I don’t know about you, but when someone gives me a good multi-pack offer, I use it! I led with that principle when I chose 2x Triyoga sessions for new clients for 20 GBP – what a bargain compared to Zurich!
After using one for an intense Saturday morning vinyasa reviewed here, I decided to do a Sunday class on the complete opposite side of the spectrum: yin yoga for the win 😉 This 60-minute afternoon class led by Katie was surprisingly packed: we had to shift mats quite a few times as the room was filled up to capacity. I could see some regulars were already in the yin state, covered in blankets, with bolsters under their knees.
Katie instructed us to get a significant amount of props, from different types of blocks and straps to bolsters and blankets. For a while it was quite fidgety in the room as many were still finding their spot but when we started, I was surprised at how quiet and serene the setting was.
The theme of the class was the spine, and the three different ways we can move the spine. We started in standing, then bent the top half of the spine, held that for 3 minutes, before going to the next section, and so on. It’s difficult to convey in writing the feeling I had when I was isolating and actively releasing certain parts of my back – sounds super easy, but it’s not!
Looking back, I think we practiced less than 10 poses in the whole class, learned much more than expected about my body and certain tension points. Even though yin practice involves holding poses quite long, this class was far from boring – actually one of the most insightful I’ve ever taken. And that’s thanks to Katie using the time to explain to us so much about yin yoga.
Let me share with you what I learned about the 3 pillars of yin:
- Enjoy the “comfort zone”: We never aim to push and stretch in yin practice. Actually, the sweet spot is at ~50-60% of our flexibility, and we don’t cross the border at which our bodies feel safe and comfortable.
- Find stillness: Once that sweet spot is reached, it’s important to keep as still as possible to let the pose “unfold” – the lack of dynamics helps the release of any tension and increases awareness on the effect of the pose.
- Take the time: Each pose is held for 3 to 5 minutes, which is essential in order to feel the impact. As you reach stillness, you need to leave time to sink into the pose and allow gravity to do the work.
After these insights I definitely look at yin yoga practice differently. Soft and slow and easy as it may look, I felt the impact of the class on my body and my mind, especially when I “did it right”, mindfully and conscious of the yin principles.
Now no wonder the class was booked out – I couldn’t have thought of a better Sunday afternoon activity! Even in crazy, restless, colourful East London ♥