Historically I have scoffed at the idea of taking a "YIN" or restore yoga class … why would I pay someone $20 to take a nap?
After sitting on my bum for two months due to a broken foot I was shocked at how tight I had become. My muscles were used to sitting and did not like it when I tried to stretch them at all!
For the first time ever I started considering incorporating a yin practice into my weekly schedule. My beautiful yoga friend Shannon explained the importance of yin to me perfectly. She saids that in our modern workout world today we are all so focused on the yang, the masculine energy – SPRINT until your legs burn, SPIN until your knee caps break off, go faster faster faster – chaturanga until your wings falls off, CONTRACT; and often we forget or completely neglect the yin, the feminine energy of fitness – be soft, stretch, breathe LENGTHEN.
I decided to try this Yin class online. It took every single ounce of my mental fortitude not to shut the computer right off. I came up with at least 15 reasons in the 33 minute practice for why I could possibly stop. I was in pain … 99.9% mentally but physically I must admit did feel a deep release afterwards. Don't worry at points the audio cuts out because she has a mic on and presses it into the mat – it is still working don't turn it off!!
My hips don't lie … they love yin.
My head on the other hand might take a little longer to wrap around the idea but I'm slowly getting there. Unless you're born a flexible monkey, or you had years of professional ballet training you, like me, will probably also benefit from a little focused release. I'd start online – 30 minutes was plenty as a first timer – and see if you can recruit a friend to do this with you … one of you will be in charge of just keeping the computer open!