Recently I have been hearing about Yin Yoga teachers who demand their students go to their final range of motion/deepest edge and stay there, even if sensations are painful or really uncomfortable. This is not my understanding of how to practice Yin Yoga! Pain is never good and being so uncomfortable that you can’t stay at the edge makes no sense either. Rather the edge should be played! We approach the edge, then back off and wait for it to move. If it doesn’t move, great! Stay…no need to go further. In fact, as the graphic shows, it is neither important nor essential to be at or close to any final edge. As long as there is some stress on the tissues we get benefit.
Does your yoga practice make you say “Ouch” or “Ahhh”? A new yoga student is asked what she is feeling. With a blank look, she replies: “Fine.” The teacher smiles and says, “I am glad you are feeling fine, but I asked what are you feeling, not how you are feeling. Can you tell me what you notice in this pose?” The student looks confused. She has not been trained to look within her own body, to value sensations, and to examine them. She has been trained to ignore her body, especially when discomfort or pain arises.
Everyday Sublime: Shedding Light on Yin Yoga and Meditation
Josh Summers has created something unique; something every Yin Yoga teacher should be aware of: a series of podcasts on the teaching and nuances of Yin Yoga called The Everyday Sublime. Josh is a licensed acupuncturist, and a meditation instructor who leads workshops, trainings, and retreats throughout the United States and Europe. He offer an uncommon perspective to the practice and education of Yin Yoga, due to his 15 years of practicing acupuncturist and being a dedicated dharma practitioner for 20 years. His podcasts illuminate the theory and practice of Yin Yoga, Chinese Medicine, and meditation as three interwoven tools for apprehending the Everyday Sublime. Check them out, yinsters!
A Plethora of Yin Yoga Videos Gaia Yoga (formerly MyYogaOnline) has over 40 different Yin Yoga videos ranging in time from short 20 minute classes to over an hour. They have almost 20 Yin Yoga classes by Bernie Clark, but also videos from many other teachers such as Doug Swenson, Cameron Gilley, and Dina Amsterdam. If you have never watched a Gaia Yoga video, the first month is really reasonable ($.99) so check them out!
Yin is In! 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 bucket list, there are lots of opportunities for you.
Upcoming Trainings and Retreats with Bernie Clark
7-Day Yin Yoga Teacher Training September 25th to Oct 1st, 2017; November 6th-12th, 2017;
February 12th-18th, 2018; April 9th-15th, 2018; May 7th-13th, 2018; June 18th-24th, 2018; July 23rd-29th, 2018; August 20th-26th, 2018; September 24th to 30th, 2018; November 5th-11th, 2018.
All of these 50-hour courses will be at the Semperviva Yoga Studios, in Vancouver, Canada. The Yin Yoga Teacher Training Program offered at the Semperviva Yoga College is a unique way to deepen your yoga practice and touch tissues rarely worked in a more active yang style of yoga. For 200 hour certified teachers the credits of the course can be applied towards the 500 hour certification offered by Semperviva, and are eligible for CEUs with Yoga Alliance. (CEUs = Continuing Education Units and are required to maintain your status as a Registered Yoga Teacher).
Meditation Revealed With Bernie Clark & Nathalie Keiller February 18th-25th 2018 June 24th-July 1st 2018
This course will examine what meditation is, why we do it (its many benefits, spiritually, psychologically and physically), and how to do it, from a variety of viewpoints: From Eastern Yogic and Buddhist views to Western Psychotherapeutic understanding. The course will include personal, one-on-one training in Deep Meditation, as well as group instruction, to give the student an experiential basis for the practice of meditation. Held at the Semperviva Yoga Studios – Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Learn More
If you are having trouble finding a Yin Yoga teacher near you, or if you are traveling to somewhere new, try checking out the Directory of Yin Yoga teachers. We have hundreds of teachers registered from all over the world. If you are a teacher and are not in the directory, just send us your information and we’ll be happy to add you.
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!)
Yin Yoga videos There are a plethora of Yin Yoga videos by Bernie Clark and many other great teachers available at Gaia Yoga. Check them out! (You can also find non-Yin videos by Bernie there too, including the Dragon Dance.)