Welcome to the third quarterly edition of Yin Yoga Insights, where we take a look at the yin-side of life and yoga. In this issue we will be exploring the yin-side of bandhas, examining “fuzz” and talking about what music people like to hear while doing Yin Yoga. If you have an idea for future topics, let us know!
Yin Yoga Insights also lets you know about several opportunities to learn more about Yin Yoga via our Upcoming Events listing. You can view a short synopsis of all these items on the side bar on the right.
Enjoy the journey! Cheers, Bernie
The Yin-side of Bandhas
What’s a bandha, and why should I care? And, if I do care, should I employ bandhas during my Yin Yoga practice?
If you have been ambling along the yogic path for any length of time, you will undoubtedly have heard about bandhas. Everyone knows: a bandha is a lock. More precisely, it is an energetic lock. Funny, the more you explore the world of yoga, the more you may discover that things are not always what “everyone knows.” For example, everyone knows that hatha (from which we get the term Hatha Yoga) is made up of two syllables, “ha,” which means, “sun,” and “tha,” which means, “moon.” However, not everyone agrees with even this; for a few famous teachers “ha” means moon and “tha” means sun! Curious!
So, what does this have to do with bandhas? And why talk about bandhas from a yin perspective? Bear with me! Our journey today will reveal how the yin-side of bandhas can actually be beneficial, not just in our yoga practice but in our every day life, and especially for people with lower back issues.
We have just looked at a yin-view of bandhas; to balance ourselves, let’s look at how yang movements can help us be healthier. Let’s look at the yang-side of fuzz! Fuzz is a made up word, made up by a fascinating guy named Gil Hedley. Gil is a somanaut; someone who journeys deep inside the physical body.
In Gil’s exploration he has discovered some fascinating things about our bodies, including the fact that we often get all fuzzed-up! Fuzz is a kind of filmy fascia that occurs daily all over our bodies; it looks like wispy cotton candy. Normally, each day’s fuzz is broken by moving our bodies but sometimes, when we don’t move, fuzz can start to build up. Over time, the fuzz fibers start to “intertwine and intertangle” and an adhesion occurs between the normally sliding surfaces of the body. We become “fuzzed-over” and stiffen up.
Yin is In! And, it is growing in popularity. Yin Yoga has been with us since the beginning of Hatha Yoga centuries ago. But since the early 19th century, yoga has become more and more yang-like in nature. Everything requires balance: yin completes yang. Yin Yoga is the balancing practice for the more active, muscular yang yogas. There are more and more teachers offering Yin Yoga today, and more workshops and opportunities to learn how to become a Yin Yoga teacher. If diving deeper into the yin-side of life is on your 2010 To Do List, here are several opportunities for you. [If you are a student looking for a Yin Yoga teacher near you, check out our Teacher Directory.]
Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings & Retreats
Aug 23 – 30th, 2010: A 7-Day Yin Yoga Teacher Training Intensive
With Bernie Clark at the Semperviva Yoga Studios, in Vancouver, Canada: This Yin Yoga teaching training course, led by Bernie Clark, is designed for students who have been practicing Yoga for at least one year and want to deepen their understanding of the practice. Prior experience in Yin Yoga is not required. You do not have to desire to become a Yoga teacher, but you are expected to have a passion for Yoga. This 50 hour course will include a morning sadhana practice from Monday to Friday, and a chance to actually practice teaching Yin Yoga. For more details or to register, check the Semperviva web page or call them at 604-739-2009.
Nov 1st to 15th, 2010: Yin Yoga Teacher Training
With Bernie Clark at the Prana Yoga College, in Vancouver, Canada: This 40-hour Yin Yoga teaching training course is similar to the one described above but is structured over two weeks, at various times of the day, to accommodate a parrallel 500 hour Hatha Yoga teacher training course, which it is embedded into. For more details or to register, check the Prana Yoga College web page or call them at 604-676-8812.
Many teachers around the world are creating Yin Yoga based workshops and retreats. Some of them are posting these activities on our Forum page. Check it out. There may be one happening near you. (If you are a teacher, feel free to add yours to the page!)
The Yin-side of Bandhas Bandhas are energy tools designed to help stimulate and direct the flow of energy in our subtle bodies. Normally these tools are used during pranayama practice, however some teachers have suggested that we use them in our asana practices as well, especially, in our yang practice. Can we also use bandhas in our Yin Yoga practice? Click here to learn more.
The Yang-side of Fuzz One hundred years ago, doctors would often prescribe bed rest for almost any injury. Today, we know that not moving is one of the worst things we can do for an injury. We need to move. If we don’t, we stiffen up. One reason for losing our normal range of motion when we don’t move is because we fuzz-up. What is this fuzz and what do we do about it? Click here to learn more.
Recent Forum Topics On the YinYoga.com website there is a forum where anyone can ask questions about Yin Yoga or other topics, and everyone is free to offer wise commentary. Included in this newsletter are links to postings where students have discussed their favourite music to play when doing or teaching Yin Yoga Click here to learn more.
Teacher Trainings & Retreats There are several Yin Yoga teacher training courses being held by Bernie Clark in 2010. The next one is a 7-day Yin Yoga teacher training intensive held August 23 – 30th, in Vancouver. B.C. Click here to learn more about these.
Checking out Other Interesting Events There are many teachers leading workshops, Yin Yoga retreats and Teacher Trainings in 2010. Click here to learn more.
YinSights Reviewed Bernie’s book, YinSights – The Philosophy & Practice of Yin Yoga, was recently reviewed by Youngbear Roth at Helium, a web-based knowledge cooperative. Youngbear is an integral yoga therapist and research scientist in mental health with the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. To read the book review, click here.
Camp Moomba Yogathon The world’s original outdoor yoga festival will be at the UBC MacInnes Field, Vancouver, BC.
On Saturday, July 24, 2010, two thousand people will participate in the 8th Annual Camp Moomba Yogathon & Blissfest to raise awareness and funds for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. The much needed funds raised from this event will help send a child to summer camp for an experience of a lifetime. You can help change a life of a child – register for the yogathon today! Registration is only $30.