Yin yoga is based on Taoist principles and the principles of interacting with the fascial system. As such, yin involves softening or sinking into seated or lying-down postures, following the body's path of least resistance, and staying in postures for several minutes. There are psychological/mental as well as physical intentions for the practice. At a physical level, yin can maintain or improve range of motion by gently pressing into joints, and the compression provided by the body's passive pressure helps release restrictions in the fascial system, which can have many positive effects. At a psychological/mental level, yin gently challenges us to be present with our own experience, whatever sensations, emotions, or thoughts it happens to hold (including the uncomfortable stuff we might normally not-so-consciously veer away from). In this way, yin can be viewed as a practice of acceptance in which we cultivate receptivity rather than reactivity. The real gift of this is that once we get better at listening (the yin) we can use this to act--intentionally--based on what we observe (the yin informs the yang). As it is, as a people, we are generally very unbalanced in the direction of acting all the time without taking a moment to observe--no wonder a lot of actions spin out of control--this is the equivalent of talking all the time and never listening (becomes nonsense!). So, think of the yin practice as support in developing a balanced conversational (life) strategy that involves both speaking and listening--how could you be better engaged with the world? Wear comfortable clothing in which you can keep warm (we do not work up a sweat!) and please have pillows and blankets or towels around for props.
Yoga nidra is a form of guided meditation intended to help you move through levels of self-identification to reset the nervous system and clear yourself of stale energies/patterns. Headphones are recommended as this is a listening practice. Feedback from students: helps with sleep, can generate feeling of being spacious awareness (rather than limited temporal ego-self), can facilitate connection to inner self/guidance. All you need for this practice is a comfortable place in which you can relax your body (generally people lie down during this practice).
Yoga basics classes are gently active; they incorporate traditional standing, seated, and lying-down hatha yoga poses, as well as flowing movements. This practice is appropriate for beginners or anyone who appreciates a deliberate, intentional approach in which breath is used to coordinate movement and deepen body attention. Over time, this practice helps build strength, increase flexibility, and improve balance. It is important to me that I provide instructions that help you really feel into your body in the different postures, so we do not move quickly. Wear clothes in which your movement is unrestricted, and please have a mat, blanket or towel, and perhaps a yoga brick around for props.
Weekly Zoom classes!
All: no experience needed...
All: Eastern time...
All generalize and are cumulative, which means their effects spread out and grow over time. What would that feel like?
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Tuesday & Thursday 11 AM - Yoga Basics (one hour)
Gracefully grow into your strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as your comfort with your own physicality. Traditional asanas (standing, sitting, and lying-down poses) are presented slowly, and with clear instruction, so you can feel what is going on. Emphasis is on attention, presence, and oxygenation. Have a yoga mat and a towel or blanket around for props.
Tuesday 8:30 PM - Yoga Nidra (45 minutes - one hour)
Reset your nervous system (i.e., get out of the ubiquitous, addictive, self-reinforcing fight-or-flight response) by reorienting to your multidimensionality in this guided meditation. I am an iRest level 1 yoga nidra teacher, and have many years of experience studying and teaching about cognition, so I have a unique perspective and enthusiasm about the importance of journeying through levels of consciousness for healing purposes. As I can never say enough times to students: the only power you truly have is where and how you decide to focus your attention (but don't worry--this is ALL the power you need). So, learn to be deliberate with your attention and see what happens. All you need for this practice is a comfortable place to relax your body (this can be done lying down or sitting).
Wednesday 7 PM - Yin Yoga (90 minutes)
This practice, which involves relaxing into seated or lying-down postures, helps cultivate what are probably the most important abilities right now: conscious relaxation; finding comfort with discomfort; and feeling/listening to your sensations and emotions rather than reacting reflexively/distracting yourself/moving without thinking. I wish we could offer this to all students--it is that important! This class is also great at a physical level; it's a complement to your more active practices and helps release physical and energetic restrictions that can contribute to muscular tightness, pain, or limited range of motion. Dress warmly and comfortably. Have pillows, blankets, towels, and cushions (or props) around for props.