I’ve been meaning to do a post on the continuum between the physical and mental realm of our activities in daily life. The more physical biased situations in life would be more Yang or stress energy, sympathetic nerve system distribution of the autonomics. The more mental would be more Yin in Chinese medicine or parasympathetic, more meditative, calming, on the other side.
Here’s how it works.
The physical side here, the Yang side, mind side get the Yin. There’s always elements of both within each other. Here more Yang activities requiring less mental. There’s always mental involved but lifting weight, just focusing on the physical. Running maybe allows you to be a little more mental, depends on the intensity. That’s where the mind checks out. The conscious mind checks out when the intensity rises. You just want to get through the task, will yourself through it. You don’t want to be doing that stuff all the time. Walking can become quite meditative. As you see, the less physical intensity or exertion, you become more mental and this allows you to balance your body out.
Over here would be prayer and meditation. Still meditation. Very much mental. Mental, spiritual but there’s always elements of the physical within that as well. You’re breathing, you’re moving energy, you’re never totally still. You have to have stillness in the maelstrom of motion and you must have motion in the tranquility of stillness so there’s always elements of both. It took me awhile to figure that out.
What we’re going to work on today is understanding from the Western standpoint, what we call it the autonomic nerve system. You have the parasympathetics which are the throttled down side akin to the Yin side. Yin is associated with female energy. Sympathetic or stress response side is more associated with the Yang side of things, the male energy.
Here’s a really interesting thing though. About 15 years ago I was very low on energy. I had been pushing it in this Yang side of training, not allowing enough Yin recovery. I’d been pushing it in stress response, stress response, biking like crazy, lifting like crazy. I wasn’t allowing enough down time. You have to allow allow the ground to lie farrow, is my point. Well, I had a patient of mine, David Winston, a renowned herbalist and naturopath look at my tongue and he told me I was deficient in heart Yin. The heart energy cycle and the Yin energy, the recovery energy, I was depleted in recovery energy.
You see, if you’re depleted in recovery energy or stillness you’re eventually not going to be able to fuel the male or action side of things. You’re only as strong as you recover so we have to, in our daily lives, look to move through these poles. You don’t want to go completely to one pole or the other but here is the throttle down side, here is the throttle up side so here you are.
You wake up in the morning and you’re going to move into this more sympathetic realm, stress response realm. As you go through your busy day you’ll come out of that and then you relax at night, then you go into sleep and relaxation. Then you’re going to come out, you’re going to move between these two poles, you’re going to have balance. Ideally, we’d like to have a little less stress and a little more recovery, that would be a nice balance. You always want to have your capacities to be greater than your demands.
Here’s New Jersey, you’re all the way over here. Stress side, not enough of this. You see, as we go through this continuum we want to look at exercises, we want to look at nutritional components, we want to look at things that balances this Yin Yang continuum. Check out my post on Qigong to see who easy and effective it can be.
Anyway, work on balance, you don’t want to live in one pole or the other. Get out of the Western, traumatized stress cycle and work on allowing your ground to lie fallow. Have a great day.