From Yang to Yin

IMG_0505I have been practicing yoga seriously for the last 8 years, and two years ago I attended my first Yoga Teacher Training, for which I took a 6 month hiatus from my corporate career. It was probably one of the most enjoyable periods in my adult life. Once I finished my Teacher Training, it took me a good year and half before I started teaching Yoga seriously. First, I started as a substitute teacher and after a few months of collecting hours of experience, I was offered my very own weekly class: a 75 minute Vinyasa Flow class.

My practice had been mostly with very active Vinyasa classes where I can push myself to doing more and more. A Vinyasa class is the classic representation of Yang in our life, we sweat, we work out our muscles (Yang tissue), and we feel good with our body, mind and spirit. I had attended many Yin classes during these 8 years, where you go inwards, hold poses for longer periods of time (3-7 minutes each), and do not engage the muscles. You actually target the tendons, ligaments and fascia which are, by definition, Yin tissues. In a Yin class, we work out our minds more than our bodies, since it takes really a huge effort to stay put, without fidgeting, for long periods of time. Our minds wonder away and give up way before our bodies will.

I had the pleasure to substitute a few Yin classes towards the end of last year, and I discovered a hidden passion of mine: to guide my students in that long journey inwards, where you slow down your body and your breath so you can get into your mind. In one of those events that happen in our lives at the right time, I was offered to teach permanently the Yin class I had subbed for, and I traded my Vinyasa class for the more calming, soothing inward journey of the Yin class. I must admit that I am loving every minute of it, from the preparation of the sequence, to the music selection for the playlist, to seeing the students immerse themselves in this magic bliss of Yin Yoga, where we are all humble, and there is literally no space for the ego to surface.

I just completed a Yin Yoga Teacher Training where I learned so much more than I had learned on my own with innumerable books and videos. Now I feel I can offer so much more to the students that attend my Yin class on Saturday evenings at 5:00 PM at the Bombay Room Yoga Studio in Fort Lauderdale. It is a great way to complement  your strong Vinyasa practice, if you have one, or to start your Yoga Path, if you are new to this millenary practice.

Quoting Bernie Clark, from his book “The Complete Guide to Yoga” in Yin Yoga, we seek:

“The stillness of the body, like a majestic mountain
The stillness of the breath, like a calm mountain lake
The stillness of the mind, like the the deep blue of the sky”

Namaste.

 

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