Being a yogi doesn’t mean you don’t have problems; you just have more tools for dealing with them. This is the third part of the theme month on yin yoga. In this part I will inspire you how to work with your practice and what to think about. The demands of Western culture can easily lead to low self-esteem. Let me educate, guide and inspire you to a more balanced life where yin yoga plays an important part.
This is a part of the four week yin yoga theme in BEYOGA365, with the purpose to guide you to a more relaxed and balanced month of December. Read the introduction of the month here!
Week 3 (of 4) - Stay A While
The illusions, attachments, and habits of our daily lives and limited day-to-day awareness create blocks in our bodies that impede the free flow of prana and the working out of our karma. Through the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit, we can encounter, affect, and release these blockages by working on physical, mental, and energetic levels.
Meditation in particular allows us to step away from the patterns and challenges of our karma and see our greater roles, feel our places in the universe, and return to daily life with that new perspective. The expansion of ease, awareness, and prana that results from yoga is an expansion of our ability to live and follow our karmic path with ease and grace.
Before I started doing meditation and yoga, I identified myself with my thoughts and feelings. Today, I have learned to view them more as patterns and reactions coming from my mind and soul. In looking closely at them in meditation, I learn a lot about myself in the now and how I function; and I begin to see what takes me out of balance and out of reach of myself.
Yin yoga is a more mindful practice where one can look at and relate to reality and understand one’s relationship to it. Paying attention to something can be done in several ways. The practice of yin yoga creates understanding, both of our current condition and of the reluctance or avoidance of being in what we perceive as negative or unpleasant experiences. To continue reading and learning more about this week's topic: stay a while, read the entire text in a separate blog post.
This week's challenges
In yin yoga it is often advised to start with 3 minute holds and up to five minutes for more advanced practitioners. If you like, you can use a stopwatch to monitor the time. Use each pose to practice staying in the moment. Rather than giving up when you begin to feel anxious, see if you can experience the stillness as being valuable in itself, an opportunity to breathe evenly and freely and connect with your body.
Since you are working with the fascia in your body in this practice, I cannot stress enough the importance of slowly coming in and especially out of the pose. Also, do not miss out on the juicy feeling just seconds after a pose. Sit for a moment, close your eyes, breathe gently and feel the aftermath of the pose. It is usually very pleasant. If you move too quickly, you miss out on the endorphin rush and you risk the tissues drawing back together too fast, which can hurt.
Classes this week
This week I recommend you to do mine, Satu's or Johanna's yin yoga classes below twice and follow up with the recommended meditation right after. The other days work on balancing these classes with some stability classes like mine or Sarah Fingers ISHTA class or any of the other lovely teachers that you find inspires you.
I also invite you to ask yourself and inquire around the following questions during the week when you have a moment before, during and after your practice:
- In my yin yoga practice - can I find a space where I can just be - connecting to just the breath?
- Can I increase my Savasana time by another 5-10 minutes? At least 1-2 times a week?
- Have I told people I love that I love them?
- Do I need to apologize to someone?
- Can I give myself time for just being with myself doing something I really love, as a christmas gift?
Yin yoga sequences
Meditative yin - let's focus on the needs rather then the wants, with Ulrica Norberg. (English)
Embodied Yin: Travel into your individual side, releasing the negative side of the ego with Satu Tuomela. (English)
A yin class with Satu Tuomela focusing on your kidney & urinary bladder meridians. (Finnish)
Global yin yoga: Happy baby - Not Worried Baby. Focus on really feeling the poses with Johanna Andersson. (Swedish)
Visit every little corner of your body with this meditation that is deeply calming for the mind, with Simon Krohn. (English)
A guided meditation where Ulrica Norberg guides you through a visualization and the Ham Sa mantra. (Swedish)
Stability, flowing and strengthening classes
Release tension fore more flexible stretches and twists, with Sarah Platt-Finger. (English)
Focus on the slow and strong transitions with Satu Tuomela. (Finnish)
Focus on your feet and taste the power. Simon Krohn guides you in this grounding sequence. (English)
Go deep into your seven chakras with Ulrica Norberg. (Swedish)
I wish you the best of luck this week and see you on the mat and here on YOGOBE next week!
This text in its entirety has been inspired by content from my book: Yin Yoga – An individual practice. If you like what you read you can buy it here.
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