Have you tried an Yin Yoga practice?
Yin Yoga is a passive type of yoga where the poses are held for a certain amount of time, depending of the level of the yoga practitioners. It can be seen as a more meditative practice but it is a great way to improve flexibility and to reduce stress. Beginners can hold poses for up to 45-seconds, but more advanced practitioners can hold poses for 2-5 minutes, or even longer.
Yin Yoga works on the connective tissues and increases the circulation, lubricating and increasing mobility of joints. It applies light to moderate stress to muscles that are gently forced to stretch deeper.
For me the feeling after an Yin Yoga class, in the hot studio, is something like getting out from an active deep tissue massage, without the soreness. A feeling of deep relaxation that lasts for the whole week and always makes me craving for more.
There is a bit of pain or discomfort involved, actually as much as you want. You hold the pose according to what feels right and comfortable for you. Because you’re basically in the same position for a few minutes, there is plenty of time to assess the discomfort and to make adjustments. It is a very productive way to pay attention to how your muscles and tissues feel and to be aware of what your body is needing.
My favourite quote from one of my teachers’ is: “Listen to the story your body is telling you today”. It translates what Yin Yoga means!
The hot studio environment helps loosen the joints, allowing more space between them. The deep breathing, that always helps you to go deeper into the pose, makes your body respond in an amazing way. You can feel it happening! Because you’re creating more space in the joints, your posture improves almost immediately. You feel your body going deeper into the poses! And then there is the slow pace, the teacher’s explanations about what to do, making it a unique encounter with your own body. It is a calming and relaxing time when you really can listen to what is being said to you, focusing only and exclusively on yourself.
Yes, I am an Yin Yoga enthusiast! It fits my life style right now so perfectly since I had a 3 month interruption in my yoga practice. It is a great way to re connect and get my body used to the heat in the hot studio again.
Yin yoga is also a nice way to start yoga if you are a beginner and as an additional practice to your routine if you’re not.
Find more information about Hot Yoga here.
I found this very well done video, if you want to try an Yin beginner Yoga practice.
And here is a longer practice, easy to follow as well, give it a try. I loved it!
A little more information about Yin Yoga
There are two basic types of yoga, Yin and Yang.
According to the Journeys of yoga blog, “Yang Yoga works our muscles and Yin Yoga works our ligaments, joints, and bones. In today’s yoga culture we mainly focus on the yang. In Vinyasa, Hatha, Power, Ashtanga, etc. the main focus is our muscles. But, in order to have a balanced practice and to avoid injury, we should also be practicing Yin Yoga.
Yin Yoga is thought by some to be the oldest form of Hatha Yoga. The roots of Yin Yoga are in India and China. Ancient yoga practitioners sat in poses similar to Yin poses during their meditation. In addition to this, thousands of years ago Kung Fu practitioners were taught to hold poses for an extended amount of time while practicing varying breathing techniques.”
“Yin Yoga was brought to the Western world in the 1970s by Paul Grilley. His original form of Yin Yoga was called Daoist Yoga. After changing the practice to help the body energetically, it became what we know of as Yin Yoga today.
Paul Grilley is very well known in the Yoga community as an expert on anatomy. His Dvd collection Anatomy for Yoga by Paul Grilley is an important reference for teachers and students. Sarah Powers was a student of Paul Grilley and helped him refine the practice. She is the one who ultimately came up with the name “Yin Yoga.”
I would love to hear your experience with Yin Yoga, drop me a line.
Disclosure: There are some Amazon affiliate links below and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
How’s does your body feel after a full day of working at the computer?
I had no idea how becoming a full-time blogger could impact my life in so many ways. I never thought that I would be sitting for many hours and how it would affect my body. I am lucky enough to have been practicing yoga for 10 years and I take a break at least 3 times a week to go to my practice, which helps a lot. However when life gets in the way and I can’t make it to yoga, my body screams at me with all sort of discomfort.
Even having the luxury of working from home, many times in our pajamas, sitting down for hours is not easy. Most times we are not working in the best positions for our backs, necks and shoulders. Although I have a desk all set up for work, I catch myself blogging everywhere, on the sofa, in bed, even in the floor while keeping my dogs company.
Now more than never I have to reach out for my yoga mat and I never craved it so much like now.
For the days that I can’t make it to the studio, I do at least some of the very basic exercises and postures at home.
A great solution is to use some of the videos below that I selected for you. I did each and every practice showed in these videos myself, to make sure you get the best of the self practice yoga. It is unbelievable how more energetic and productive you will feel after doing any of these simple practices:
1 – Simple supported back bend to increase the size of your breath – 2 min
For a simple and quick break during your day and easy relaxation if you’re not ready to dive into the yoga practice yet. Check out this video.
2- Beginner Morning Yoga – 10 min
There is a 10 min beginner morning yoga that can be also used as your break during your day. No need to have any previous experience in yoga, just make sure you don’t have a full stomach and wear some comfortable clothes.
