Hello dear Yogilators,
I’ve been traveling a lot lately, which meant many hours of sitting in airplanes and moving between time zones. You can perhaps imagine that my body wasn’t all too happy about it at times, but THANKS to YOGA <3 , I was able to gently wake up my body and prevent my lower back or hips from aching and hurting.
My first stop was in NYC and my hotel offered some fitness and yoga classes for guests. OF COURSE, I had to try it out and I was lucky enough to be able to attend one class AND that our teacher, Jeni Livingston, decided to do a session of YIN YOGA.
Have you tried YIN YOGA yet?
I’ve tried YIN YOGA for the first time 2012 at the”Yoga Boutique” in Chicago and then again this year during my yoga retreat in St. Peter Ording, where I finally became a fan and appreciator 🙂
What is actually YIN YOGA?
You’ve probably heard about the “Yin and Yang” principle from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or Chinese philosophy, which shows how forces can appear contrary or opposite, but they are actually interconnected, interrelated or complementary.
Finding our balance on the mat does not only mean via poses and meditation. It means finding a balance in our whole practice. Therefore, we need YIN yoga to reach our deep tissues or “fascia,” and our joints. AND we need the YANG yoga practice, which is more dynamic, to target our (long and lean) muscles..
In YIN yoga, we usually stay in each position for 3 to 5 minutes instead of only a few deep breaths, which really allows our muscles to open up, and to breath into those areas that are perhaps aching a little, as well as to get into a deep relaxing and meditative state of mind (and body).
Jeni, our yoga teacher, did a very good job in explaining what each pose does and which areas it focuses on. She also stopped the time for each pose, so we REALLY stayed in a pose for 5 full minutes!! Lucky us! 😉
Sure, admittedly, it wasn’t always the most pleasurable feeling to stay in a pose, however, this is part of YIN yoga and the lesson I’ve learned from this practice.
I’ve learned to ease my mind and remain calm in situations that might not be the most comfortable for me in that very moment. Also, it helps me to practice patience and perseverance in moments where I would normally just like to give up.
Plus, I am convinced that YIN yoga was the best way for me to wake my body up and to get rid of the stiffness in my hips and legs from sitting so much. I always feel like I am “walking on air” when I am done with the session.
What do you need for a YIN YOGA session?
The hotel was nicely equipped with yoga blocks, mats, and blankets. Jenni encouraged us to use the blankets to get into our poses/stretches safely, without over doing it or hurting ourselves. Again,…
… it’s about our bodies, and each body is different. What felt good to you yesterday, might not feel good today.
She reminded us that it’s perfectly fine if we can only stay in the “beginner” version of the pose today.
Particularly for Pigeon pose, the blanket underneath my hips really helped me to ease into the pose without straining my neck or pulling up my shoulders (which I unfortunately do oh too often..).
Which poses are used in a YIN YOGA sequence?
In Yin yoga, you’ll hold the floor based yoga poses for an extended time. Here is a nice 30-minute YIN yoga video sequence by Yoga by Candace or a Yin Yoga session to boost your metabolism and restore your body by MindBodyGreen.
ENJOY and check out a class with Jenni if you’re in NYC and staying at the Residence Inn – Marriott in Manhattan/Central Park. You’ll feel ready and refreshed to hit the big city and explore 🙂