A profound Yin Yoga follow begins with the poses, though it’s greater than only a compelling sequence of postures. It’s the story instructed all through the development, a story that may be enhanced by the in-between moments. That is, partially, what the follow of Yin Yoga teaches us—that each one the moments we fill with presence can join us again to ourselves.
These moments are usually not insignificant. They create area for a distinct type of follow. These areas in Yin Yoga can convey up questions for college kids, in addition to academics. Do we have to relaxation between all sides? Ought to we insert a counterpose? What about motion? How can we hyperlink all the things collectively?
The energetic story of a Yin Yoga class
In the event you may draw the energetic curve of a Yin Yoga follow as a line throughout paper, it’d seem like low, light waves that steadily slope downward to a deep and tranquil endpoint. All the pieces in regards to the class—from the lighting within the room to the speech of the trainer—will affect this curve. Shorter holds, any type of motion, and sitting or standing stimulate vitality. Longer holds, extra stillness, and reclining postures convey the other.
Sleek transitions can convey a way of continuity and stability to a string of poses, in addition to amplify the energetic journey. The trajectory of the energetic curve will differ from class to class, however ideally a Yin Yoga sequence progresses easily and finally facilitates the profound hush and deep launch which can be the supposed endpoint of the follow.
As such, your transitions can replicate the place you might be within the story energetically. Is it the proper time to linger in stillness, or would motion be simply the factor to assist college students assimilate what’s to return?
Completely different approaches to transitioning throughout Yin Yoga
The artwork of sequencing Yin Yoga isn’t sure by black and white guidelines. There’s no rule that you will need to counterpose after all the things. In reality, one may argue there’s some worth in selecting to easily pause in a impartial place and permit the sensations to move, simply as in meditation we domesticate a nonreactive frame of mind.
In Yin Yoga, we purposefully stress the joint websites, which briefly creates some vulnerability within the tissues. In the long run, this stress helps joint well being and optimum vary of movement, however within the moments instantly following a long-held posture, we are able to really feel precisely the other, as if we’ve by no means been stiffer. For that reason, we transfer slowly when exiting a pose.
However when the depth of sensation builds up after a very deep maintain or a number of postures in a row that maintain the backbone in the identical course, we frequently intuitively search to maneuver our physique in opposition. After a protracted stretch, it’s completely high quality to contract the muscle tissues within the goal space for a second, or so as to add a gentle counterpose or motion to assist return to a sense of equilibrium.
Motion can also supply an brisk profit. Melting by way of layers of pressure in our tissues throughout lengthy Yin Yoga postures opens up the meridian channels that run by way of the fluid-rich portion of the fascia, explains Yin Yoga founder and trainer Paul Grilley, giving rise to higher circulation of each fluids and chi (usually translated from Chinese language as “life power,” just like what the yoga custom refers to as “prana”). Mild motion might help flush vitality by way of the channels, balancing and harmonizing because it flows.
Whether or not we transfer or stay nonetheless, we need to accomplish that with intention and consciousness.
See additionally: These Yin Yoga Poses Will Really feel Sooo Good on Your Decrease Again
Relaxation within the rebound…
“Rebound” is a time period coined by Grilley to indicate an analogous pause within the follow that gives the chance to settle into stillness and connect with this deeper wellspring of being. After releasing a pose, a rebound is usually taken reclining in your again like a mini Savasana, however you may as well rebound on the stomach, in fetal place, and even sitting upright. Regardless of the form, it’s a time to turn out to be bodily nonetheless and see what arises, whether or not that’s unfolding bodily sensations, the motion of delicate vitality inside, the bubbling nature of ideas passing by way of. It’s a time to pause and lean into the underlying nature that holds all of it.
A Yin follow ought to embody rebounds, actually at the least one lengthy rebound on the finish within the type of Savasana. However how typically and for the way lengthy do you are taking these meditative pauses? It relies upon. How lengthy is the category? What time of day is it? The place are you within the energetic curve of your story? The reclining rebound is a potent instrument in Yin Yoga, however there is no such thing as a rule that claims you will need to relaxation for a number of minutes in your again after each pose or facet. In the event you embody lengthy reclining rebounds after all the things, it may be difficult to inspire the category to maneuver because the follow progresses. However, not sufficient rebounding can really feel like a missed alternative to go deeper.
…or take the direct route
Take into account the pose that you’re at the moment in and the “route” to the subsequent. Are you reclining, seated, or shifting to palms and knees? Decluttering your sequence and minimizing pointless repositioning might help create a sense of “circulate” even in a comparatively nonetheless Yin Yoga follow. For instance, if you happen to’re transitioning between two seated poses, you would possibly keep seated, both pausing upright or including a seated motion. You can too experiment with merely making your method slowly from one pose proper to the subsequent.
