SomaNews – June/July 2014

Exploring Yanantin


Since beginning the journey with my beloved in 1978, I have always seen our relationship as a path of growth. But recently, sitting with an incredible gentle man from Peru, I learned even more about masculine and feminine — not only what Mark and I represent, but also the masculine and feminine within each of us that supports what we create in this relationship.

A few weeks ago I had the great fortune of driving through Monument Valley and Death Valley with my beloved partner. Even though I was traveling down the road at 55 miles per hour in a metal box on wheels, I was in ceremony. Looking out the window I was awestruck by the juxtaposition of dry, stark landscape which would take me without water, and the beauty of the openness, the color of the rock of the earth, so full of courage that the winds of time have not brought it to its knees. This, to me, is yanantin.

Yanantin is a Peruvian word meaning complementary opposites.

Monument Valley

Western culture generally believes that opposites are incompatible, and thus engaged in a struggle of dominance. Yanantin suggests a paradigm of complements rather than opposites. An old story spoken in Peru goes like this:

As the feminine lies down upon her altar cloth, she sees the stars that she sees. As the masculine lies down upon his altar cloth, he sees the stars that he sees. As they lay next to each other in relationship, all the stars become visible.

On the surface, the duality of masculine and feminine may seem like one of the greatest and most challenging polarities. Yet within us are masculine and feminine energies, regardless of gender.

It is possible to refocus “from” the differences in a relationship to see the qualities that two people have only together as complementary. This is what true relationship is. It is really about how you share what you have created together and NEVER taking your partner for granted.

A practice for you and your partner:

Sit facing your partner. For a full minute look into each other’s eyes no expectations no searching, just falling into the color of their eyes. Take a deep breath and each take a turn placing your right hand on the heart of the other. Feel the person under your hand. What are the qualities your partner possesses that complement the qualities in you? Speak the qualities you see your partner possess.

Take a moment; take a breath and then switch roles.

After you complete this, have a short conversation about what qualities you may see as non-complementary. How can these seemingly opposites complement each other?

Listen to the practice:

A Day of Play! Somatic Creativity Workshop September 20

A Day of PlayJoin me in Petaluma for a Day of Play, September 20, 2014, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Discover what naturally turns on your creativity, so you can bring that forward in your daily life

Learn to live more fully in your body by building self-awareness

Learn simple but powerful somatic practices to support your ability to bring more play into your life

Enjoy the creation of community as we learn, move our bodies and play together

Create a totem to take with you as a reminder to play!