"Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are. You have been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender." - Rumi
Previously, a lesser known and practiced style of yoga, Yin has gained popularity as practitioners seek more restorative practices that offer moments of respite and ease from their busy, fast-paced lives. In a Yin class many experienced yoga practitioners will feel some familiarity to the finishing postures practiced at the end of more rigorous yoga disciplines like Ashtanga, Flow, or Inyengar. As a stand-alone class however, Yin Yoga offers physical benefits and deep restoration beyond a simple finishing sequence. In this month’s blog, Diane Frea shares how she came to love the practice and the lessons revealed through surrender.
My first experience with Yin Yoga, after practicing other styles for more than 15 years, brought these thoughts to mind:
“Do what? I can’t possibly get into this pose. I’m not nearly warmed up enough.”
“I can’t feel my legs. Will they even move when it’s time to come out?”
“Is the teacher even looking at the clock? Has she left the room?”
“This is so boring. I hate this. Why am I here?”
I found myself at the weekly Yin class because it was the only class offered on Tuesday evenings at my local studio, and I could typically get away from work in time to make it. Like others I met in class, I found that Yin Yoga, with its longer holds of ground-based poses, could be a complementary and balancing practice to more active or dynamic styles of yoga or other exercise routines.
Weeks turned into months, and I found myself settling into the quiet, slower rhythms of a Yin practice. And I experienced more tolerance for deeper, challenging poses in regular flow-based classes, even craving the option to stay and explore a little longer. The more I practiced, the more I came to see that Yin was more about “feeling” than “doing” the poses.
That led me to Yin Yoga Teacher Training at the Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina in late 2017, where I learned the underlying philosophy, techniques and pose names for this style.
Some pointers if you’re new to Yin:
Now, the thoughts running through my head while taking a Yin class are more likely to be “Stay” … “Breathe” …. “Grateful” … “Be” … “Here” … “Now.”
OK, and sometimes, “What’s for dinner?”
Diane Frea, RYT-200, came to yoga more than 20 years ago through an employer’s program for stress management. That led to an exploration of yoga styles and trainings, which she incorporates into her teaching practice to blend exercise and ease. Diane completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2017 through YogaFit, a vinyasa (flow) style designed to be accessible for all body types and experience levels, with additional trainings through Kripalu, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and Asheville, NC, Yoga Center. Prior to moving to Alabama in 2018 to be close to family, Diane was a yoga instructor with the Jewish Community Center and a small yoga studio in Columbia, SC. Diane also is a certified personal fitness trainer, working one-on-one with clients to begin and deepen their yoga experience, as well as to accommodate special conditions.
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