Belief what you’re feeling
A part of yoga follow is studying to be in relationship with ourselves. To concentrate, really feel, and reply to what’s taking place within the second. We be taught to ask, what’s it that I really feel? What’s it that I would like on this second? If we’re working towards on our personal, we have to create area for this. If we’re instructing, it is a ability we would like our college students to develop as effectively.
Enable for individuality
Bear in mind, not everybody will expertise a pose or sequence in the identical method. By permitting room for selection in transition and alluring ourselves or our college students to concentrate, we are able to nurture the discovered ability of tuning in. We don’t have to overwhelm college students with a barrage of cues that provide each chance all of sudden. Exploration will be inspired by way of a easy selection similar to, “Pause in your again and permit the sensations to move, or, if you want, hug your knees to your chest and therapeutic massage your decrease again.”
Create area and time for transitions
Above all, enable time for transitions to happen in a Yin sequence. Even if you happen to’re shifting from one pose on to the subsequent, there’s no rush. In the event you say, “Breathe right here,” you’ll be able to take three extra breaths your self earlier than talking once more in a Yin class. Provide all components of the follow—the asanas and transitions—in a method that encourages a type of curiosity about and luxuriating within the expertise.
See additionally: 72 Methods to Say “Chill out” in Yin Yoga
Methods you’ll be able to transfer between Yin Yoga poses
Listed below are some transitions and easy actions that work effectively within the context of transitioning between Yin Yoga poses.
A Marauding Bear strikes nevertheless it desires, reveling in freedom. Come on to all fours and transfer organically as you get your hands on the candy spots. Make circles, lateral waves, undulate from crown to tail and tail to crown, circle eights, arch, and tuck. Let the motion ripple out into your hips, shoulders, and neck, experiencing all of the fluid potential and connectivity in your physique.
Sacrum Therapeutic massage
Mendacity in your again, hug your knees to your chest, and use your palms to steer your decrease physique, massaging your sacrum and decrease again. You may make smooth circles a method after which the opposite. You can too rock facet to facet, letting your physique shift between the 2 sides of your pelvis.
Rolling Rag Doll
Stand comfortably, ft about hips-width distance aside. Let your head and arms grasp like a rag doll and sway your higher physique to the suitable and slowly roll down in the direction of the surface of your proper foot. Let your knees bend ahead and emphasize the rounding of your backbone. Subsequent, invite your physique weight to pour into your different leg. Lean into the left facet along with your physique hanging to the suitable and slowly roll up, head final. Repeat within the different course. Then roll down the middle, letting the chin drop, the shoulders spherical and the arms grasp. You may repeat the entire sequence a number of instances, or just roll down and keep in dangling pose pose for a minute or two.
Both recline in your again or sit upright as you lean again in your palms, bend your knees, and produce your ft to the ground, about as vast as your hips or somewhat wider. Tilt your pelvis back and forth, letting each knees fall one course after which slowly allow them to fall to the opposite facet like windshield wipers, lubricating your hip joints.
On all fours, maintain your palms underneath your shoulders and stroll your knees somewhat additional again than your hips. Carry your knees collectively and start to make circles along with your hips, pushing your pelvis over to 1 facet, then again in the direction of your ft, over to the opposite facet, after which forwards, leaning on the palms virtually like an Upward-Dealing with Canine in your knees. Proceed to circle at your personal pace, urgent out to the sides. After a number of rounds within the first course, change and go the opposite method.
Twisting On All Fours
On palms and knees, inhale and twist open to 1 facet, extending your arm up as you spin your chest in the direction of the sky.
Together with your exhale, dive down and attain underneath your physique, bringing your shoulder in the direction of the mat as in Thread the Needle however with out touching the mat. Repeat a number of instances on all sides. You may enable your pelvis to tip, like an extension of the twist.
Both sit seiza-style in your knees along with your toes untucked or come to a seated cross-legged place. Straighten your arms out in entrance of you, palms up, fingers prolonged. With an inhale, begin to curl your fingers in in the direction of your internal forearms, stretching the backs of your palms and wrists. Preserve curling in, bending your elbows as you convey the palms by your ears.
Exhale, flip your elbows out to the perimeters and uncurl your arms, urgent out by way of the palms of your palms as you straighten. On the subsequent inhale, curl again in from the perimeters, then exhale and uncurl out to the entrance, palms urgent forwards. Proceed this cycle along with your breath, inhaling to twist in, exhaling to press out, to the entrance, to the perimeters. You may contain extra of your physique within the motion, rounding your again as you curl in, urgent your coronary heart forwards as you open out.
About our contributor
Leta LaVigne is a Seattle native and the founding father of yogaROCKS studio in Finland. She attracts from a wide range of traditions to craft intuitive yin and yang lessons, gently guiding consciousness by way of the physique to the internal panorama. As a long-time pupil of Paul Grilley, Leta embraces a purposeful strategy to instructing. Discover her reflections on yoga, motherhood, and life as a transplant within the nation of rye bread and reindeer at @leta_lavigne.