So, as many of you will already know, I love a bit of Capoeira. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art, some describe it as a dance. I would describe it as a Brazilian Butt Lift without the surgery…

It’s a complete contrast to my yoga teaching style, which is very yin – relaxed, gentle, focussing inwards, being compassionate towards ourselves, nurturing ourselves.

I’ve just come off a Zoom class with my Capoeira teacher. One of the benefits of lockdown for me was getting back to regular fitness sessions, Capoeira being one part of that. When I tore the ligament in my knee (surfing, totally random incident) in November 2018 that put a stop to it. Later, I struggled to make one class per week when I had to travel there after a hectic day at the clinic. But now I get to enjoy 3 classes per week online. It’s ideal, and I am loving it.

So during this particular class our teacher quotes that very common saying – ‘No pain, no gain’. I cringed. I hate that saying. I don’t believe in it at all. However, it struck me that it’s all Yin and Yang baby…

One of my favourite sayings – it’s all Yin and Yang.

We need both –

The darkness and the light,

The soft and the strong.

The gentle and the powerful.

The feminine and the masculine.

It’s all got its place in this world, it’s a constant dance between the two. We should nurture both within ourselves, and observe and acknowledge both in our external world.

And so I came to an awareness of my place in this world. Through my work I offer the yin to all that yang out there. I help to restore balance. Yin is not better than yang, it’s not necessarily in opposition with yang, but it complements yang, the two can only exist together.

We get into trouble when the two are out of balance. We get injured, we get stressed, we get sick, our relationships become challenging, we go off our path.

When we are all yang, we really need to make some time for yin. When we are always working, we need to make time for rest; when we are always demanding so much from our bodies during exercise, we also need something slow and gentle to complement that; when we are always the strong one, we need to be vulnerable sometimes.  I know all my lone-wolves will flinch at that last bit, I see you… It’s hard for me to accept that too, I hate being vulnerable. But it’s all yin and yang baby…

The reverse is also true. If we are all yin, we can benefit from introducing more yang. It’s about balance.

So next time you hear ‘No pain, No gain’, think of me, and don’t forget the yin!

And if you’d like more yin in your life join me for online yoga classes or get your name down for private studio classes with social distancing measures in place, which I’ll be able to offer real soon. If you need more yang, I’ve got your back, I can also offer fitness programmes and personal training now (new qualifications, I’ve been busy as usual).

I look forward to seeing you all soon. In the meantime, look after yourselves and look after each other.