Yin'ing at Life

Do you love to run headlong at life?  Do you feel guilty if you don't put 100% into everything that you do?  Do you have to be the best at everything?  I know I do, it's the only way to get results right? Well, not exactly. In fact running headlong into life, full steam ahead is the sure fire way to reach burn out or adrenal fatigue. We all need some regular downtime, especially if you are an adrenilin junkie perfectionist like me.

When I first started practicing yoga I did it for the exericse. I loved the fast paced, strength building vinyasa, ashtanga and bikram practices. The harder the better as far as I was concerned, I wanted to sweat and workout. And then all of a sudden I found myself struggling, I was tired, fed up and my usual practice wasn't doing it for me anymore. In my desperatation I found a yin class on Yogaglo with the lovely Felicia Tomasko. I struggled through this half hour class, my body savouring this brief moment to really release, my mind screaming as it was confronted with, horror of horrors, myself. Even though that first class was a struggle, I was hooked.

I finished the class and I felt completely and utterly at peace with myself, I felt stoned on yoga.

I was so mellow, my mind was quiet and my body was in a state of absolute bliss. From that day on I vowed to take a yin class at least once a week.

So what is yin yoga? Physically you perform a few postures throughout the session. My first half hour consisted of around 4 postures including a 7 minute forward fold, and yes, my mind was screaming for me to get out of the pose but the release was more than worth the initial discomfort. Yin classes often take place lying down or seated but you don't practice any standing poses. You hold the postures for longer than normal to enable a deeper release in your body. This can be confrontational as there is nowhere for you to hide, you can't rush to the next posture, you only have yourself and your breath to hang out with. It is the only way that you will actively encourage your muscles to lengthen, by holding the postures for longer you can access the deep tissue fascia.

If you haven't yet tried a yin yoga class, I urge you to do so, it's the perfect tonic to the stressful lives we all tend to lead.  Yin is a therapy session for your body, mind and soul.  It's a blissful reunion of your body and mind.  You'll soon be Yin'ing at life!