Yin Yoga, a practice perfectly timed by the Yoga Conference Team for late afternoon, following a full day of diverse and intense Yoga practices. You may think this is chill time or the time you can just lay about and recover, however Jo Phee showed us today another way to think of Yin Yoga.
“ If Yang is to do more, Yin is to do less.
If Yang is striving, Yin is relaxing ”
an article by Patricia Rendell
Jo is the senior assistant to the Yin Yoga founder, Paul Grilley, and now travels the world bringing his teachings and methods to students.
Before we all begin our practice, Jo gives a brief introductions for any students coming to practice that may have never practiced in this style before, but also to all of us that have, to clarify any preconceptions we might hold and to understand her drive and direction.
Jo gently describes that we should focus on making each position or posture work for YOU and for YOUR BODY, and that all positions and postures are right as long as you are feeling it in area it is designed for. We are gently reminded that it is not at all shameful to come out of a pose early – it simply means that you are honouring your body and what it is telling you.
We learn that there are three main tenets that comprise the practice of Yin Yoga;
- Find the target area
- Come into the shape of your bodies choice
- Begin to relax the muscle with effortlessly
Some serious food for thought.
And with that, our practice commences.
Jo’s cues are clear and simple, they also offer a variety of alternative positions for you to use to readjust yourself to ‘your practice’. As we find our indivdual correct position, Jo announces that as she looks across the room (at almost 100 of us), we are all in the same posture but in our own ways, and this is what honouring and listening to your body is all really about. The theory starts to make some sense.
As we move through the specialist designed Yin sequence, comprised of postures and counter postures, we are holding the still anywhere from 3-5minutes. While we are here, Jos voice is soft and gently guiding us, helping our focus stay true north and also reminding us to listen to our bodies and adjust accordingly to it. The entire 90 minute practice you have Jo there completely engaged with you.
„How do you feel right now? What has changed? What has shifted?“ Jo’s questions softly ecco in the room.
Now as I mentioned before, if you think that Yin Yoga was just to lay about and recover, it definitely is not. While is appears more gently, it is still an active practice. You are in postures for a longer period of time trying to work through the tension in the muscle. We are aids such as our body weight and gravity to move us further into the posture, but it is still work to maintain this composure and posture over a period of time. With the aim of course being to increase. Just because your not dripping in sweat, it does not mean that your body has not been challenged and pushed to a new level.
With Yin Yoga there is no hurry to be deep in the practice but you need to know that the less you do the more sensitive you will become to this type of practice.
I really enjoy to practice Yin Yong as part of my journey and for balance. However after todays session, I will be re-analysing my own practice, trying to remove the competition, ego and the forced movements into a posture, and just listening to my body and where she wants to take me.
If you are interested in the world of Yin Yoga and a merging of Western and Eastern worlds, please make sure that Jo Phee is marked on your schedule. There are two classes available for Sundays Programme;
1. Sunday 03.06 – Acu Yoga
2. Sunday 03.06 – Yin & Myofacial Release
Article by: Patricia Rendell
Photos: Hanna Witte