The Day I Tried Yin Yoga

That day I'd just missed a resistance training class. I was too late, the doors were closed.  It was raining, I was cold, and I NEEDED some exercise. I joined a Yin yoga class, the only thing available that late. I've never done Yin yoga before but I've been practicing yoga on and off for more than ten years. I knew what to expect from a yoga class. I've done Hatha yoga, Power yoga, some Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram (Hot) Yoga, you name it. Never too strict about it, going with the flow, going whenever I felt like it. I got my mat, found a nice spot in the front row, some yoga blocks, and ready. 

One minute in the 1st posture and I was ready to walk out the room. What was that about? Some stretching exercises? That's way too easy, this was no exercise. All the yang in me didn't know how to work with this. I wasn't used to this stillness. 

I love stretching, I do stretching exercises early morning or before and after a run but how was it going to work doing what I thought to be just stretching exercises for an hour? What a loss of time. And it felt so uncomfortable. It took me a minute to find a way to be in a pose, fidgeting, moving constantly. And then I settled. I stayed in that pose for 3' just breathing. And moving. And then the second pose came and again I couldn't really find my place.

It was during these few minutes of being motionless that I started feeling my body. My mind was racing thinking all sorts of things but after a minute into the pose, I started thinking only of my body. I started noticing how my body felt, how my hip was comfortable if I'd go a bit deeper, or how my right shoulder was going in one direction without me being able to correct it. What happened is that my mind did what it knew best, to make noise. But because of the long time I had to stay in that same pose, my brain could only concentrate on what was happening with my body and my breath. It was still noisy, but it was noisy about my joints, and my aches, and my breath. I couldn't think any more about what happened that day or about my to-do list, I couldn't think of anything but my posture. 

Magic!

I'm totally a yang person. And young lol. I run, I have a thousand ideas a day, I'm involved in so many things, I want to be everywhere, I want to join new teams, I want to experiment using new tools, I want to learn everything new out there (there are at least a dozen Master degrees I'd love to study). So I'm not the person to find stillness. I find more satisfaction in kickboxing than in a Pilates class. To me, exercise is really about getting my heart rate up. And then I do some guided meditation (sometimes following Headspace), and bedtime stretching, etc.

Mind-wise, Yin gives me all this perspective I miss out because of my yang training. And physically I feel much more stable during my weight lift training, hips have increased their range of motion so I feel like I run better.

I'm so into it for a long time so I registered to get my certification as well. I want to guide people into this practice. It's a complementary exercise routine and it can go nicely with any yang sport you're doing. I think any training programme should incorporate Yin yoga poses at the end of a workout. 

I'll be writing so much more about it so stay tuned!

Yin love to all,

Sofia

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