Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yin Yoga

Another Form of Restorative Yoga

I've been studying Yin Yoga recently. I have always been drawn to this practice. Before I ever took a formal yoga class I had my own personal stretching routine I would do in the evenings before bed. I didn't know I was doing yoga, I was just doing what my body asked me to do.

I loved sitting in an easy cross-legged seated pose and laying my body down over my legs to get a good hip stretch. Then I would move on to a wide leg fold, and legs together fold. Then I would roll down to the floor and lift my feet over my head into what I now know as Plow pose (in Yin it is called Snail). I'd stay there for quite a while, relishing the stretch in my spine. After this I would take a few reclining twists, sacrum circles and then I would just lay on the floor.

Who knew I was practicing yoga? Well, turns out I had a Yin Yoga practice before I even knew what that meant. This is what I love about Yin - it is so intuitive. It's just listening to your body and taking the stretches that you need to take. The poses are generally seated postures which use long held, gentle stretches to find ease in the body and add mobility to your connective tissue. Most poses are held for up to 5 minutes.

I'm really excited to be teaching this style of Yoga weekly this fall at Yoga North. We are calling it Restorative Flow. It will be held on Fridays from 5:15-6:30 PM. Once per month, my traditional Restorative Stations class will be offered at this time slot instead of the Yin based Restorative Flow.

For more information on Yin Yoga visit Bernie Clark's website, Paul Grilley's website, or Sarah Power's website.


Eco Yogini said...

yin yoga, i find it so interesting and SO SCARY. quieting my mind for that period of time is intimidating. however, i'm slowly moving towards incorporating more "yin" in my practice and being ok with stillness and with being alone with "me". :)

i'm glad you liked the bamboo article :)

Sara said...

Hi Eco Yogini -

Thanks for you comment. I think you can have a quiet mind with a vigorous practice too. I think some people would think that it is easier to have a quiet mind when your body is busy. So in that sense, I agree: quiet mind and body - Yikes! But really, our minds are never quiet so the practice becomes one of acceptance and contentment, of being happy with ourselves right where we are. Have fun with it.