Today we’re sharing a glimpse into our yin yoga classes and our unique approach to this kind of movement. Every class I teach, I design with the intention of inviting you to feel into the body, helping you move better in your day. I plan out each session to be unique and supportive, providing you with what you need most that day. More stillness, more deep stretching, more coming back into a place of mind/body connection – whatever it is that you’re needing, our classes are here so you can lean into that area.
Walking you further through the experience of a class in our renovated one-hundred-year-old farmhouse studio, our yin yoga offerings are mainly a seated practice. I teach each class offering supportive props like bolsters, blocks and blankets, and mini weighted blankets, made locally in Hamilton, ( which I helped design!), items that help create a nurtured environment for intentional, mindful movement. As we begin each pose, I guide you to listen deeply by paying attention to the target area we’re focusing on. How does it feel to arrive there? What thoughts emerge as your body takes this shape? We spend the first minutes sinking into the sensation in our body and all that it’s offering us right then.
Sometimes there is resistance as our minds remain busy from our day. Sometimes it’s easier to sink into the pose and the present moment. Whatever is coming up for my students, I guide them through simply noticing instead of trying hard to be a certain way.
As we allow ourselves to be, to accept where we are in each moment without trying to force anything, we step out of our logical, processing brain and into our emotional, feeling brain. The more we notice the sensation instead of trying to master the pose, the more we can tap into what we’re experiencing and feeling within our bodies. This method of teaching functionally helps my students better cultivate a deeper connection between the body, their joints and ligaments, the feelings arising, creating an in-tune awareness of their movement experience.
I guide you to feel moderate sensation in the target area, this keeps the practice safe and allows us to notice our breath and the gentle inhales and exhales. We then embrace stillness, staying in the pose as long as feels right for your body. The practice of yin targets the fascia, the connective tissue in the body, by stretching it and temporarily lengthening it. This is important as our fascia is part of our extracellular matrix, which gives support to our structures and cells of our body. By maintaining the health of our ground-substance (the area between our tissues and joints), we will be able to keep moving well, especially as we age.
The longer held postures and the more often you practice yin yoga, the more freedom you’ll have in movement in your day-to-day life.
For me, our yin yoga classes are a combination of grounding mindfulness and the physical health of our muscles and tissues and both work well to maintain healthy movement.
Ready to experience it with us? Join us for a class! I’d love for you to take it all in, firsthand.