WHAT IS YIN YOGA?
Yin Yoga is a practice where you hold postures for longer periods of times – usually 2-5 minutes, sometimes longer, and mainly on the floor, so that your body is totally supported by the ground and there is very little muscular effort required. However, the requirement to feel your body, and to feel the stress or tension or stretch is paramount. By feeling into our bodies, we are forced to come aware of them and their sensations. I remember when I first started practicing yin, this was a revelation. I was used to ‘performing’ in a yoga class where I built up a sweat, and where I ‘did’ the pose, by copying others, and by following the teacher’s aesthetic cues, (feet together, elbows in, knees hugging in). There had been very few (none???) classes up ‘til now which centred on where to feel the sensations in my body and what they might feel like. When I started Yin, I was introduced to tension versus compression, and began to understand the difference between good and bad pain. Feeling my body and becoming aware of it changed my yoga practice and changed how I felt about my body. It was and still is transformational. Suddenly, I started to feel and value my body. I realised that it didn’t matter what the pose looked like, it was my internal journey, how and where I felt it. I didn’t have to be validated by the teacher “looking good Cal”, I just had to listen to myself. And more gradually this listening to myself became my centre point, not only in my physical practice but in my whole approach to life. (How you do one thing is how you do everything). I am still learning and still educating myself, but with it comes enormous freedom and liberation.