Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Yin for Yin Yoga

This morning while I was sitting in meditation, I decided to break up my routine and fall into a forward bend for 5 minutes. I had just read an article in Yoga Journal about Yin Yoga, which is based on a Chinese rather than Indian system, and let the chi (as opposed to the prana) flow. It reminded me of my first and long-time Hatha Yoga instructor, Helen Brown. She used to have us hold the poses for an intermitable length of time...and when I first started practising, I felt I had to follow her instructions to the letter...P...p for pain! That was in the late 70's at Southwestern College in San Diego, California when I was wearing wrap-around Indian skirts over leotards...and frequently, trying to maintain the perfect pose. What attracted me to the Yin practice was the complete counter directions-instead of holding careful alignment, you are allowed to bend your knees-and a counter pose is not, it claimed to help with hip joint pain. The results were excellent! I was comfortable in the half-lotus for another 30 minutes. So sister and brother yogis out there, remember to relax into your pose and stay with it as long as you can (without any real pain). You'll begin to stretch out the connective tissue that surrounds your joints and contracts with age; consequently, I am sure you will feel much better- I know I do.

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