Developing a Hot Body and Cool Mind
There are two things that the yoga practice aims to bring into harmony; the sun and the moon. This is where we get the term, hatha yoga. The sun is the embodiment of our vitality and health. It is a vibrancy and pulse that creates radiance in our being. The moon is the embodiment of our mental calmness and serenity. It is the balancing force to the sun. My teacher often references this state of vibrant-clarity as the “hot body, cool mind.”
One of the common things we see in modern day posture practice is that the dial has been turned up too high on vitality and too low on stability. The result for many practitioners, is fatigue and agitation. It is a challenging feat to balance the two. For one, fatigue is often hard to discern from calm. It may take hours before radiance fades into lethargy. Agitation has an energizing quality to it making it hard to separate from vitality. However, when we develop true vitality with a stable mind, there is a lasting effect, an unmistakable feeling of calm and energy to support the day.
The only way to learn to differentiate the two is by utilizing our interoceptive awareness and breath in every pose. By learning to pay attention to what we are feeling and experiencing, and letting the breath dictate the efficacy of our efforts, we can ensure that the sun and moon are in perfect harmony.