New Year, New Yin

Today is my first Yin class as a self-employed, space-renting, yoga teacher.  I have been teaching for nearly 3 years now and and finally able to make my own classes on my own terms- and it feels GREAT! Scary, but great.  I had the idea back in the summer of 2014 when I was on vacation in Tulum to offer my students a counter balance to my 'yang' ashtanga-inspired classes, and to my surprise it has become my most popular class.  Life is busy, stressful & over-stimulating for most people, and having a yin practice can offer a quiet space to balance your energy and reduce anxiety.  I've come to the conclusion that we could all use a bit more 'yin' in our lives.  

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Yin yoga is a great starting point for people who are curious about yoga but maybe feel a bit intimidated to attend a class a alone.  The class centers around breathing, so if you can breath, you can do yin yoga, and any yoga for that matter!

in Bernie Clark's The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga, he describes yin yoga as a way to be more present in our bodies.  He talks about how the breath is the guide to discovering the edges  of what you can handle.  Rather than moving through the poses on auto-pilot, special attention is paid to the sensations which arise in each pose.  It is important to take the pose to your personal limit and use your breath to explore and notice what it feels like.  It is difficult to fully let go in a pose- the mind starts to race with self-critique 'Am I doing this right?'  Clark says 'If you are feeling it, you are doing it."  Above all, the practice of yin yoga is a sacred time to connect to yourself and create the space for transformation in your body & mind.  Just like we make other areas of our lives comfortable and calm, such as our homes, it is important to do the same for our bodies. Each person will get something different out of the class, be it physical or mental, but the important thing is to remember you are an individual having your own experience and that is exactly what is supposed to happen.   

This sentiment is reflected in the mantra:

"We Don't use our body to get into a pose, we use the pose to get into our body."

So it begins, a new year and a new start.  Let this year be one of balance and contentment within yourself.  

Namaste (: YR