In a couple of weeks I'm launching a Yin Yoga Class, at the Dee Why School of Yoga. Yippeeeeee!
Quite a few of my students and some friends have asked what Yin Yoga is, so I thought I'd write about this and how I found it.... or as is usually the case .... how it found me!
In 2013 I went to the Bondi Yoga Festival and said yes to a class called "Gratitude". I really didn't even notice that the style of class was called Yin. I'd heard of it but not practiced it. So I turned up, rolled out my mat, and was transfixed & transformed. The theme of Gratitude was most certainly felt, but the real gratitude was for the day magically unfolding leading me to this new style of practice, Yin Yoga.
I felt so good. Like REALLY GOOD!
Its hard to put into words but I'll try. I sensed a feeling of spaciousness in my body, and a deep sense of calm in my breath and my headspace. I enjoyed the slow and intentional practice of dialing it right back. Most of the practice was either lying down or floor based, so there was that too, no standing, no vinyasa, no balancing. Yes, nice!!!!
Fast forward to 2016, I decided that after some self-study (in Sanskrit: Svadhyaya) that I would like to study this style of Yoga. I needed to know more, because it was becoming my "home practice". So, I said a big mighty YES to my teacher Cora from www.slowyoga.com.au and enrolled in her Yin Teacher Training, a cool 50 hours dedicated to learning all about this glorious practice.
So, what to expect when you come to one of my Yin classes?
For your body, my aim is to help you "unwind". It creates some space in places there may be been tension and tightness. Its also more of a practice of surrender, its the letting go and being led by the body and its messages.... "ah my dear enough here or Ohhhh I think I found some space here, etc". Yin gets deep, it gets into the connective tissue, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons due to the long holds. We will hold poses from 3 to 5 minutes! Yes, juicccccccccy.
For your headspace, this is where it gets really good. As Yin is a more inward way of practising Yoga, it encourages a more soft and intuitive way of practice, you get the time, real spaces of time, to investigate and "BE" with your body and see/feel what's going on, you can get the opportunity to come up close and personal with your thoughts, with your breath and your physical structure.
After your Yin practice, you might just begin to feel calm, a sense of trust that things are just okay the way they are which is why Bernie Clark (a founding Yin Teacher) says that the philosophy of Yin is pretty much reflected in the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Grant me the courage to change the things I can change
And grant me the wisdom to know the difference.
Launch details are:
Wednesday February 15th
10am Yin Yoga / Room 2
The Dee Why School of Yoga
673 Pittwater Road, Dee Why
I'm super duper excited to bring this practice to you. Hope to see you there.
This is just a small post.
I'm not sure about you, but I love planning the year ahead. Working out and feeling into what I might like to create, how I would like to be, what places I might like to go, recipes to cook, and this planning has been super fun.
But, one piece has been missing. My two beloved teachers Elena Brower and Kelly Sunrose have written and discussed recently, farewelling and reviewing 2016. I feel like it falls into the Niyama of Svadhyaya, self-study.
How are we to grow, change and evolve into the very best of ourselves, if we dont take time to look back and review, flesh out, gently pull apart the last year of our lives?
So. I'm getting ready for my own process of gently reviewing the past year.
Here's what it looks like so far, incase you feel inclined to do the same:
1. Block out.
Take some time, minimum one hour and block it out in your diary. Make this before the end of year get super duper uber crazy. I'm looking at next week.
Scoop up all your notebooks, the diary you used this year, your iphone if you keep appointments there (I'm old school, mines hardcopy). Any pieces of paper you've jotted down plans for this year on. Get a blank notebook, or piece of paper and a nice pen.
Make sure you have a comfortable place to sit, and lay it all out on a table.
4. Light a candle.
Lighting a candle can make this process seem more like a little ritual and quite inviting. Imagine as you like the candle, that you are shining the light on the past year, all of it!
Place your palms togther in Anjali Mudra, at your heart. Take a handful of breaths here. Sink into your sit bones, feel into your breath, feel the warmth of your hands together at your heart center.
Softly and gently. If you had any intentions, wishes, goals or any other plans note what they were.
Here's the practice of self study, in sanskrit Svadhyaya:
What kind of year did you have?
How did you feel your intentions/wishes/goals played out during the year?
What things did you do on the weekend?
Who did you spend time with?
What did you read?
How does it look when you review what your intentions, wishes, and dreams?
Do you feel any sense of alignment? What do you feel; happiness, frustration, disappoinment, joy, pride?
What did you want to happen that didn't happen?
What happened that you had planned?
Loving this work.