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Curious about Yin Yoga? It's one of the most popular styles of yoga today. Find out why and how it will work for you with Lyndsey Benn, Adore Yoga's own Yin expert


How did you come to be a Yin Yoga teacher?

 

I started teaching Yin quite late in my teaching journey. I stumbled across Yin as a way to balance the more active Vinyasa flow style of yoga I used to practice. I spent most of my twenties pushing my body in various ways, such as sports. This tendency toward all things 'A-type' was echoed in my early choice of yoga style: Ashtanga vinyasa.   While I have the utmost respect for the tradition of Ashtanga, I found myself encountering injury more often than I'd have liked. Due to repeated injury, and an underlying awareness that I was approaching my yoga practice in an unbalanced way, I branched out into other yoga traditions. I spent my thirties sampling esoteric, body based traditions; enquiring in to what suited and served my mind, body and general well being. I've spent my 40's thus far refining that further. The more I was exposed to the practices of Yin, the more harmony I experienced in my body, mind and 'off the mat' day to day living. The quietude and profound connection I discovered with my own inner environment, through the Yin practice, led me to enquire beyond Yin as a class practice experience.  I dived into Yin intensives and then on to complete Yin Teacher training. 

 

What do you think is special about Yin?

 

Yin Yoga has been often described as  'a quiet practice'.  What I loved initially about Yin was the obvious way the practice bridged the gap between asana and meditation. Through the synergy of mind based practices (shared by both Yoga and the Buddhist traditions) Yin brings meditative processes in to the physical practice of asana. Yin lends itself to total simplicity and is open to everyone. This quiet practice allows us time to reconnect with the body, mind and breath, becoming more discerning about sensations in the body. As Yin poses are often held for longer periods than most other asana styles, we have sufficient time to intelligently go deeper in poses, or learn from sensations when not to go deep and when to support.  While Yin is not the entirety of my daily personal practice it constitutes a large part of it and I wouldn't be without it!

 

 

What are the unique benefits your students get from doing Yin Yoga?

 

With the increase in popularity of yoga and meditation,  there are now more than 10,000 peer reviewed studies that support positive benefits of meditative practices. One of the unique benefits of Yin practice, for me, would be the cultivation of an inner stillness & the extraordinary sense of wisdom & well being that can spring from a connection to that space regularly.

 

The benefits of Yin yoga include:

 

 

·        Calming and balancing mind and body


·        Regulates energy in the body

 

·        Increases mobility

 

·        Lowering of stress levels

 

·        Greater stamina

 

·        Better lubrication and protection of joints

 

·        More flexibility in joints & connective tissue

 

·        Release of fascia throughout the body

 

·        Helps with headaches and migraines

 

·        Deeper Relaxation

 

·        Greater ability to cope with anxiety and stress

 

·        More able to sit for meditation

 

·        A deeper understanding of the inner systems of the body & how to nourish it

 

·        Anti-aging benefits

 

 

What should first-time students expect in a Yin Yoga class?

 

 Yin Yoga postures are more passive than other styles of yoga. Most of the poses are done on the floor and you do far fewer than in the faster, dynamic styles. Yin Yoga is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscles and move closer to the bone. While most other yoga practices can be more focused on muscular connection, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. It is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation. A Yin yoga practice gives us new range & freedom in the body & enables our mind to shift, from yang (force), to yin (slower/more open), from super active to realising the power in the more passive.

 

Yin takes into account seasonal shifts & their affects upon the mind/body experience, incorporating themes from traditional Chinese medicine (such as the meridian lines in the body), as well as yogic and Buddhist philosophy.

 

First time students may experience more space in their practice than they have before and new awareness of sensations in the body. New students will learn that no one pose has to look a particular way and will use inner feedback to determine how to do the pose.  

 

 

Lyndsey Benn is an experienced and much loved Yin Yoga teacher – join her for Yin Yoga at Adore on Thursdays at 9.15am. TRY IT – Join us for a no-obligations trial class.BOOK HERE

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