We have several yin yoga classes on our schedule. Essentially, yin yoga deeply stretches the body and beneficial for anyone looking to increase flexibility, relax and develop focus and self-awareness. There are three yin principles:
1. Move to an appropriate age
- Hypermobile students should back off and engage their muscles during the stretch or use a prop to support the body and avoid overstretching
- Stretch to where you feel a sensation and that is it somewhat challenging to stay in, but not too much
- Non-aggressive + sensitive
2. Stay still – try not to move unless you’re in pain
3. Time - anywhere between 1-20 minutes in a pose
The word Yin comes from Chinese term that means feminine, shade or moon and often used alongside the word yang. Yang means something that is masculine, bright and related to the sun. A yin practice is a complement to a yang practice which is more dynamic and rhythmic. Yin and yang stem from the idea that there are polarities in nature. So if you look at yoga, many of us practice yang forms of movement such as vinyasa flow and hot yoga. Yin yoga is a label given to yoga practice that is done mostly on the ground where we stay still and move mindfully towards long-held stretches.
Here are some tips from some of our yin teachers to help you with the practice:
- “I try to focus on my alignment. For instance, if the pose is sphinx, I will focus on keeping my ears away from my shoulders, and of course, I breathe through it. I also do visualizations, like imagining I'm in a field of wildflowers or I picture Jenna smiling at me, etc. “ ~Vicky
- “My most common struggle during my yin practice is staying in stillness. I’m usually unbothered by the amount of time in the pose, but being in that pose in stillness is often difficult for me. I naturally fidget and wiggle, so it takes a lot focus on staying intentionally still. If I feel the urge to move, I’ll ask myself “do I want to move out of habit or as a distraction, or am I responding to a need that my body is telling me about?” And I can usually answer that question immediately and adjust what I need to, whether it be my body or attention.” ~Leah
- “With my personal practice, I carry a mantra with me. I use this mantra at times that I feel the boredom factor coming on. Recently I use So Ham (सो ऽहम् ) meaning “I am that.” When I find that the asana is becoming dull in my body I bring my mind to this manta and add another word to it So ham sukha- I am ease. So ham ananda- I am bliss. These mantras help retrain the mind from moving to fast focusing on an internal feeling, in turn helping deepen our practice. Post-practice and off the mat is important too. When we leave the studio after a yang practice, we feel energized and ready to take on the day. Yin can give us the same feeling. Take time to self-reflect on the class. What was something new I learned, maybe it was a pose you hate in a hatha practice, but in yin, we find that it helped deepen and relax just the smallest spot in the body. Sit and relax (more). Sitting after a yin practice will help keep the body cool. Don’t forget to breathe. Focus on taking the breath with you, rather than a rapid change, keeping a controlled breath will keep you calm and relaxed. “ ~Joey
- “As an impatient person, I struggle with the length of time. I feel the urge to move quickly through asana, so a mantra ( I am relaxed, Let Go, In/Out) or breathwork (Ujjayi or equal breathing) helps me stay present instead of thinking about the next thing and the next thing. “~Katherine
- "Props are so important and reminding yourself to come into the pose at 50% of what you normally would in a vinyasa class. As mentioned— mantra and breath work are key." ~Lynda
We offer yin classes throughout the week: Yin Yoga on Wednesdays + Thursdays, Warm Yin on Saturday and Sundays and Yin + Yang Flow on Mondays. We hope you to see you on the mat!