Handpan Yin Yang

Starting August 24th, HOA is pleased to present a monthly special edition Yin Yang practice - featuring HOA other half and co-creator Jens Ringefelt on the Handpans! 

Flow through this dynamic practice to the soothing melodies of the Handpans, as HOA co-creator and facilitator Suraya guides you in balancing the Yin Yang elements of your practice. In ancient Chinese philosophy, Yin Yang represents the concept of dualism, which may seem to describe opposite or contrary forces, but in reality actually symbolise complementary, interconnected and interdependent elements in the natural world.  

In this practice, you will learn to cultivate stillness during the restorative Yin portion, while the active Yang segment will fire you up to move energy throughout the body. Whether slow and stretchy or energetic and invigorating, the ethereal rhythms of the pans will complement the pace, while using principles of sound therapy to augment your focus. 

Ahead of the session, we speak to Jens, our resident Handpan musician, about what to expect at this special edition Yin Yang session, and what Yin Yang represents for him. 

Hi Jens, to start please tell us a little bit about your instrument and its effect on the listener.

We have been using the Handpan and RAV drum, also known as 'pans' for short, to supplement our yoga and gong practices at HOA for a couple of years. After much practice we feel ready to dedicate a session that puts these instruments in the spotlight.

Usually when people hear these instruments for the first time they think it looks and sounds like an old instrument, but actually the pans were created less than 20 years ago. A well made Handpan is tuned to create harmonics with a deep fundamental and rich overtones. This creates unique layered and textured sound that is so attractive to the human ear.

Pans are percussive instruments that can also create melody and that makes them perfect for yoga. Playing live allows the me to follow the teacher's voice and adjust the tempo and feeling of the sound to match the movements and postures.

How does the sound of the pan reflect Yin Yang elements? 

Just like Yin Yang, a pan can both push and pull the player. When playing I often feel like the melody creates itself through my intuition. The sound of one note pulls me to play the next leading to a melody borne out of pure inspiration. Sometimes I have a particular sound I want to create and that's when the pan pushes me to explore new ways to play.

Every pan has a unique scale that is often rare and not used in mainstream music. Combined with the unique sound this adds a mysterious, sometimes mystical, feel. Using more than one pan accentuates this feeling allowing the player to move from dark to light tones to reflect different elements: darker tones for grounding, lighter tones for opening.

Lastly, what does Yin Yang mean to you? 

You mean like the Yin Yang pendant I wore when I was in middle school, I thought that I was pretty cool. Today perhaps not so much. Now I see Yin Yang more like the day and the night, masculine and feminine. To me everything is connected so nothing is in opposition, they are just different sides of the same energy.

During the Handpan Yin Yang session I want to create this dynamic with Suraya as she guides the practice. We have a connection that lets us read each other not just by speaking but through our expression. By following the intonation of her voice I hope to create the sounds that brings the session to life.

Thank you Jens!

Come experience the healing sounds of the Handpan in complementing a wholly reinvigorating and restorative Yin Yang practice. Book your spot today

Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA