The Yin and Yang of Training

Tui and La, your moon and ocean, have always circled each other in an eternal dance. They balance each other, push and pull… yin and yang.

I actually struggle with moderation. Without a diet or training plan to follow, I feel lost and confused. It took me a long time to learn to trust myself to make healthy food choices and, in the end, I end up finding moderation through a balance of high and low intensity. I have periods of time where I go strict low carb and then other times when I enjoy and indulge my love of sweets. For me, that’s how moderation works: it’s a balance between yin and yang, a push and pull between strict rules and total freedom.

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Sometimes you aren’t training for a big event. There’s no race coming up, no tournament, no big game. There’s just today and your goal to live a happy healthy life. When you don’t have a big goal to go for or if your goal is behind you, you need to go from having a training plan to having a training routine; a habit that you can sustain over the long haul. Now you’re sustaining the gains: you’re not working out to get healthy, you’re working out because you are healthy. In order to stay that way and avoid injury or mental burn out, you must find balance. How can you stay active and also find rest and recovery?

I use a similar idea with my training, I like to think of my workouts as a balance between yin and yang. Yang days are active and high intensity. When I do have a class membership, these are usually class days. These are the days when I push myself to my limits. I train hard, lift heavy and give it all I have. Yin days are active recovery through stretching or some light activity. Yoga, Qi-gong, even a nice walk are all fair game on my yin days. I like to aim for about three or four Yang days per week with yin days balancing them out. This allows me to keep a solid routine of training every day in the same timeslot while taking care of my body to avoid injury.

Moderation sounds great in principle and maybe it works just fine for some people but I found it harder to stick with over the long run. I would either go too hard with my training or too lax with my diet. It took time but eventually I found a balance that I could maintain. A found a natural rhythm of relaxation and exertion that helps me keep myself healthy and happy.

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