Yin Yoga training

During my 200 hours of Yoga training one of my "Omies" said she was really into Yin Yoga and wanted to see about getting some training. She asked the rest of the class if anyone was interested and I said yes. While I am not running out to teach yoga, I am interested in learning more about it and I really liked the people I had my original yoga training with and looked forward to spending some more time with them. Alice (my Omie) organized a ten hour training with Melissa Christensen and I spent two Saturday afternoons with eighteen other yoga students learning about Yin Yoga.

So what is Yin Yoga? It is the opposite of Yang Yoga.
Exactly. As in, I wasn't sure either.

I had taken a few Yin Yoga classes at the Yoga Tribe and they involved live music, dim lights, and lots of props. It wasn't exactly relaxing yoga (they call that "Restorative Yoga") but it didn't involve "muscling" into a pose. It was the kind of yoga where you get into a pose, and then hold the pose for 3-7 minutes. Almost all poses are on the floor versus standing. The trick is finding a point where you can hold the pose in stillness for the 3-7 minutes. It is not easy. At least, it is not easy for me.

"Yang Yoga" is what most people think of when they think of yoga. It is the movement of one pose to the other with the flow of breath. It is the balance of strength and flexibility. It is the poses and their alignment and how they tone and strengthen the body while also working on flexibility. In Yang Yoga the body is only truly relaxed at the end of the class in Savasana.

"Yin Yoga" is a balance to Yang Yoga. If Yang Yoga is the "go", Yin Yoga is the "stop". In Yin Yoga the breath is natural. There is no special yoga breathing. The poses are designed to allow opening through complete relaxation of a specific area of the body. Props are used to support the body and alignment is not something that is taught. The overall shape of a pose is described, but each person is encouraged to "do what feels best for their body". A word that is used a lot is "discomfort". "You might feel a slight discomfort. Go to your edge, but be able to hold the pose for 3-5 minutes in stillness". In a Yin Yoga class you might only have 4-5 poses in the whole class. But you hold each pose for awhile. I have issues with my feet and I can really feel this class in my ankles. When you release a pose it feels amazing and at the end of class I am glad I went. It is just during class that I question my sanity sometimes. I know I am really selling Yin Yoga to you.....but it is a great compliment for the body if you do any kind of "Yang" activity which is pretty much everything but sleeping.

Our Yin training was an umbrella training. It had a big overview of Yin and then had a few in depth details about some of the poses. Melissa Christensen was very knowledgeable and a great instructor. A lot of the yoga philosophies of Yin were different than the Yang philosophies, but it was nice to go in with an open mind and learn new things. Half of the class were my former classmates and the other half were other yoga instructors from Southern California and even one yoga student who just wanted to learn about Yin. This class was meant to serve as an introduction to Yin and it did. I left with a better understanding of Yin Yoga and with tools to learn more about it. I understood how Yin "worked" and look forward to attending my next class.

Yin Yoga training was part of my 2016 theme of try something new each month. This was something new I tried in February and I am happy I did. You can read more about new things I try HERE.

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