3- Full 20 min beginner practice
Now if you want to try to do a full 20 min beginner practice, that will provide a full body stretch, this is for you! My suggestion is to find a quiet time and location and follow this video. It is in a beautiful location that will take you away from all your daily worries and anxiety of looking at your analytics. I felt so good after this one!
4- Restorative Yin Yoga Flow – 30 Minute Practice for Anyone
After a long day there is nothing like this restorative yoga practice. At slow pace, it starts with simple movements to connect and restore your breathing rhythm to a state of deep relaxation. I’ve become addicted to this short practice before bed. After sitting at the computer for so many hours, body curved, neck down.. the relief is instant! Give it a serious try, I know you will be hooked!
Some yoga styles are intense and vigorous. Others are relaxing and meditative. No matter which type you choose, yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen your body, focus your mind, and relax your spirit. You will feel more energetic and alert and many times even more creative. The effects of yoga go deep in our bodies, minds and souls.
Basic props that you might consider to use in your home practice
Blocks are a must have. Ideally you’ll need 2 of them. These are 100% all-natural cork, durable and easy to clean. They are way more sturdy than foam blocks and more lightweight and cheaper than bamboo blocks.
Bolsters are versatile props for all the practices listed above. They are soft yet firm, their versatility is amazing. One is enough.
A good Yoga mat can last you a life time. Mine is 12 years old and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not yet. However when the day comes I will go for this one that is one of the best in the market these days. Super resistant and easy to clean.
One more video for you, I tried it myself and loved the pace of this short practice.
Go ahead and give it a try today!
Yoga can help you get fit for life. It helps you deal with stress, pick up your child, control your dog, carry groceries, work on your blog or work in your garden. Just like blogging it is not magic, it takes work and time. But then, slowly it starts feeling like magic. The feeling of owning a body that works so well and gives you so much reward is priceless! As priceless as it is to see the statistics of your blog booming!
I started yoga in my 50‘s, it has been 10 years now! Just by accident I went to the gym for a different class but the schedule had changed and I decided to give it a shot, hoping it would be a beginner yoga class.
I had no idea of any yoga movements other than my stretching classes back in the day. I found myself trying to follow everybody else, sweating like a pig and too embarrassed to leave the class, I kept going, sort of.
The movements were intense, I didn’t know at the time, but I was in a Power yoga class, way too advanced! I should be attending a yoga beginner class.
I caught myself very focused… on… not making a fool of myself! And with that I totally forgot where I was or how I got there. Later I discovered that one of the goals in yoga is to be able to focus completely in your body, not leaving much room for your mind to wander around. That happened in my first class, for all the wrong reasons!
In the second part of the class, movements slowed down, I had time to pay attention to how I was moving, what my body could or could not do. Time… ah… and the deep breathing… I started to feel a bit refreshing and liberating. The best part though, the deep relaxation at the end of class, the well deserved rest after the strained exercise of not making too much of a fool of myself!
I could not walk for several days after that class but somehow I went back.
Looking back now, although it wasn’t a yoga beginner class, (the small gym didn’t have any other options) the teacher did offer variations on the poses and was welcoming. He was a tall guy, long hair, the epiphany of the yoga teacher, such a stereotype I had in my mind at that time. I was so wrong, I laugh thinking of this now! His social skills were just not there but the practice was consistent and his passion for yoga, contagious!
From there I joined a yoga studio and the experience was totally different and gratifying. I started on a yoga beginners practice and soon I felt totally comfortable. But, omg, so expensive!
I had several interruptions over these 10 years, I got an old tear in the meniscus that ended up needing to be repaired through surgery. I could barely walk and had to stop all exercises while waiting for the surgery. With physiotherapy and slow yoga classes I am totally recovered and full speed in hot yoga classes now!
Since then it has been one of the best journeys in my life towards a healthier life style but I do get that is not easy to get started.
1- Get the basics, it always helps to have your own mat, a pretty towel, a nice bottle of water and a cute pair of flip-flops. Get your yoga attire, the prettier, the more motivated you will be. Most studios have all the props used in the class but you can have your own blocks and straps if you want.
By buying all this equipment you will already feel sort of obligated to keep going since you already spent all that money!
2- When it comes to yoga, you really can’t go cheap finding a studio. Yoga is not cheap. The yoga education the instructors go through is very expensive. There is no way the practice will be cheap. You pay for what you get. It might be that the gym across the street offers yoga included in their packages. Forget it. Along with the practice you need the ambiance, cork floors, silence, spa smells, warm light. You can’t go for a yoga class banging into sweaty muscular guys, all lights on, noisy music all over and the loud bang of heavy weights on the floor.
You have decided to start, go ahead and splurge on yourself! Just walking in a yoga studio makes you feel like a million bucks!
It is one of the best investments you can make in your life. You can buy a small package of classes to start off but if you are sure you want to give a serious shot, buying a longer package will more likely to make you stick around.
3- Start slow, with the beginners classes, don’t rush into anything. Yoga is a flow of movements that have to start with a solid basis. You have to understand the positions and get to know your body, explore its capabilities and accept your limits. It is your practice and nobody will have one like yours. The instructors tell us this all the time. It is so refreshing to hear it! They also keep reassuring that we should feel comfortable with our own bodies.
