 2020.
For more details on the workshops, please check out the link:
https://forms.gle/fGJbBiLse4rfq3REA

References:
https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/
https://www.meandqi.com/…/what-are-yin-and-yang-in-chinese-…
https://thechalkboardmag.com/chinese-body-clock-waking-up-a…
https://www.wellandgood.com/…/chinese-medicine-bod…/slide/2/
《思考中医,刘力红》、中医养生学讲义。

道、法、术 时空交汇的交响曲

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一位练习阴瑜伽的女学生(昵称:子鱼)得知明年我将开办一系列中医与阴瑜伽的课程,她贴心的为课程摘要附上释文。她表示,经过一段时间的练习,身体与精神也变好了,望能进绵薄之力,让更多人能爱上它。要爱就得先认识啊,她说道。为此贴心的附上中文解说,用意是让中文阅读者也能受益。

前天夜里,喜获释稿。甚感欣慰,微笑入眠。

中医和阴瑜伽有什么牵连?又或者你和很多人一样心中尚存疑问-阴瑜伽不也就是一个用来锻炼身体的健身方式吗。何敢说阴瑜伽能调节身体机能?

《以道御术》,何为道,何为术?

这四个字最能贴切地形容阴瑜伽。 以道御术原文 “至道之宗,奉生之始”出现在 《黄帝内经》第一章。黄帝内经讲的是“道” 和“宗”,而中医技法和瑜伽体式法,正是万变不离其宗的“术”,所以综合起来就是以道御术啰。

阴瑜伽理念由道家为根本,体式以“道”(从容,无为,平衡)为根本, 进退有度讲究方“法”。 利用规律,很好地借助辅助工具如抱枕、泡沫砖、伸展带、筋膜球, 采用最好的技“术”,如更换体式来配各人的骨骼构造所带来的局限、或中医五行经络理论来完成阴瑜伽的使命。

在瑜伽的练习中,若有术无道,那跟杂耍特技有什么差别呢?

道比术更能让你走得更远更久。朋友说的对,当你体力透支了,开始力不从心,发现已经做不到之前轻易达成的体式,真正的瑜伽才刚刚开始。才能从中其精髓及奥妙。

我们接着说,穴位按摩大家应该听过吧。那我们从简单的开始 — 穴位按摩大家应该听过吧。头痛时会找手背上大指和食指凹陷处的合谷穴 (如下)。腹胀不适时,我们会不知觉的揉揉肚子。眼睛干涩时,我们会按按眉棱骨上的鱼腰、攒竹穴舒压。

合谷

阴瑜伽和中医引导术的六大技法中的针刺、导引、按跷(按摩))本就是一脉相承。每个姿势要停留一段时间,才能透彻地滋养经络,就象针灸一样,下针后不会立刻把针拨出来以刺激脉络的循环。练体式时当身心处于一种安静祥和的状态,真气就会发动,再通过保持几分钟特定的动作,就可以引导真气滋养经络。一系列的动作,可以给全身的经络做按摩,类似于气功中的“以形引气”。

阴瑜伽是美国瑜伽导师兼医学博士Paul Grilley 在80年代初期创立的一个流派。 瑜伽撮合人体的结缔组织导入道家的阴阳形态平衡理论和中医经络学技法以达到调节人体气机的升降出入。持续通过锻炼可以调节身体“气”的流动,以活络身体的能量。

瑜伽和中医源于千年前的古印度和古中华。因文化体系的不同,发展出来的东西各异,但神奇的是理论原理相似。不排除资讯的交换和学士的交流,我更深信是道法归一。

道法自然。不论什么瑜伽体系,只要以寻道为初心,自能走出属于自己的悟道途径。

瑜君同行,且行且珍惜。

谢谢子鱼献文,部分摘从《鱼.我是瑜伽人》

明年我会与Goh You Li 中医师一同协办一系列中医与阴瑜伽的课程。
有兴趣的朋友,链接里附加详情

 

Yin Yoga retreat at Dubai

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We were at Dubai from 16 – 21 Nov 2019. We had a great time with the 7 yin practitioners who joined us for the trip. We had 2 yoga practices each day – an invigorating practice in the morning and a yin practice in the late afternoon. Apart from visiting a number of iconic sights, we got to learn more about the Emirati culture and customs at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

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We get to learn about their food and their customs and culture.91ead886-ab2e-4a77-a97f-9acbd523d568

The highlight of the trip was definitely the Desert Safari sunset tour.

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We got to watch La Perle – a live masterpiece, produced by legendary Creative Director Franco Dragone. La Perle is a breathtaking fusion of immersive artistic performances, imagery and technology.

