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Yin & Yang Yoga with Simon Low. Acacia; acacialifestyle.com
Taoist Yoga, the combination of passive (yin) and vigorous (yang) yoga practices, is rooted in the idea that, in order to create balance in your overall practice, you need to alternately exert and quiet yourself. In traditional yoga, this pair of complementary wings is known as abhyasa (practice) and vairagya (dispassion). On this DVD, the 30-minute yang practice consists primarily of a flowing sequence of standing postures, much like an extended Sun Salutation, though it includes graceful movements adapted from Taoist Yoga. The hour-long yin sequence is performed almost entirely reclining or sitting, for the most part draped over a bolster.
Low, the cofounder of London’s Triyoga Studio, says he’s influenced by qi gong and Oki-do Yoga. His yang instructions, because of the practice’s nonstop movement, are relatively clipped, though he dresses them up with captivating phrases like “draw down the Sun and the Moon,” presumably from his East Asian training. His yin instruction is for the most part physical, which is helpful in staying grounded in your body during the several minutes spent in a passive position. Sturdy in his yang incarnation, soothing as a yin avatar, Low provides a pair of enjoyable ways for advanced beginners and beyond to kick back or punch out the stops.