I teach yin and have done for a few years. My yin teacher was taught directly by Paul Grilley.
I rarely go to any other classes or teachers because I am extremely fussy! However, I recently really felt the need to do this to complement my home practice.
So, I have been attending a class taught by an experienced teacher. Her background is Iyengar, and has subsequently trained in Yin with Sarah Powers.
From what I have observed in this class and others, the Sarah Powers method / philosophy is very different in many ways to the Paul Grilley method /philosophy (at least, as my teacher teaches it, anyway!).
My teacher focuses a lot on teaching functional yoga (alas, she has moved away!).
(Note: I have not trained with Sarah Powers.)
The classes I have been going to recently are not Yin as I know it or teach it.
- Many poses involve moving body parts (arms, legs) in time with the breath in a very flowing way (I was taught that stillness is a big factor)
- Poses are often held for only three breaths (I was taught that three mins or more is ideal - if appropriate, of course)
- Props are infrequently used, the implication being that props are for people who are less flexible etc
- Poses that I would consider more yang are often included eg, fish pose (without any props)
, side plank pose
- Poses are often introduced with the "full expression" of the pose as the goal Implying everyone should aim for this, and if you come often enough, you'll get it
- Some poses are introduced with "most of you won't be able to do this, so leave it out"
- A lot of the focus is on how a pose looks, rather than on how it feels. Eg, in fish pose, she adjusted my legs and feet so they made a fishtail shape, which was actually painful in my hips.
This feels in such opposition to everything I have learned - stillness; staying for longer (as appropriate)
; having a strong emphasis on function rather than form; listening to your own body's needs rather than copying the teacher or trying to go deeper / get better; inclusivity for all people and body types and abilities.
I am wondering - now that YY, as we know it, has been around for a while - if different schools of thought / methods / philosophies are emerging? Perhaps different lineages, depending on who the teacher has been influenced / taught by?
And if you think that teaching 3 breath holds, moving with the breath, doing more yang poses and calling them yin, etc - is actually appropriate?
I am trying to be open-minded, but having a definite internal dialogue with myself over this!