This past year has certainly given plenty of time to reflect and think on what we want, where we are and where we need to go in our lives, for me as a busy head individual, Yin Yoga offers me the space to find my answers.
What is Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga focuses in on the deep connective tissue, like your fascia, ligaments, joints and bones, it has a much slower and meditative form, creating the opportunity to go within and listen to your own inner wisdom alongside the sensations our physical body can offer when in Yin practise. Holding the poses for a longer period of time, helps lengthen and stretch those rarely-used tissues while providing a stillness to hear your thoughts and breathe through discomfort.
Yin Yoga practise is based on the ancient Taoist and Chinese philosophies, which believe there are energy channels running through the body and by holding and stretching deeply in the poses, we are opening up any blockages and allowing the energy to flow freely.
Yin has been stated as having a similar effect to our energy as an acupuncture treatment.
Over the past year I've been delivering two Yin Sessions a week virtually and each session is themed to offer my yogi's the space to find their own inner guru and the answers they need.
Recently whilst in a coaching session it came to me, why have I not taken the time to plan a Yin session for just myself, a session to give me answers maybe to my thoughts and reflections from the past year?
My Yin Practise for answers from within
So I took time to plan a session which would allow me a safe space and time on the mat to explore the thoughts that had been going through my mind. The session was incredible, I lit candles, placed some of my favourite chill out music on and spent just over an hour in simple postures, asking questions and observing what came up. This is the key with Yin Yoga and yoga in general, we observe what comes up, we never judge or contradict we just take the time to observe.
When I'm teaching Yin, it's not for me, it's for my yogi's, this session was just for me. it was emotional, releasing, insightful and transformational, just what I needed. Funnily enough what my answers brought up was all about fear, fear is so powerful in every part of our lives. Whilst observing the thoughts, emotions which were coming up a song came up from my chill out list, which for me gave me the answer and the response my body needed. Tears of relief fell from my eyes and I knew this was it, this was what I needed, I just need the space and time for me to find my answers.
Now sitting in stillness isn't for everyone and you need to be ready for the releases and emotions that may come through Yin. The body can express itself through tears, excessive yawning, tiredness, lots of peeing and a clearing of the digestive system.
The benefits of Yin go beyond just the physical side, it is a release for both the mind and body and can help in the long-term our mindset and how we look out to the world.
If you're interested in trying a session of Yin, why not try this simple routine below for a taste and if you enjoyed the routine, come join me for FREE session of Yin, just message me at email@example.com and learn more about me at www.mindfulhealththerapies.com
Yin Yoga flow for listening to the Inner Wisdom
Posture 1 Corpse Pose/Savasana
Position yourself into Savasana - if you have back issues, bend your knees to ease the pressure in the lower back. Other wise extend the legs out, arms by the side palms open to the universe. This first posture is about allowing your body to open up, to relax into the posture. Begin to breathe into the belly, in through the nose and out through the nose, begin to notice how you're feeling, no judgement, just observe what words, emotions or thoughts that come up. When you feel ready ask yourself the following question: What is life about? Just observe what comes up, when you feel ready to let go of what has come up, change your breath from breathing in through the nose and exhale from the back of the throat like you're releasing a deep sigh, do this until you feel you have emptied out or released as much as you can and then return to breathing in through the nose and out through the nose.
Stay here for around 3 minutes or more if you feel like doing so.
Posture 2 Tadaka Mudra
Slowly extend the hands over the head, interlace the fingers and push up above the head, allow your body settles into the posture, if it feels uncomfortable in the shoulders then allow the arms to just be above the body. Focus on your breathing, in and out through the nose at your own pace. If you wish to enquire further ask another question such as: What do I feel? Observe what comes up, it could be words or emotions, thoughts or experiences, allow them to float up and breathe them out. Stay here for around 3 minutes or more if you feel like doing so.
Posture 3 Crocodile
Gently roll over onto your front and allow your hands to rest just under your forehead, resting the third eye onto the back of the hands. Allow yourself to breath slowly and steadily into the belly, notice where you body sits on the mat and then observe. If and when ready for a question: Am I open? Observe what comes up and then breath with humming bee breath in through the nose and release a big sigh from the back of the throat, repeat until you feel ready to transfer back into nasal breathe. Stay here for around 3 minutes or more if you feel like doing so.
Posture 4 Savasana with a bolster
Laying in corpse posture once more place a bolster or cushions under the knees, breathing deeply into the belly when ready raise the question: What do I need to let go of? Observe what comes up and then breath with humming bee breath in through the nose and release a big sigh from the back of the throat, repeat until you feel ready to transfer back into nasal breathe. Stay here for around 3 minutes or more if you feel like doing so.
Posture 5 Savasana with block
Remaining in corpse pose place a block or cushion to lift the head and breathe, when ready ask yourself: Am I ready to let go? Observe what comes up and then breath with humming bee breath in through the nose and release a big sigh from the back of the throat, repeat until you feel ready to transfer back into nasal breathe. Stay here for around 3 minutes or more if you feel like doing so.
Posture 6 Full Pronation
Rolling over onto the belly with the arms outstretched, forehead resting on the mat, breath deep belly breathes and ask the question: Where do I need to go? Observe what comes up and then breath with humming bee breath in through the nose and release a big sigh from the back of the throat, repeat until you feel ready to transfer back into nasal breathe. Stay here for around 3 minutes or more if you feel like doing so.
Posture 7 - Sukanasana
To close the sequence sitting crossed legged or in a fashion, which is comfortable for you, hands in prayer mudra connecting both the left and right side of the brain repeating the following affirmations either aloud or internally seven times for each affirmation:
I believe in me
I am enough
I am evolving every day, every moment
I let go
Then take a moment to bless yourself, bless your practise, bless the space you created for yourself to evolve and grown, bless this moment pregnant with opportunity.
My personal chillout playlist:
Zero 7 Destiny
Massive Attack - Unfinished symphony
Kathleen Medasin Always Afternoon
Lucy Park Rain
53 Thieves Dreamin
All Saints Pure Shores
Frou Frou Let Go
Imagen Heap Just for Now
Enjoy some free yoga on my personal you tube channel: Mindful Health Therapies - YouTube