MINDFUL YIN YOGA
Mindful yin yoga combines the influences of mindfulness, Indian Yogic and Chinese Daoist principles, with western science to improve our health and wellbeing. With it’s emphasis on slow paced, floor based asana, mindful yin yoga increases flexibility in the back, hips and pelvis, mobilises and strengthens the joints and allows body and mind to drop into deeply nourishing relaxation.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention, on purpose and without judgement, to what goes on in the present moment in your body, mind and your outside environment. It involves intentionally stepping out of ‘automatic pilot’ to be present, aware and responsive.
Body – to find you middle path of not too tight, not too loose. Is there something you can let go of? Or perhaps your body is asking you to surrender to some limitations and work with others?
Thoughts – has your mind wandered (it will, that’s what minds do). Are you caught in your ‘story’ and practicing mindlessly. Are you judging your bodies on the basis of what you can or cannot do?
Emotions – do certain asanas make you feel angry, frustrated or sad? Perhaps you bought these emotions onto the mat. What would happen if you changed your breathing? .
In Daoist principles, ‘yin’ is about yielding, being, letting go. Much of our daily life is spent being in a ‘yang’ state, busy, striving, doing, achieving. We need a balance of both for a healthy life and this practice gives us the permission and space to slow down and experience our yin nature. With the forward bends in particular, the relaxation response is initiated leaving you feeling deeply relaxed.
In our practice we:
• Play to our edges – each time you come into an asana, go only to the point where you feel a resistance in the body. Give you body a chance to open up and if you are invited to go deeper, only then do so, listen to your body. You will feel the body being stretched, squeezed or twisted. If you experience: PAIN, BURNING, SHARP STABBING, PINS AND NEEDLES come out of the asana and rest in child’s pose.
• Rest in stillness – once we have found the edge, we settle into the pose and wait without moving, aware of our breath, mindful of thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and dropping into stillness.
• Sink in – when we have arrived at our edge, once we have become still, all that is left to do is stay. The yin tissues of deep connective tissue, ligaments, tendons and bone are not elastic and they need long-held, reasonable amounts of traction to be stimulated. By doing this we are able to:
* lengthening of fascia and ligaments of the back, pelvis and hips
* improving range of movement in tight joints
* rehydrate the synovial fluids
* break down of old scar tissue
* release toxins and waste products from tissue
Within a class, we start with a short pranayama (breathing exercise) or guided visualisation, ending in a final relaxation in savasana. Bolsters, blocks and other supportive accessories are used. Classes are delivered in blocks of 6 to help you develop your practice.
Yin Yoga, Massage, Poems and Singing Bowl Sessions
New for 2020 a delicious 2 hour session, designed to allow you to completely switch off and release any held stress or tension. As you sink into each asana, I will offer a massage touch to shoulders, back or feet, or a craniosacral hold around the head, with essential oils. With poems and an individual sweep of the singing bowl whilst in savasana, a total sensory experience of bliss.
5 week Neurobiology led Therapeutic Programme
Our nervous and energy systems are under a constant barrage of stress and triggers which drain us, lead to sub optimal health and rob us of vitality. It might be an accident, illness, past trauma, something that just feels stuck and you are ready to let go of, leave behind. Wherever your starting point, we enjoy a 5 week journey together towards good health, restoring agency and certain transformation.
The programme is flexible and developed around those attending, so we have bespoke elements. We usually begin with some information input around different topics, for example:
- neurobiology and what happens when we experience some form of shock, upset, trauma
- the influence of social constructs and archetypes and how these effect our thoughts, beliefs etc
- how essential oils can be a useful tool in managing chronic stress, anxiety or residue of trauma
- how flower essences can be also be used to turn us towards a more positive perspective
We then sink into our yin yoga, followed by yoga nidra, pranayama and meditation practice and understand how these practices help ease the hypervigilence in the nervous system and support the process. We then come together and an opportunity to share insights or not, as you feel comfortable. Each week builds upon the last to form a cohesive programme.
Yin Yoga and Gong Bath Retreat Day
Collaborating with a local Gong Practitioner, Alison and I invite you to our series of nourishing retreats of pure rest and relaxation, combining yin yoga and gong bath practices, to melt away tension, worries and concerns, leaving you feeling deeply nurtured and refreshed. Lunch to share. Contact me for dates, or check Facebook events.
1 day retreats are offered in South Oxfordshire, a day just for you to slow down, switch off, rest and refresh. Blending some qi gong based movement, yoga therapy, yin yoga, massage whilst in asana, poems, music, deep relaxation, yoga nidra, pranayama and meditation. Message me for dates and venues.
Week long retreats are being developed for 2020 and 2021, in stunning nature based settings in both France, Spain and the UK. More information to follow.
1 to 1, private tutoring available. Please contact me for further information.