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A Walking Meditation for Autumn

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 19, 2017 3:56:27 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in Meditation, Yin Yang Yoga

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If you have been following my podcast you will know that Fall is the perfect and most natural time to let go of physical, mental and emotional clutter in your life.

Just as trees pull their energy inward, the leaves change colour and are released to make their bed on the forest floor, so can you call your energy back in and let go of things in your life you don't need to carry forward.

I have written about the some of the techniques you can use make more space in your life physically, mentally and emotionally, in both of my books but today I want to share a simple yet powerful practice that can help you get into the frame of mind to sort through the clutter at any level.

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Elemental Yin Yang: Which Element Are You?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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When I began studying The Five Elements of Chinese Medicine one of the most fascinating parts for me and many of my Acupuncture colleagues was the idea that each person has a constitution. 

While we are a complex mix of energies, cultural influences and sets of conditions based on our personal life circumstances, in this system each person has one Element that stands out.

The "element of primary influence" as I like to call it can be both the greatest strength and weakest link for you. While it is important to never reduce yourself or another into one particular personality type or constitution, I will say that knowing a little more about how the Five Elements work in human beings can dramatically change your relationships. 

For me and many of the students who are working with me this year, learning the element of themselves, their partner, close friends and even their students has given them the opportunity to change their perspective and offered different ways to communicate and function harmoniously.

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Yoga and Lack of Motivation (20 Day Challenge)

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 6, 2017 1:23:22 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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Yoga is a lodestone practice for many people. We turn to our mats to keep the body and mind happy and healthy. We get on the mat to work out the stagnation of careers that keep us sitting all day or working our minds to the brink of exhaustion.

For you, yoga might be the constant in a life filled with ups and downs and growing uncertainty.

But what happens when you suddenly don't feel motivated to get up and on to your mat or to your favourite class?

I have written about this before, but as we enter the summer months this topic may require another look.

The fact is some of my regular students take the summer off and then come back to their mats in September with pangs of regret that they didn't make room for yoga during those balmy months.

After that brief hiatus, the body starts to crave the rhythm and fluidity of the postures while the mind reaches to find space and clarity that a good yoga practice can provide.

And I understand completely.

While the weather is beautiful I like to spend more time outside enjoying the warmth, hiking trails, and any combination of pools or lakes I can jump into. But on those longer breaks from my yoga practice, it feels like something is missing.

Yoga is not just a physical practice afterall. It is a ritual of movement that can awaken and connect with the subconscious levels below our daily operating system. 

More and more I see how many of us need that time on the mat in order to be more aware and deliberate in the world.

That is why this summer I am determined not to let my practice wane.

But like I have mentioned so many times before on my podcast, for most of us having an accountability partner is key to helping us stay on track and stick with our commitments.

So, I want to be your accountability buddy on the mat.

Today I am opening the doors to a 20 Day Elemental Yoga Challenge. From July 1-20 I am going to create a series of videos (and a few audios) that you can follow for your daily practice. The challenge is to do at least 20 minutes of practice per day. If you have the time and energy for more you can simply pile up a few of the sessions together to great the length of your desire.

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Welcoming Winter

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 1, 2016 12:26:51 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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I just got back from the library near where I live after another fun day of volunteering. 

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What is Elemental Yin Yang Yoga

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 14, 2016 12:18:24 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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We are now just two weeks away from the launch of my brand new book Elemental Yin Yang Yoga. This book is for yoga students and teachers who want to take the themes we dive into on the mat and apply them in daily life. 

But you might be wondering...

What the heck IS Elemental Yin Yang Yoga?

The short answer is, it is a style of practice that blends the richness of Chinese Philosophy with yoga poses. Yang yoga is more flowing and vigorous while yin includes more long-held static postures.

However, the power and uniqueness of this form of yoga involves exploring the wisdom offered by the Five Elements: Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth on and off the mat.

Check out this short trailer we made about the book and a free chapter for you to read. 

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Elemental Yin Yang Yoga - Fire on the Mat

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 19, 2016 1:37:51 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in yoga teacher, yoga, Yin Yang Yoga

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Working with Fire energy this summer on and off my mat has produced big results. The one I am most excited about is that after working consistently on my book, a major section of it is complete. Today I want to share a small excerpt from the Fire chapter and specifically how this element can be used on the yoga mat. 

Fire on the Yoga Mat 

For the Elemental Yin Yang yogi, Fire practice is one of connection.Yoga after all means to “yoke” and recognizing your union with the entire universe you are part of is one simple yet profound spiritual mystery. On the mat, asana practice is the opportunity to remember that you are connected to the universe and other people both basic and profound ways.

In my Fire themed Yoga classes, for the last Yang posture (usually the most vigorous or challenging of the practice) I ask students to get into groups. In those groups the student must rely on their partners for support in the posture of the day.

