Beginning October 7, we will be offering a 5-week yin yoga series at our South location.
If you've never tried yin, you are in for a treat. In yin, instead of flowing through a series of asanas, you hold postures for 3 to 5 minutes and focus on releasing the connective tissue. Yin is a great way to release the stress and tension you've built in your body. For me, stress likes to hangout in my hips, and poses such as dragon pose can release it.
The other great thing about yin yoga is that it leaves you with lessons that you can take off the mat. In yin, you take a pose to your edge (when you feel mild discomfort) and sit with it for 3 to 5 minutes. When you want to move out of the asana to ease your discomfort, you focus on your breath instead.
As I reminded my class last night, this is an excellent way to learn to deal with stress. When you hit a moment of discomfort, instead of immediately trying to push the uncomfortable feeling away (with a drink, by venting, whatever), instead focus on your breath and stay present. As we learned in Inside Out, you cannot ignore your negative feelings forever. It is better to honor them, feel them and integrate them into your present experience. It's okay to be uncomfortable! Like a yin pose, the negative feelings will end eventually.
*Update: I wanted to make an addition to this post because I realized I forgot an important point. Discomfort should not be confused with pain. As I told a new yogi in class last night: my only yoga “rule“ is that you shouldn’t hurt yourself. If you ever feel pain in an asana, immediately back out. Listen to your body.