Online Yin Yoga & Yoga Nidra Workshops
Pathways to Balance
A Yin Yoga Journey Around the Meridians
Saturday 24th April 2021
15:00 - 16:30 (UK BST)
Investment - £20
Only £10 for Hive members
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a beautiful still style of yoga that access the cooler, less elastic tissues of the body – that is, bone, joints, ligaments and fascia. In a moving practice of yoga, the asana sequences are designed to improve muscle flexibility, strength and stability – however, in Yin, although the shapes themselves are very simple, they are held in stillness for between three and five minutes, sometimes longer to allow these cooler denser tissues to respond.
In incorporates aspects of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) by utilising shapes that stress (in a good way) and compress along the meridian channels, or the subtle energy lines that are used in acupuncture.
Taking a functional approach, in that all bodies are different – the variations in our skeletons is one of the things that makes us unique.
Is Yin suitable for beginners?
Yes, all shapes can be adapted to suit all levels of student and all levels of flexibility.
Props are widely used to support the body and allow shapes to be held to the appropriate level of edge.
One of the beautiful things about these simple Yin shapes is that they can all be adapted accordingly.
The stiller style of Yin is often favoured by those who aren’t so keen on the up & down & many changes of position during more dynamic practice.
This is also a great style of yoga for active sports people to get those deep & highly beneficial stretches into the fascia that improve mobility and performance
Is Yin the same as Restorative Yoga?
No – the wonderful practice of restorative yoga is designed to hold a student fully supported in a shape with the use of many props to allow the body to relax and release and of course, rest, both physically & mentally.
Yin yoga is designed to feel some sensation, one of my teachers Bernie Clark, refers to this as ‘the Goldilocks effect’ – not too much so that your limbs are shaking and you are spending all your time wishing for the shape to be over, and not too little – this is restorative territory.
In order to access the connective tissue, the aim is to feel some sensation of tension or compression, but never too much to risk injury – leave your ego behind and settle in to those feelings.
Yin yoga is a long game – by going slowly, little by little, peeling back the layers, this can sometime allow us to get deeper into a shape & get all of the wonderful benefits of this still style of yoga.
So what are the benefits of Yin yoga?
The aim of any style of physical activity should always be to improve our functional movement, that is how well we are able to move in our daily lives.
Because Yin accesses the connective tissue it can help to improve joint mobility, the compression felt in some of the shapes has a similar effect to load bearing on the bones & joints, encouraging bone growth and improving bone density & helping to make them stronger.
These sensations of tension and compression can help to improve circulation to internal organs and aid digestion.
On a more subtle level, the stillness experienced during the practice offers the opportunity to pause and allow thoughts, feelings and emotions to surface – feeling all of the feels – helping us to become calmer and more balanced.
Yin yoga has a wonderful affinity with the meridian channels used in acupuncture, and specific shapes can be used to help balance those channels so that our body systems are balanced and in harmony.
Do you need special training to teach Yin?
Yes, you do. If you think of something like playing the piano – anyone can hit those keys, but only someone thats studied can play a tune.
In addition to my initial Yoga teaching qualification, which is 200 hours training, I have since taken a further 200 hours plus of training on Yin Yoga, with teachers including Norman Blair, Paul Grilley, Bernie Clark and Jo Phee.
I have studied the meridian channels and the Five Elements of traditional Chinese medicine and continue to further my studies in this area.