Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yin Yoga Infant Series Video

BeYou.TV says:

Join Paul Grilley, Yin Yoga's foremost proponent, for a comprehensive introduction to this quiet yet profound practice. Yin Yoga is not just another brand name of yoga postures, but the expression of theories derived from Chinese Medicine and Taoism. The fundamental tenet of Taoism is that all things can be describe by their mutually complementary Yin and Yang aspects, and that by balancing these aspects we bring more harmony into the world around and inside us.




If this video link doesn't work for you, view it on YouTube by clicking here. Or, if you would like to watch the entire video (1 hour 10 minutes) you can download it at BeYou.TV.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

4 Tenets of Yin Yoga

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga is a calm, meditative practice which employs long held, seated postures which focus on stretching the connective tissues of the body such as the fascia, ligaments, tendons and joints. It is a balancing practice to "Yang" styles of yoga such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Hatha. (Yang practices focus more on muscles vs. connective tissue.) Although Yin is a slow practice it can be just as challenging as a faster paced posture practice. Stretches are deep and we are playing our edge all the time. It is important while doing Yin Yoga to really focus on what your body is telling you and never go past your edge into pain.

I found a great article from Yoga Journal on the safest way to practice Yin Yoga:

The 4 tenets of Yin Yoga
1. Find an Appropriate Edge

As you enter a pose, move slowly and gently into the suggested shape—without a picture of how far you should go. As Sarah Powers says, "There's no aesthetic ideal; there's no end result we're looking for." Pause and listen to the body. Wait for feedback before moving deeper into the posture. Many people, especially dancers and athletes, have lost much of their sensitivity to the signals of the body and are used to overriding those messages. Look for an appropriate amount of intensity, a balance between sensation and space. "It's a good opportunity to create a renewed kind of innocence, a listening to the intelligence of the body that gives you feedback about when it's been triggered to feel outside its comfort zone," Powers says. Relax into the body; discover and explore each subtle layer along the way to your deep resting place.

2. Be Still

Resolve not to fidget. Don't try to fix or change the pose, to intensify it, or to escape the sensations. Consciously try to release (or even just imagine releasing) into the shape. Doing that helps you relax the muscles around the connective tissues you are most attempting to influence. In addition, moving can cause unsafe stress on the connective tissue, causing injury: To be safe, hold statically at the edge of your range of motion and engage muscles around sensitive areas or use props when needed.

3. Hold for a While

[Sarah] Powers recommends hold times anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes for beginners and up to 5 minutes or more for advanced practitioners. Use a timer so you can relax without watching the clock. Substantial holds train the mind to respond skillfully to difficult circumstances. They teach you that you don't need comfort to feel at ease. Instead of contracting around feelings and sensations, invite space and breathe steadily.

4. Release with Care

In Yin practice you put your body into long holds with joints in vulnerable positions—positions that might be dangerous if you move into or out of them quickly or aggressively. As you come out of the poses (for example, Dragonfly), use your hands to support your legs and to lightly contract the muscles that oppose the openings you've been working. It can help to do a very brief, actively practiced counterpose: After doing Saddle (the Yin version of Supta Virasana), for example, sit with your legs out straight and engage your quads.

You are challenging very deep tissues that the body usually protects from lengthening—because if they're stretched suddenly, they're easily damaged. You may experience discomfort, shakiness, and instability when you come out. Don't worry; these sensations will change.


Sara's note: I am really excited to be teaching "Restorative Flow" at Yoga North this fall. It will be a combination of long held seated Yin style postures and Restorative postures where we use props to support us. Visit Yoga North's blog for schedule information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yin Yoga Hip Series Video

Paul Gilley's Yin Yoga Hip Series video:

Join Paul Grilley, Yin Yoga's foremost proponent, for a comprehensive introduction to this quiet yet profound practice. Yin Yoga is not just another brand name of yoga postures, but the expression of theories derived from Chinese Medicine and Taoism. The fundamental tenet of Taoism is that all things can be describe by their mutually complementary Yin and Yang aspects, and that by balancing these aspects we bring more harmony into the world around and inside us.




If this video link doesn't work for you, view it on YouTube by clicking here. Or, if you would like to watch the entire video (1 hour 48 minutes) you can download it at BeYou.TV.

Paul Grilley has been teaching Yoga since 1980 and his special interest is the teaching of Anatomy. He practices Yoga postures in the style of Paulie Zink and patterns his philosophy on the writings and researches of Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama —a Yogi and scientist from Tokyo, Japan. This philosophy integrates the Taoist Meridian and Acupuncture theories of China with the Yogic and Tantric theories of India. Paul lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife Suzee. For more info visit his website.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yamas and Niyamas: Ishvara Pranidhana

Here is my teacher, Deborah Adele, talking about the 5th Niyama, Ishvara Pranidhana or Surrender. For more information visit www.theYamasandNiyamas.com.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Paul Grilley's Yin Yoga: Theory of Yin Yoga Video

BeYou.TV says:

Join Paul Grilley, Yin Yoga's foremost proponent, for a comprehensive introduction to this quiet yet profound practice. Yin Yoga is not just another brand name of yoga postures, but the expression of theories derived from Chinese Medicine and Taoism.




If this video link doesn't work for you, view it on YouTube by clicking here. Or, if you would like to watch the entire video (1 hour 48 minutes) you can download it at BeYou.TV.

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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yamas and Niyamas: Svadhyaya

Here is my teacher, Deborah Adele, talking about the 4th Niyama, Svadhyaya or Self-Study. For more information visit www.theYamasandNiyamas.com.