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It is not all play with no serious work. We practised hard on the mat each day too.

 

 

 

We ended the retreat with our signature Yin + Kirtan sing a long session.

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Our hearts are filled with their warmth, generosity and positive spirit! Namaste.

 

New Beginnings

I am excited to share with you that we have found a permanent home for The Be.Live Practice which will give us more opportunities to share our love for Yin practice to a larger community.

Our new home is located at a brand new office building, ARC380 at 380 Jalan Besar Road, very near CTHub2, which is where we currently run our classes. Our new studio is located on the 6th floor (#06-01), with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city.

Studio pic

We held our first classes at our new home at ARC 380 on 20 Oct 2019. It was our ‘soft opening’, with a couple more finishing touches to go. Everyone who came (and those who couldn’t be here) were so gracious with their well wishes and plenty of encouragement ❤️. Thank you and we are grateful 🙏🏻.

We hope to share the space with you soon if you have not visited us. XOXO

阴瑜伽与中医学 (Yin Yoga & TCM)

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光阴荏苒,两年的中医助理课一转眼就结束了。
每个周六日早上,秉着求知的态度,按时到大巴窑中华医学院上课。
这样的生活规律早已成为一种习惯。
明天,将是第一个不用上课的周末,一个需要适应的新生活。

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经络学是阴瑜伽很重要的一个练习要领,这也是引导我更想了解中医的最大推动力。
这两年的学习,上了九门课程。虽只学了皮毛,但足以感受他的博大精深。

天人合一分阴阳,脏腑生克归五行,还有六淫和七情。有外感,有内伤,瘀血血瘀分不清。
望闻问切为四诊,看舌摸脉大学问,六经辩证表传里。有寒热,有表里,虚实夹杂难辨明。
中药种类广多杂,四气五味还归经。
方剂学来像作战,君臣佐使如排兵。
理法方药皆为实,不传之秘在剂量。
中西医理探疾病,两者互辅无短长。
肺大胃脾心小肠,点穴刮痧样样尝。
膀肾包焦胆肝乡,拔罐针灸盐和姜。
推拿手法最实际,柔来滚去一指禅。
终章小儿推拿术,补泻都在小手掌。
最终测试超紧张,两两分组抽无常,手法治疗都要考。有检查,有复建,松通顺动见真章。

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中医易学难精,要真正钻入要恒心更要毅力,确实不易。
很庆幸有机会串了门医古文课,他让我认识到文字的美,以文学文化的角度看待人生和生命。
最后借孙思邈的大医精诚与此勉之,“不得恃己所长,专心经略财物,但作救苦之心,与冥运道中,自感多福者耳。”

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Another Fundraising initiative for Parkinson Society Singapore

Breathe: Spreading Love through Yin Yoga

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This is the second time we hold a fundraising event “Breathe: Spreading Love through Yin Yoga” for the Parkinson Society Singapore. Coincidentally, it falls on the same weekend as the International Yoga Day, which makes it even more meaningful.

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We kick off our fundraising event with an introduction and sharing by Neo Siew Hiong, the Centre Manager of the society. Do you know parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects between 6,000 to 8,000 people in Singapore. While the average age at onset is 60, some people are diagnosed at 40 or younger.

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Love gathered us together. With love, we see beyond differences that separate us from others. Without which, even the tiniest disagreement can turn into a full scale war. In a yin practice, we learn to embrace the discomfort that arose from the poses. We cultivate equanimity by allowing the breath to soothe our mind. We start to appreciate that pleasure and pain may be part and parcel of life, but happiness and sufferings are outcomes of choices we make.

A big thank you to the Yinsters who joined us that afternoon. I felt so much love when we sang the Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu mantra together at the end of the practice.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit mantra which means:

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

Namaste. ☘️☘️☘️

Yin Yoga retreat at Ubud, Bali

We’re in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia this week for a yoga retreat! The day begins early with an energetic morning yoga session, followed by a hearty breakfast and then some sightseeing before returning to the resort for an evening yin yoga practice.

The team of 16 Yinsters dedicated time for self-care, which is a great way to recharge our body, mind and soul. I am so honoured to share my love of Yin yoga with this group who is always ready to learn more.

Enjoy a nice warm cup of coffee.(1)7d89c3c7-e71c-4664-8b55-08a3fe8f6eadbab3760c-78ee-40d2-bad2-941e1f43928cdfd30af4-ffa8-4390-9579-3e9a00d231b2

Together as one, we created a community of love and compassion.