At first it may be awkward.

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Elemental Yin Yang Yoga: Wood and Realizing Your Dreams

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 5, 2016 11:46:03 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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“They [the spirits of wood] endow us with the ability to discern our path, stay clear on our direction, imagine possibilities, move forward toward our goals and take a stand for what we believe is right.”

~Lori Eve Dechar “The Five Spirits” 

 

In preparation for my next retreat with my Yoga Teacher Trainees I have been writing about and contemplating the Wood element in Chinese medicine and the nature of Spring energy. 

The magic of this element can both inspire and empower you with its various themes but there are three concepts that I feel most drawn to for our work because they not only provide fertile ground to realize our life's goals and aspirations, but they are incredible meditation instructions in and of themselves. Yin Yang Yoga is more than just asana, it is a companion on your life journey. 

To understand these core characteristics of the Wood Element we can use the metaphor of a tree.

The Roots - Being Grounded

When standing in the presence of a breathtaking tree, it is easy to forget that what you are looking at is only half the picture. Below the earth is a system of roots that spread deep and wide gathering nutrients and forming the foundation for the growth that happens above the ground. Without the roots the tree wouldn’t have everything it needs to flourish and would easily be toppled at the first strong wind.

In our culture we often look at the outward achievements of someone and forget the years of "behind the scenes" work that went into their success. You can’t get a degree or build a business overnight. It takes a strong foundation to bring long term growth and success.

Being rooted as a person may not sound sexy, but if you know who you are and where you stand it, is easier to move forward with confidence towards your life goals.

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6 Minutes of Yoga For Busy People {VIDEO}

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 6, 2015 10:00:00 AM / by Erin Aquin posted in All Videos, Yin Yang Yoga, yoga, yoga for busy people

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This article was orginally created Aug 6, 2015. It has since been updated.

Yoga is a beautiful practice and lifestyle. When you make time to get on your mat you probably notice that the pace and tone of your day change drastically.

I will be spending time next month leading yoga teachers on the first part of a year long journey on Yin Yang Yoga and the 5 Elements (If you are in the area get the info hereand part of our work will be in building a sustainable home practice.

Some days however, it isn't possible to take the time needed to do a lengthy yoga practice. In fact, it would be more stressful and taxing to get to a class if you find yourself with a pile of "to-do's" that just can't wait any longer.

In my own practice, I used to struggle with busy-ness plus an "all or nothing" mentality. If I couldn't do a full 2-hour practice due to lack of time or energy, I would just skip it. This led to extended periods of time when I desperately needed to practice but didn't.

Since then, my tune has changed drastically. Now that I have a little one crawling around my house and about five major projects on the go, I can appreciate that something is better than nothing.

On days I feel squeezed for time, I insist on doing a short practice if only to remind myself how much better I feel and function when I commit to unrolling my mat.

If you need that same little boost for yourself check out these two videos for inspiration as you build even 6 minutes of yoga into your busier days.

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Get Your Yoga Practice Back On Track (even when life is busy)

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 17, 2015 6:57:00 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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It has been a big, busy month in this yogi's life!

At the beginning of the month, I completed the 5-day Miracle of Meditation retreat led by my friend Jeff Carreira where I had the opportunity to offer daily yoga classes to the participants.

The following weekend, I traveled to my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario to celebrate my marriage to the amazing Steve Haase (shameless wedding photo included here). We had a small legal ceremony last fall, but knew it would be more powerful to say our vows and bask in the love of family and friends to make our union official. And boy, was it fun!

This week also marks the beginning of my last trimester where I am experiencing the most obscure internal sensations of my life. I can't tell if this little one is practicing her high kicks or somersaults, but she sure is busy!

With all of these wonderful things happening, I will also admit it has been a struggle to keep up with my yoga practice. Between traveling, hours of wedding prep, and my belly getting bigger by the day, my personal yoga routine has been reduced and some days even edged out in favour of my "to-do" list or some much needed extra sleep.

You have probably experienced this at times in your own life. 

First, it is important to recognize that temporary changes in routine happen and you need not beat yourself up if you can't fit in your yoga practice for legitimate reasons. However, if you let your practice slide for too long, you might find yourself in the habit of never making it to your mat at all.

How to Make Room For Practice

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Erin's Top Secret Winter Yoga Playlist

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 19, 2014 4:04:12 PM / by Erin Aquin posted in Yin Yang Yoga

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The holiday's have arrived early this year, kids.

I love creating Yoga playlists for my Flow and Yin Yang classes, but like most tune loving teachers I know it is like pulling teeth to get me to part with a killer playlist and this one is almost too good to share. 

But since I love you all more than I love these songs I am willing to give up the goods.

Don't say I never gave you anything ;)

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