These are thoughts I have been contemplating these last few days so I thought i’d share them with you all.
Exploring some of the purpose behind Yin Yoga and why is it important that every teacher that teaches Yin Yoga is well educated in the practice?
Yin Yoga today is something most yogis has tried or heard about, its becoming a more common form of yoga to what it was years ago when I started to teach this wonderful practice.
Back then, not many people knew what Yin yoga was and the hype was to move fast with power and vinyasas. I remember being questioned several times – what the heck I was doing teaching suck slow yoga?
Well, it didn’t take long before the rest of town liked it as much as I do! My classes packed out with yogis and surfers, runners and athletes, old and young, injured and hypermoboile people feeling the healing benefits and the flow of chi.
Other Yin classes started to pop up at studios and community halls, and for me that was pure success – how amazing that we can spread and share this fantastic practice with so many people! But as the classes started to increase I also saw that there was often a difference in a Yin class compared with another Yin class – and I don’t mean just that difference in the vibe the teacher gives but more so a difference in what was taught and what Yin yoga was perceived as, and then also dished out as.
Yin yoga is a deep and powerful practice that moves bones, that stresses on our fascia, tendons and ligaments and opens up space for our joints and deep tissues to have free flow of energy, blood, oxygen, fluids and love. The practice is deep to a different level than any Hatha class where the attention is on muscle and the strengthening and lengthening of muscle, in Yin we move the deeper set tissues that are dryer and need more time to be massaged in to freedom, hence the sensations are powerful and the practice is strong.
I saw Yin yoga being taught less like what Yin yoga is but more like a slow Hatha practice (moving and working muscles) or as a Restorative yoga class where props and blocks were used to make the students relax on them, yet limiting them from going deep due to that the sense of working with allowing gravity take the body and melt it in to where it needs to go was held up by blocks and blankets, bolsters and pillows.
There is much more to teaching Yin yoga then you may think.
This was what made me start to teach Yin Yoga teacher training weekends in Sydney a few years ago. In my opinion, if people go to a Yin yoga class, thats what I reckon they should receive – the deep powerful practice that reaches in to the physical, energetis, mental bodies as well as sparking your heart with compassion and goodness.
I am currently about to start the 2017 100 Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings in Sydney and then in Bali. These trainings has for the last few years been amazing.
I have all these wonderful and curious teacher trainees to educate and inspire, to spark their curiosity and light their fires to teach more yoga, Yin yoga, functional yoga.
The responds from these teacher trainings have been absolutely amazing! The training has a prerequisite of 200 hour prior Yoga teacher trainings so these guys are smart yoga teachers with a lot of education already behind them. That in itself is making the training a challenge for me – since us yoga teachers are often attached to our teacher trainings and what we have learnt before and Yin yoga with its functional anatomical approach it definitely pushing buttons – and I LOVE IT!
To get my buttons pushed is what is making me a great yoga teacher – thats where I get exposed to new ideas, different ideas, logic, knowledge, energy flow and awareness. As a yoga teacher, my teachings comes, of course, from my yoga knowledge and my anatomy knowledge but it maybe more so, it comes from my heart and my inner wisdom. The educations and trainings I teach are often guided from the wisdom that flows from within. But if I am stuck and set in my ways this inner wisdom will probably be a little stuck too?!!
The Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings have shown already great teachers how to teach an even more profound class, a class that teaches functional yoga where a individual practice is welcomed and students are given permission to be guided from within.
No dogma, no stagnation but a lot of flow and freedom. And let me tell you, hand in hand with flow and freedom comes laughter and as the teachings evolve, the laughter increases and a sense of a joy and love vibration is spreading wide.
Yoga are often taught to be a precise movement, but how can it be if we are all different and unique? The shape of our skeleton is like a finger print, we are all different so why should we move the same?
Yoga is meant to create health and happiness and ultimately to still the movements of the mind, chitta vritti nirodah, so that the energies in the body and along the spine flows in harmony. As the mind softens we can start to open the door that has the rest of our brain capacity that may be looked up, we start to feel and trust. We start to experience what else there is to us, why we are here and what the bigger picture is about.
If our practice is taught with dogma and in a rigid, set and precise rule kinda way where there are no room for individualism and a way to explore our unique bodies, hearts and mind, will we then evolve as Beings?
Yoga is a practice for your entire Being!
Are you in flow or in stagnation? Does your yoga practice reflect the dogma you are in life?
What are we here for? Who are you?
Questions well worth pondering!
Love and Light