4– Allow some time to get to your class. It is always a good idea to get there 15 minutes before the practice. Find your spot, settle in, get your props, calm down and relax. I learned this lesson the hard way in my very first class in a studio. I allowed 5 minutes and wasn’t enough. Because I sweat so much I need to lay a towel on top of the mat, just getting everything ready took longer than this.
5- Focus on the breathing, it sounds funny and out of place when you start but it is the most important exercise, which will rule your practice for ever. Even if you are not doing much in terms of poses and movements, do your breathing first, focus on it. The flow will come, faster than what you expect.
7- Never compare yourself to anybody else in the class. Actually because most of the times you keep your eyes closed you will not be paying attention to whoever is around. Don’t ever feel obligated to do more because your neighbor is doing.
It is your practice, your body.
8- If it gets too tiring and you need a break, do take a break, no matter what. Go to your child pose, breath for a while until you feel better to follow the class. The teachers encourage this and nobody will ever judge or criticize you. One of the many beauties in yoga is the total and genuine lack of judgement. Everyone is well-respected, no matter what, just for the simple fact of being there.
9- Ask questions, the teachers always open their time for questions at the end of the class.
10- If you need to go to the bathroom during the practice, do so. Leave quietly and come back feeling better. There are lots of poses that lead to internal movements and is super natural if that happens.
Your internal organs will be moving too, no other physical activity offers this potential.
11- Drink your water, the practice creates lots of internal heat even in the simple poses. Later on you will not need it as much.
12- Another great way to start if you think you’re not ready to go to a studio is to do some guided classes at home, online. In fact there are lots of yoga variations practices out there: Restorative yoga, Tune up yoga, Yin yoga, Meditation yoga, Healing with yoga.
Do a search for a yoga studio near you and you will find many different types of classes there such senior yoga, kids yoga, mom and toddler classes, etc, so much available!
13- Yoga is a physical and spiritual practice, originated in Ancient India and many instructors add some spiritual exercises to their practices. The chanting of Om at the beginning or at the end of class is very common.You might find different in your first class but soon you will be used to it and will decide to join it or not.
More information here.
It might look like it “takes guts” to get started. Yoga now is so fashionable and celebrated, that you might feel the community is not too welcoming to newcomers. Nothing is further than the truth. Yoga is not in any way closed in towards a certain group. Yoga teachers are always including everybody, offering variations on all poses and very generous on sharing what they know. It is a non stop learning experience, slow in many ways, the same way that happens with other strong foundations we get in life.
It is a journey on becoming a fuller person with a stronger body and mind.
It is not in any way meant for people who just want exercise as a way to lose weight or build a perfect body. These things will eventually happen, as a consequence, down the line, not as the initial goal. Every yoga pose engages your full body, slowly you will feel your muscles getting tighter, your joints becoming more opened, your posture firm and erect. losing weight comes fast, naturally, in a healthy way.
The sense of owning your own body because it works better, it moves with harmony is priceless!
Let me know of your yoga journey, will love to hear from you!
[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]
It is being a hard winter for us in Canada this year and I bet many of us have dug in serious eating during December. We better start detoxing, slowly decreasing the craving for sweets and carbs and going back to healthy eating. Time to bake my "Craving...read more
These sweet milk buns are baked with a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven, which gives them the beautiful golden crust along with the melt in your mouth consistency. Best home made milk buns recipe!read more
If you’re looking for a nutritious and healthy dessert that can be made in 10 min, this is the only one! Amazing tofu chocolate mousse, so decadent and yummy! It will become one of your favourite desserts!read more
If you’re looking for a filling smoothie for breakfast, packed with protein and fruit, this is a show off. Pretty presentation boosted with ginger to keep your immune system going!read more
Plan your kitchen thinking of your family needs but go for a stunning, bold, light and white kitchen. They’re here to stay for a long time!read more
When the Holidays are approaching we all get very busy and normally don’t take the time to pack our presents in the prettiest way. Here some inspiration for that and maybe a change from the rush of the Holidays.read more
Nothing wrong with some instant gratification to add some zest to your life. It is your journey and you should do everything possible to make it easier, prettier and nicer! You should love yourself first more than everything!read more
Having problems convincing your partner on your renovations and design ideas for your home? Find some ideas on how to deal with this and start your new diy projects.read more
Have you tried an Yin Yoga practice? Yin Yoga is a passive type of yoga where the poses are held for a certain amount of time, depending of the level of the yoga practitioners. It can be seen as a more meditative practice but it is a great way to improve...read more
Find here some on line yoga practices that can help you after a day working at the desk. I have tested them myself. even if you don’t have much time, there are some short videos that will make you feel refreshed and more energetic. Give it a try!read more
We all love our dogs. There are some simple ways to give them all the love they give us, going beyond what we think. Taking them for a walk, for example, letting them sniff around till their hearts are content. Their walk, their way!read more
There are ways to keep your home looking styled and nice if you have pets in the family. Find out how!read more