Think Yin Yoga isn’t for you? Find out why energetic Ashtanga teacher Amera chose the practice…
My yoga journey began about seven years ago in my first Ashtanga class. It suited me perfectly at the time as it was dynamic and powerful. I’m a person that can’t sit still for very long so Ashtanga’s energetic pace gave me a sense of achievement. As I developed a regular practice I began to see more changes in my physical ability and through it’s repetitive nature I found myself becoming more in tune with the present moment and developing a deeper sense of awareness of body and mind.
As I continued further down my yoga path and discovered there’s more to this yoga ‘stuff’ than just asana (physical) practice, I began to question what else I needed for balance. I am someone who has an overactive mind and can get bored very easily, over planning my social diary and always seeking the next adventure. But this can take its toll (especially as I’m not getting any younger!) so I can struggle to switch off and completely relax. Then I discovered Yin; a slower style of yoga where postures are held for between three to six minutes. Though it’s taken a while to integrate this style of yoga in to my routine, beginning slowly at lovely long and relaxing workshops, it is now a significant element of my regular practice. So when I saw a one week teacher training course I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to explore the practice deeper. I found it fascinating discovering the healing power Yin can offer and it has opened up a whole world of discovery.
Yin is both challenging yet relaxing. Holding the postures for longer periods, often with the support of props, allows you to completely let go and stretch your muscles gently and deeply. However, for someone who like to be active this passive practice can be challenging. The struggle comes in the mind… to completely surrender. But it teaches us to soften and fully relax, trusting in the process. Something that, I believe, can help us in daily life too. Yin is a great complement to more dynamic practices such as Ashtanga or Flow classes and even other forms of exercise. If anyone’s been to one of Helena’s HIIT classes this is a perfect antidote 😉
Yin has made a big difference to my flexibility and helped me get deeper into postures. Then of course there’s the more meditative side; by focusing on your breath we learn to stay present and calm… and surely we can all benefit from more of that in our lives. And it has the added bonus of making you sleep like a baby!
So if, like me, you usually opt for the more physically energetic class, maybe challenge yourself to try something different? You never know what it may bring. Life should always be full of new experiences.
Hope to see you in my class! x
Amera’s Yin Yoga class is every Monday 8.15pm after the Ashtanga class, so, if you want a night of complete balance you can have it!