Duality Language Yoga, or Duality Yoga, uses a type of linguistic translation to reveal the one-sided nature of the English language. Duality expresses itself in terms of pairs of opposites (good/bad, happy/sad, right/wrong…). Often only one side of the pair is expressed, but because these two sides go hand in hand, the other side is there, simply hidden (I’ll explain this more in the examples). The translation works by looking at a thought or phrase and swapping out one side of pairs of opposites for the other side. The practitioner then imagines the thought or phrase from this opposite side of the spectrum. This exercise expands one’s consciousness by revealing what is hidden in the subconscious shadow. When I can understand how that opposite side is as equally true as the original, I have earned a greater understanding of myself, and will be less likely to project imbalance and harm out onto the world at large.
For example, take the quote: “Do the right thing.” The one-sided pair that I see is the word “right.” Translating this sentence reveals: “Do the wrong thing.”
Now imagine this scenario…doing the wrong thing…
This is the shadow work. What comes up when you think of “wrong” things? It probably feels uncomfortable, right? It‘s okay, let it out. By facing these aspects of self one can own them so that one doesn’t suppress them and project them later. Take murder for example. Murder? Not me I say! Wait, what about wars my country wages where innocent civilians are killed. What about that turkey I ate for Thanksgiving, or those bugs I splattered driving the other day. Ouch, I guess I am capable of murder, too. Ideally I could change my behavior–not support war, eat vegetarian or not drive my car–but that may not be feasible. The least I can do is not project that other people‘s wrongness is worse than mine. I’m not saying murder is okay, I just don’t think the murderer is worse than me because as much as I hate to admit it, I take part in murder too. Seeing my shadow aspects helps me expand my consciousness so that I can have more understanding of people rather than blaming them. Then I might actually be able to truly help rather than thinking that locking them away and out of sight makes those problems go away.
Another example I want to touch upon is the common phrase “Be Happy.” The one-sided pair in this sentence is the word “happy,” so the Duality Yoga translation reveals “Be Unhappy,” be sad, angry, or even numb. Suffer. Did you know that the word passion literally means, ‘to suffer?’ There is passion in life, pain mixed with joy; a merging of opposites again and again to make new and meaningful creations of transcendence. For example, take a serious look at the state of the world. Sure there are reasons to be happy, and there are also reasons to be upset. Hiding behind the mask of happiness doesn’t help me face the problems I see all around me, especially the conflicts within my own psyche. Like weeds in the garden, when I ignore my problems they tend to grow more out of control. Facing my unhappiness and learning to deal with what is at the root of it is how I find my passion and purpose in life, and this passion and purpose is what ultimately leads to lasting happiness. The happiness comes from facing the unhappiness and learning from it. Now do you see how there is unhappiness hidden in the shadow of happiness, how both sides go hand in hand? Because of this insight, I have shifted from saying, “Be Happy” to “Be Balance” instead.
Sometimes I do the wrong thing. Sometimes I feel unhappy. By seeing the shadow aspects in me it is easier for me to understand them in others. Rather than blaming others or covering up my true emotions, I learn from them and take ownership for my own behavior and work to change it. Practicing Duality Yoga allows me to see the world through the lens of both sides of the pairs of opposites and this opens me up to the full spectrum of possibilities. I don’t know where my center is until I explore the poles of my existence, so by integrating both sides of the pairs of opposites, I actually have a chance at maintaining balance and coming into harmony with myself and my world.
Duality Yoga is a recently discovered technique and what I have explored here is just the tip of the iceberg of what this tool has to offer. I’m not the guru, just someone who is playing with this technique. Don’t follow me…use the tool yourself and see what new insights you discover. If you want to share, I would love to listen to your experience. With balance!