Today, I will share with you about the Yin Yoga workshop I took a few weeks back. The workshop was led by Joe Barnett, who has been a long time senior assistant to Paul Grilley, a pioneer of Yin Yoga.

First, I’d like to explain what “Yin Yoga” is.

Yin Yoga is a quite new style of yoga compared to traditional yoga, such as Ashtanga Yoga and Sivananda Yoga. When I did Yin yoga in the workshop, I was so surprised, because in Yin Yoga, we keep each pose for about 5 minutes to loosen around our joints and deep tissues. It is really unique.

Yin Yoga has various poses just like any other yoga. Some of are traditional yoga poses but there are specific poses that you don’t encounter in other styles of yoga.  And each pose has a unique Yin name.

In Yin, there is no correct alignment of poses. This is one of the unique points. Instead, each pose has a target area. For example low lunge posture, which is named “Dragon” in Yin, can stretch your hamstrings and  the deep tissues around the hip joints. When you practice Dragon, the point is to feel a mild sensation in these areas. So, it is okay to do in any position as long as you can feel the sensation in the target areas.

Of course, your feeling will change while holding the pose. If you feel pain or if you feel uncomfortable, you should adjust to find the mild stretch in the target area. For example, shifting the position of your knee or using blocks.

Joe Barnett has taught us that in Yin yoga, the most essential part is the time of “rebound”. It may be calm or refreshing. The pose must have given some feelings to your body and mind. Further, you can observe the flow of energy inside your body. And you would feel the sensation after coming out of a pose.

In any yoga style, we should have some self-reflections through doing Yoga. How each pose helps us or what the overall effects are. But I noticed I might’ve forgotten that important aspect of yoga practice. My mind was too focused on other things like, 

“I want to do a lot of poses next to next.”

“I can’t feel refreshing unless I do many poses.”

I want more this, more that……I might’ve had no room to feel what each pose gives me. I realized this when I practiced Yin yoga at the workshop.

Our daily life is the same too. We always get a lot of grace through our daily lives. But we are not aware of it and upset with saying “I have nothing!”. How stupid we are.

Always, it is important to have extra room in your heart.

Of course, we can’t live that way all the time. Sometimes we face a lot of stress that we can’t escape. However, that is why we need to remember what is important and make room for it through doing yoga. I have now realized how important it is.

I started home-practicing Yin yoga at home right after the workshop. It helps me remember what I learned in the workshop. 

Thank you, Joe for the amazing practice and Kanako, for organizing the wonderful event!

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