Our resident Yin Yoga teacher and Teacher Trainer, Sarah Corbett, tells us why she's passionate about Yin.
I've loved yoga since I was a little girl but often felt frustrated by my practice the older I grew and the more injuries I encountered throughout my life. I often felt I needed to suspend my practice as I nursed a throbbing shoulder or a painful knee. Yin was a huge revelation to me, knowing I could safely practice whatever my circumstance and genuinely feel into my appropriate edge without compromising myself in any way.
Practicing Yin has allowed me to deepen my overall yoga practice in so many ways. On a physical level, my joints feel healthier and more mobile. I have gained a greater sense of clarity and insight into my bodies reactivities and responses when doing yoga because Yin has allowed me the time to investigate during practice. I am able to sink into Meditation far more easily these days with less distraction as I'm able to encounter difficulties more easily. Yin gives you the opportunity to broaden your Meditative awareness with its focus on the breath and training of the mind.
Yin is so unique as you are able to work simultaneously on the physical, energetic, emotional and mental bodies at the same time. Although it's possible to do that in other styles of yoga, you still need a certain amount of energy to achieve this. You can utilize Yin when you are feeling very depleted and much the same as you would feel after a Restorative practice, you leave feeling re-energized and revitalised. Yin has the added advantage of having helped to maintain joint elasticity by working more deeply on the connective tissues of the body. Although Yin is best understood from having a background knowledge of Chinese Meridian Theory, it can also be presented through a knowledge of the Indian concept of the Nadis and the Chakra system. We work deeply on enhancing the energy channels of the body and clearing the energetic pathways and blockages that may be encountered during a practice, helping to bring the organs of the body back to a heathy balance.
I would recommend it to students of all ages and abilities and experience because I have seen it work on those closest to me and on complete beginners and skeptics ! But more importantly because of the difference I have seen it make to people's level of confidence, especially when encountering yoga for the first time. Yoga can be Intimidating when someone feels as if they are too old, inflexible, uncoordinated or a myriad of other reasons making them feel it is too late to start a yoga practice. One should never feel that it is too late to start, but rather that it is the beginning of something attainable and life enhancing. Yin is a perfect way to begin and it is also a beautiful way to go forward for those already practicing who want the time to be able to develop and deepen their practice and skills.