Restorative Yin Sessions
For Rest, Relaxation & Deep Inner Nourishment
Sunday 7th & 28th March- 8.30-10.15am ( other dates to follow )
Sundays are a perfect time for a Yin practice as Yin wisely teaches us how to slow down, to let go and relax and enter into the deeper layers of our being. Yin yoga is a slow and deeply releasing, meditative practice that targets the deep connective tissues, bones, joints and ligaments in the body. The slow, mindful and gentle practice is especially helpful in reducing stress and anxiety by calming and relaxing the mind. It is a nice contrast to our regular Sivananda hatha yoga classes that we practise.
In these sessions we will start with a short Yang more dynamic/active practice of Surya Namaskar ( Sun Salutes ) to warm us up. This will be followed by some calming, restorative breathing exercises that will lead us nicely into our slow Yin session. During the session, as we hold poses for longer periods of time, we will have the sharing of some short inspiring readings for reflection and absorption to nourish us inwardly. We will then end the session with an in depth final relaxation and with some moments of sitting in silence together, which is always easier after a Yin practice, as silence and stillness is encouraged the whole way through.
For the practice you will need to have with you some cushions and blankets, that we may use as support in some poses. It would be good to have a yoga belt also, or something like this, which you can easily buy for a few pounds online. If you have an eye pillow that is nice also, especially for the long relaxation at the end.
We will meet at this zoom link:
Meeting ID: 860 5679 2548
The class will also be recorded if you would like to take it but cannot make this time, then you have 5 days to enjoy the recording after the class takes place.
I have included an informative article below from the Yoga Journal magazine, which you may find interesting, which explains some of the benefits of a slower Yin practice.
( If you are struggling financially at the moment, don't let that be an obstacle to coming...just let me know and we can come to some arrangment.)
Do contact me ( Emma) to book a place or if you have any other questions.
The Benefits of a Slow Yin Practice
From the Yoga Journal
Yin is an introspective practice that offers a chance to turn inward and nurture the calm, quiet centre that is innate in all of us. It is a practice in stillness, patience, and non-reactivity. Through yin yoga we become adept at self-care. We become better listeners with practice tuning in; we become wiser as we get to know ourselves from the inside out; and we become more curious about the world through the exploration of our own inner worlds.
To practice yin is to relinquish control—such a novel and therapeutic concept in our modern-day lives. On the surface, the yin practice might appear uneventful. But if you are able to tune in, you will encounter some pretty fascinating events occurring in the layers beneath the skin. Have a look into 10 nourishing qualities and therapeutic benefits from a Yin practice.
1. The yin practice can help the body restore range of motion.
For healthy range of motion, layers of connective tissue must allow muscles to glide over each other. But injury, habitual posture in daily life, and ageing, among other factors can bind these connective tissues together, creating so-called adhesions and restricting that movement between the sliding surfaces of the muscles. Like a traffic jam, adhesions block the flow of nutrients and energy through the body, causing pain and limiting mobility. Holding poses that gently lengthen the muscles and fascia helps break up adhesions, and applying mild stress to joints and connective tissues can increase their range of motion.
2. Yin yoga revitalises the tissues of the body.
Our body’s tissues can be revived by a good long soak the same way that an old, stiff sponge can. As you hold a yin pose, the subtle release that takes you deeper into the pose is the tissues lengthening, hydrating, and becoming more pliable. If you pay close attention, you can sense the tissues being stretched, squeezed, twisted, and compressed. A yin practice can leave you feeling as though you’ve had a massage.
3. Yin offers a unique opportunity to cultivate gratitude for the body.
The simplicity of a yin practice allows us to return to our bodies and to see clearly just how remarkable we really are. Journeying into the deeper layers of ourselves, we tune into our inner workings, connecting to respiratory and circulatory functions, internal organs, and sensations within the muscles and joints. This heightened awareness of the physiological processes of the body ultimately moves us closer to santosha, or contentment.
4. The yin practice forces us to slow down.
Yin poses’ long holds offer a chance to marinate in stillness. When you allow yourself to stay present and experience the near-imperceptible shifts that occur while holding a yin posture, time opens up. Deadlines, commitments, pressing matters, and to-do lists fade to the background, leaving tremendous space for rest and renewal.
5. Yin yoga teaches self-compassion.
The ability to tend to all facets of ourselves (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is fundamental to our well being. The yin practice provides an opportunity to observe, nurture, soothe, and calm ourselves. The act of carefully taking a posture and tending to your body’s unique set of needs for the duration of the hold is a form of self-care and loving kindness.
6. The long hold times of a yin practice offer the chance to sit with our emotions.
Our bodies store emotions, and it’s not uncommon for sensitive thoughts, feelings, and memories to surface while practising any form of yoga. Yin teaches us how to be gentle, patient, and nonreactive. When emotions bubble to the surface, the conditions are safe.
7. Yin yoga can help us become more resilient to stress.
Surrender is a common theme in yin yoga, and giving up the need to control a situation is a lesson that we can carry with us into our day-to-day lives. The ability to adapt to the ups and downs of life and to manage change with grace can lessen our predisposition to stress.
8. Yin yoga can help us tap into the parasympathetic nervous system.
Diaphragmatic breathing, or abdominal breathing is a powerful way to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. You may have heard some of the reasons activating the parasympathetic nervous system is beneficial (stress, tension, blood pressure, sleep, digestion, immune function, hormones, etc)—and that most of us don’t do it often enough. Instead, we spend our days locked in sympathetic nervous system overdrive, constantly being pulled from one overly important deadline to another. Belly breathing can be a quick and easy way to change this. Pay close attention while breathing from the abdomen and in no time you will notice a significant shift. It may feel like a wave of relaxation washes over the body. The deepest layers of the belly soften, the forehead tingles, and the brain relaxes. It’s as if the whole body takes a prolonged sigh. As you move deeper into the yin practice, the breath slows down significantly drawing you deeper and deeper into this parasympathetic, or relaxation, mode.
9. The stillness of a yin practice primes us for meditation.
Meditation is not necessarily something you have to find; sometimes it finds you. The yin practice sets us up to tap into the meditation bandwidth. We rarely see who we really are because the cloud of thoughts and distractions block the view. When we create opportunities for physical stillness in a yin practice, we also create the perfect conditions for the brain to become clear. In these precious moments, we are able to see our true selves.
10. Yin yoga cultivates balance.
Your own health and well being is a balancing act. If you look at the yin/yang symbol you will see that the white and black forms are in perfect balance. Many of us live very active (yang) lifestyles and leave little or no time to foster the quiet, introspective side. Over time this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Through the yin practice we can restore equilibrium and feel whole.