“…I believe that ‘slowness’ is a power that we can and must bring to our magic because the modern need for speed has invaded this practice too. A while back, I picked up a book [of swift spells]. I was struck by the word associations – to be modern is to be speedy, swift and efficient. I am very keen to represent a counter idea – of slow magic: easeful rituals, gentle enchantment and leisurely spells, as well as magic to be found within the process of slowing down and being still. Not as a ‘better’ option, but merely a different one, something that maybe we can embrace, so that we can have options to take things slowly when the mood takes us, or seek it out in our practice. This is the heart of yin magic.”
—Sarah Robinson, Yin Magic
Are you afraid of being still? This is the question that kept arising for me as I made my way slowly through Yin Magic, by Sarah Robinson and published by Womancraft Publishing. Sometimes the most meaningful books are those that take me the longest to read. Yin Magic is a companion book to Yoga for Witches (previously reviewed here), but it also beautifully stands alone. In the book, Sarah invites you to, “dare to inquire: what could stillness look like for me? What does stillness from the busyness of my life look like?”
After practicing yoga daily for eighteen years, I briefly attended an in person yin yoga class. At the first one, as I laid on the mat in Savasana, I felt tears in my eyes. I felt “taken care of” in some way for the first time in months. One of the reasons I started practicing yoga in the first place is because it brings me down—in a good way!—instead of revving too high, as my natural inclination is to do. I find holding the poses for extended periods, unlocks or unkinks something within me that is more than physical, it feels emotional and mental as well. Sarah explains this well: “Yin invites us to cool the flames in stillness. Here we can rest, recharge, relax, soothing stress, anxiety and overwhelm, as well as stretching tense muscles and overworked bodies. When we do so, we release the emotional stresses that are held, according to Chinese medicine, within the tissues of the body.”
A timely and helpful read, Yin Magic is medicine for our times. I love how Sarah blends together yoga with magic with psychology and self-reflection. It is a nourishing, intentional, multilayered approach to mindful life and movement.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review. Opinions reflected within are entirely my own.