Yin Yoga - What to expect in class
Transform the way your body moves with Yin Yoga.
You will be in for a treat if you have not yet had the opportunity to experience Yin Yoga.
Yin Yoga practice will help you to find your natural range of mobility and flexibility. It's primary focus is to help release the connective tissue and create more space around the large fascial bands which tie our joints together.
Yin Yoga is suitable for all levels and is enjoyed by all levels of students. Yin works to release the tensions held in the deeper connective tissues of the body; the joints, ligaments and fascia.
During your yin practice we will move into “shapes” which are held for anywhere from 2-5 minutes. The shapes are similar to some of the supine and seated shapes you will find in a traditional yoga class but with the aid of props to help assist the body into relaxation. While the practice can appear to be a gentle one, it is in no way easy.
21st century living has us in a almost permanent state of motion, especially mentally. This practice requires us to slow down and be fully present in the moment so as to experience the subtle and sometimes not so subtle sensations which are present within the body. We will guide you through the practice and teach you how to find a sense of quiet and calm. You will learn how to listen to your body and become focussed and aware of sensation whilst also gaining new levels of flexibility and awareness.
I hope you can join me for a a truly transformative and unique experience of yoga. Learning to understand your body and your self in a whole new way.
What is Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is about accessing the Yin tissues in the body; tendons, ligaments and fascia are all regarded as Yin tissues. Yang tissues on the other hand are muscles, blood and skin.
In order to stress the Yin (plastic) connective tissue in the body we must RELAX the superficial layer of Yang tissue (elastic) i.e the muscles. Now this can be easier said then done when your hamstrings are screaming at you less than 30 sec into the pose but this is where the beauty of Yin comes into its own. You are not asked to go to your maximum stretch at the beginning of a pose, you are only asked to go to a place where you feel something juicy beginning to happen.
Three things to keep in mind whilst practicing
- Come into the pose to an appropriate depth - only to the point where you feel a significant resistance in the body. Do not try to go as deeply as possible right away
- Resolve to remain still - once we have found the edge, we settle into the pose
- Hold the pose for time some time. When we have arrived at our edge, once we have become still, all that is left to do is to stay
The physical benefits of Yin practice
When we practice we are looking to cause a gentle stress to the areas we are working which enable them to become strong and flexible. This increases our joint mobility and helps to release blockages in the myofascial meridian lines. This basically means improved flexibility and an increase in circulation not just around the stressed area but also, throughout the entire body.
Yin yoga is Taoist in theory “ Yin/Yang both being complementary opposites; one is unable to exist without the other. We are all made up of this duality, it surrounds us, but at the centre of this duality is equilibrium; a perfect balance between these two opposites. Yin is stable, unmoving and hidden whist Yang is changing and moveable, revealing.
In a 60 min yin class you will do perhaps 4-6 postures. These postures are held for anything from 3 - 5 mins depending on the level of class. Someone who is used to regular Yin practice will be able to stay longer in the pose as opposed to a beginner where 3 mins can feel a lot like 10. I promise if you are new to this practice you will be eased in gently.
The Stress relieve
Now we are not just working on the physical here. Do you ever have the feeling that your head is about to implode with the amount of stuff you have to do? There is no time, no space in your life for anything other than your obligations and your to do lists. Busyness has become your mantra! Starting a Yin practice will give you space in both your body and mind. We do not hop from one posture to the next; We dive deep into the unknown of our bodies and listen out for the stories and history it so desperately wants to tell us. My friend Paul (a musician) put it beautifully. Yin creates spaces like the pauses in music “ we need those spaces or gaps between the chords in order to make beautiful music, otherwise it would just be a mass of noise”. Yin yoga allows us time to pause and reflect on the state of our bodies and our minds.
We are all striving to have more space and energy in our lives, energy to live fully and authentically. Not erratic, compulsive, exhausting energy, just a nice centred calm. So by working with Taoist Yin Yoga we are able to access stagnant blockages in the body bringing more life to those areas where we feel stuck. We are giving ourselves the greatest opportunity; to work through our mind stuff and understand ourselves a little bit better, surely that is worth taking 60 mins out of your week for?
Oh and you might find you can touch your toes after a few sessions too 😉
Yin classes are on every Monday and Friday evening from 6:15 - 7:15pm at Finnieston Yoga Shala.
See you on the YinSideGLASGOW