One reason Bend is such an awesome community is because of all the activities we have. Biking (both mountain and road), hiking, backpacking, and kayaking, along with all the snow sports available in the winter months, gives an almost endless space to get out and be active. When not out in nature, people readily go to the gym to lift weights, do cross-fit training, or go to barre class. Where it is important to be active and fit, it is also important to balance your workouts.
Yin and Yang (often mispronounced with a long “a”, as in sang, it is actually pronounced like the word long) are the dual aspects of the universe, and the balance of the two produce the balance we seek in our lives. Yang is warmth, light, and motion; the activities listed earlier are Yang in nature. These activities are all about movement and building, essential to keeping the body fit and healthy. And where these activities can be good for the mental state, it is also necessary to incorporate activities in your day that are more geared towards the Yin.
Yin is cold, darkness, and quietude. When we participate in Yin type activities, we give our body time to recuperate and we give our mind time to relax and actually be more aware of what we are feeling in both our body and our thoughts. These activities are usually a great exercise for our breath and normally provide the stretches we often pass up on our quest for another hill to climb or the next increase in weight to lift. In China, activities such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong are used for this purpose. These exercises use slow movements and coordinated breath to help quiet the mind and produce a relaxation throughout the body. While finding a place to participate in these activities may be difficult, yoga is another activity that can be incorporated for balance. Yoga provides a chance to stretch and bring focus to your breath in a way to find inner peace and control.
I know it’s more fun to go fast than to go slow, but finding a balanced workout will improve the activities you enjoy and provide balance in all the aspects of life!