The Gentle Beauty of Yin Yoga – Love It Or Your Money Back!

Yin yoga was developed to penetrate deep into connective tissue expanding flexibility while invigorating the energy centers of the body (nadis) to release blockages and increase your energy flow.

Yin yoga was developed to penetrate deep into connective tissue expanding flexibility while invigorating the energy centers of the body (nadis) to release blockages and increase your energy flow.

Many people have asked me about Yin yoga after seeing it on our new October schedule – what it is, why they should try it and why it’s different to our usual flow classes. And since we aim to please at our little riverside yoga studio, here is some information that may help you to decide whether it’s something you want to add to your practice (the answer is yes, by the way):

A quiet, meditative yoga practice, also called taoist yoga, Yin focuses on lengthening connective tissues and is meant to complement yang yoga—your muscle-forming flow that is most often practiced in Western studios. Yin poses are passive, meaning you’re supposed to relax muscles and let gravity do the work. And they’re long—you’ll practice patience here too.

Yin Yoga uses gentle long held postures practiced with an attitude of compassionate acceptance to awaken the more Yin parts of our physical, emotional and spiritual selves. It is an amazing practice that is dominantly seated, that focuses on bringing health and vitality back to body/mind/spirit through the manipulation of the fascia (connective tissue), the energy body and all sensations and emotions that come along for the ride. Its a profound practice, very insightful and carries a wealth of healing knowledge that can be applied to anybody. A lot of yin is allowing yourselves to be tender and wise within our own forms.  There is so much wisdom in the water and tissues in the body, we simply must create a safe and relaxed setting for this wisdom and energy to flow. Yin helps to still the body, setting it shapes that allow us to target the areas where energy tends to get stuck.

Yin focuses on the hips, pelvis and spine mostly but because the body cannot be separated into parts and sides, yin yoga examines the body as a connected unit of tissues that communicate, contain or liberate other aspects of the body. We can all relate to that feeling stuck or out of place feeling in the body. We know what it needs to flow, with inside and out.

Yin has a few simple principles. Find the shape that works for you. Victoria will guide you into the pose but you may find that you need to adjust it slightly to suit your own body (as with ‘normal’ yang yoga) – until it feels right. Turn the muscles off, relax the body, deepen the breath, stay present and hold for time. Seems simple right? Looks like it from the external appearance,but on the inside we are looking for and hanging out in the places in the body where we tend to hold, resist and feel stuck in. It’s in the tension in the body that we can unlock the keys to healing, realigning and becoming stable in who we are. The long holds and focus on breath in Yin means that classes have this air of meditation and the same feeling of otherworldiness only long breathing sessions and moving of blockages can do. I recently did one of Victoria’s Yin classes and I felt like I was floating by the end of the class – even speaking felt like it was too loud and jarring after the peaceful atmosphere she created so masterfully. Her beautiful Norwegian accent and her ability to hold the silences without needing to fill them with words just helped to make it a truly magical experience.

I really, really, really recommend that everyone tries one of these classes at least once. See it as the biggest and kindest gift and token of self love that you could give yourself this month. You will not regret it. In fact, if you don’t like it, I will give you your money back. So please, go to one and feed back to me how it was, so I can put my money where my mouth is. No pressure, Vic!

I took a lot of this information from a lovely site called ‘Love Light Yoga’ – check them out if you want to show them some love.

Advertisements

Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it

A great book review by Getaway Magazine’s Adel Groenewald: I was automatically drawn to the title and had a good giggle when I read the final line: ‘…the wandering, fragmented journey is an enthralling read for anyone not looking for self-help and inspiration’.

Reciting this rather lengthy name in a bookstore usually results in a referral to the yoga/self-help section. Yet this collection of travel tales is quite literally the opposite. Geoff Dyer is on an undirected, and rather unmotivated, search of his home. He’s certain that his real home is not it, one of his reasons being that the most memorable moments in his life happened away from this home. Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it is a memoir of personal experiences as Dyer explores the world in his laid back fashion, guided by his own curiosities and moods rather than guidebook activities.

Whether it be in New Orleans or Paris, Dyer is never a tourist. Rather, he goes to these places to do ordinary activities in them. While in Cambodia he writes: “Some men are fussy about always going to the same barber – or hairdresser, rather – but I like having my hair cut by cheap barbers all over the world.” He tends to deromanticise places, making them seem even more attractive than in standard, idyllic descriptions. Yet there are a few places that forced even him stop in his tracks and stare in amazement.

Dyer is an honest writer. While in Ubud with his girlfriend he admits to completely forgetting some of the scenery and casually confesses that these details are lost forever. When lonely in Detroit he makes no secret of his less than enthusiasm for being there, but knows that it’s better than being at home. His conversational style gives the reader the privilege of being his best friend on the road, there for the crazy times and there for the sad times.

Each chapter jumps to a different, and sometimes unexpected, country. But there’s a lot of fun to be had as Dyer takes the reader to a full moon party in Taiwan and chases after the ultimate Amsterdam experience. He stays true to his personality and tends to find himself in several hilarious situations. Whether he finally finds his true home is for you to find out. Either way, the wandering, fragmented journey is an enthralling read for anyone not looking for self-help and inspiration.

Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it (257 pages) is published by Vintage and costs about R120.

http://blog.getaway.co.za/travel-ideas/book-reviews/yoga-people-can%e2%80%99t-bothered/#comment-5352