Week 6 – It’s all about the ‘Yin’
You’ve made it; our 6-week beginners Hatha yoga course is almost complete, and as mentioned back in week 1, tonight’s class will be an introduction to Yin, which is a completely different style of yoga. Yin yoga encompasses some qualities that help us nourish our ‘Yin’ energy, as opposed to being in a ‘Yang’ state that many of us will find ourselves existing in during busy day-to-day work and lives.
A few of those qualities include calmness, stillness, relaxation, meditation, darkness, and slowness; hopefully you get the idea! A Yin yoga practice encourages us to relax into stillness and release physically, mentally and emotionally. In Yin the poses are called ‘shapes’ instead of postures, as the focus is not on alignment or how the shape looks, but more on how it feels and enables you to let go. Yin yoga focuses on the connective tissue, and our mind-body connection.
Unlike other styles of yoga, in Yin we hold the shapes for several minutes at a time, aiming for stillness, and with as much support through props that we need. For those without any yoga props (bolster, blocks, etc), we can just use what is available to us. Ensure you have some cushions, pillows, a rolled up towel or blanket to hand- depending on your flexibility you made need a few.
Over the last 5 weeks we have worked from head to feet, and for this full-body Yin class we will be working the opposite way, using shapes to release from key areas of the body. If you find your mind wandering more than normal during Yin, this can be perfectly normal, as holding a certain position for several minutes without having anything to engage our minds is not the norm in modern day society. Simply bring your mind and awareness back to your breath, using some of the techniques we have done in the classes leading up to this one.
Week 6 Feature Shape: Frog
This one can be intense, but with so many benefits due to several areas of the body being targeted at the same time, becoming familiar with this shape is worth it! Out of all of the shapes tonight, this is possibly the one that may be uncomfortable for most people (myself included) so I made this the feature shape so we can explore it together, will all of the support tips and modifications discussed in class. If you wish to see a step-by-step guide of how to do this shape by yourself at home, click here: https://vetyogi.com/blog-details/frog-animal-yoga-pose-series
Throughout the course I have tried to provide you with a range of shorter sequences to try, in order to get the message across that even a little bit of yoga can help- 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes! This is still true, however, due to the nature of holding Yin shapes for much longer than other yoga styles and asanas, I would recommend dedicating more time to a Yin practice if possible. Feel free to try my 50 min ‘Yin for Yang Lovers’ class on the VetYogi Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8DqrGCEcPE
And if time is really is of the essence remember that Savasana totally counts as a Yin pose (you’ll become really familiar with ‘rebound savasanas’ tonight!) so here’s a 5 min guided savasana video:
I really hope you have enjoyed your time with me on the mat over the last few weeks, and a big thank you for trusting me as your yoga teacher, and to Lintbells Vet for facilitating this #superheroesinscrubs beginners yoga course. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow VetYogi on social media for more info.
If you would like to keep up with your yoga practice after this course, I am hosting ‘Surgery to Sanctuary’- an online one-day yoga and meditation retreat for the veterinary community- live on the 30th September. More information and ticket are available here: https://vetyogi.com/blog-details/bringing-the-yoga-retreat-to-your-home-the-vetyogi-surgery-to-sanctuary-virtual-experience
‘See’ you on the mat!