Let’s think about duality today. Our whole existence is based on duality – we learn from a very early age what’s good and bad, hot and cold, light and dark, who is a girl or a boy, tall or short, fat or skinny and so on. Without duality we won’t possess ability to understand the world the way we do.
All spiritual disciplines, including yoga, teach us how to become aware of this dualistic perspective in order to eliminate it by achieving a union where all is one. Our life is all happening in our mind anyway, so if we change our perception, then our reality changes.
Yin Yang by Stellaris
In Chinese culture and Dao tradition, the duality is represented by yin-yang symbol where yang is male qualities such as active, hot, hard, bright, positive, and yin is a complete opposite described by female qualities – receptive, cold, soft, dark, negative. (By the way, here there is a very detailed explanation on why the Yin-Yang symbol looks the way it does. I found it very interesting!)
In yoga, we also work with the duality, using Ha to represent male essence, or the Sun (Surya in Sanskrit), and Tha to represent female one, or the Moon (Chandra). That’s where hatha yoga comes from – it’s all about balancing our inner Ha and Tha. By the way, any type of yoga which includes some type of physical movements is hatha yoga so it is a generic branding, so to speak. It’s like plain yogurt. And there are many different schools and styles, which are like varieties of flavoured yogurt, for example Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kundalini, Shivananda, Vini, Universal yoga, etc. All of them are hatha yoga schools. They might emphisize different aspects of yoga but the goal is always the same – the union of Surya and Chandra, Ha and Tha, Yang and Yin.
Ha and Tha by Jason Lu
Id’ like to talk more about how this dulaity thing can be relevant to getting our lives happier and healthier, but I’ll continue next Monday. Till then, enjoy winter time and stay warm – connect to your inner Sun, and help it shine more bright by consuming warm nourishing food and beverages. Ok, that’s all for now:)
9th of Jan 2012