The joys of yin yoga: students’ perspectives

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in Ashtanga, Ashtanga yoga harpenden, Benefits, Harpenden yoga, Yin, Yin yoga Hertfordshire, Yoga Harpenden, Yoga Hertfordshire, Yoga St Albans | 2 comments

It’s all well and good me saying how great yin yoga is but I thought it would be nice to hear from others to find out what yin means to them. I spoke to a couple of regular students and here’s what they said:

Reclining backbend yin yoga pose

Louise’s favourite yin pose: gentle backbend and hip opener

How would you describe yin yoga to someone who’s never practiced it?

Natalie: Yin yoga is a deeply relaxing yet energising form of yoga that encourages you to really breathe into each pose. Poses are held for around five minutes or so and are mostly seated.

Janet: I would say that it’s relaxing and calming. It realigns your body and soothes your mind. We hold poses for five minutes at a time and you only do what is good for your own body.

Louise: I wasn’t excited ahead of my first yin experience. I love ashtanga and I thought yin sounded a bit dull and easy. Not my sort of thing. I quickly realised why everyone goes on about yin being the perfect complement to ashtanga. And it’s definitely NOT easy. Or dull. I find it challenging yet peaceful. Stretching yet relaxing.

Natalie's favourite yin pose: Butterfly - forward bend, hip opener

Natalie’s favourite yin pose: Butterfly – forward bend, hip opener

Why do you enjoy practicing yin? 

Janet: I’ve got sciatica and I know it helps my back. I feel the benefit throughout the whole week! It helps me to feel relaxed, stretched and soothed.

Louise: I generally struggle to clear my mind and relax. Thoughts and tasks always creep in but yin seems to give me an opportunity to really let go and just be.

Natalie: Firstly I love it as a ‘balancer’ to ashtanga yoga. It is wholly complimentary yet completely different in approach and focus. I feel that with this style of yoga I really begin to understand the enabling power of breathing. I am naturally very ambitious and competitive and find yin makes me stop and reflect on why I am doing yoga in the first place.

After a yin session I feel balanced, relaxed and energised. I find it clears my head and helps me focus. I sleep well afterwards and feel less ‘crunched up’ in my posture.

Favourite yin pose? 

Janet: I’d have to say particularly the twists as they help my back.

Louise: When you sit on a block and then lie back over a bolster. A kind of active bliss!

Natalie: Seated, with legs over the bolster, leaning forward towards my shins. I find it invigorating and can see a real difference in terms of how much my body opens over the five minutes.

Have you practiced yin? Why do you enjoy it? Do you have a favourite pose? Feel free to comment below.

If you’d like to try yin or continue your practice:

  • I’m starting a weekly yin class at The Yoga Hall in St Albans from Thursday 17 October.
  • April and I are next teaching a yin/ashtanga workshop in Harpenden on Saturday 19 October.

    Yin pose: spinal twist

    Janet’s favourite yin pose: spinal twist

2 Comments

  1. My hips always feel very open after one of your yin workshops Clare, thank you for introducing me to yin yoga, its a brilliant compliment to my ashtanga practice. Looking forward to 2nd November already! 🙂
    Om shanti
    Cathy

  2. I’ve been practicing yin yoga for over a decade with Norman Blair (www.yogawithnorman.co.uk) based in London. I practiced yin throughout both my pregnancies and without it I don’t think I would have survived labour! Yin highlights the transient nature of everything…joy, pain, tension, emotional and physical sensations. The experience of practicing yin warps time. Five minutes can seem to last an eternity or be over in a flash. I believe a regular yin practice cultivates humility, endurance, inner strength and a calmer mind. Thank you Clare for gathering the thoughts of yin yogis…x

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