• What is Mindfulness Yin Yoga?

  • Based on a mix of the ancient wisdom of traditional Hatha Yoga and modern Mindfulness practices, with a healthy dose of the latest research in mind-body science and therapies, Mindfulness Yin Yoga invites you to tune into your body and be kind to yourself. It is a path, a journey, not to get somewhere else, but to be where we are, as we are in this very moment, with this very breath, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. 

    The approach is less about performance than about the exploration of experience moment by moment. We deepen our practice not by pushing ourselves deeper into an asana but by learning more about what's going on for us in that moment - how we are reacting? and is there another kinder way? Maybe the answer is we go physically deeper, maybe its about backing off at least for the moment.

    The first foundation of Mindfulness Yin Yoga is Ahimsa (do no harm) to yourself and your students, and at its heart we practice the 8 attitudinal foundations of mindfulness - non judging, patience, beginners mind, trust, non striving, acceptance, letting go and self compassion. This creative interplay between witnessing (mindfulness) and compassion is emphasised or present as a background theme of our practice and teaching. We would also say that the witness consciousness and the compassionate heart are fundemental features of all integrative forms of yoga. Together they make us whole.

    So our Mindfulness Yin Yoga practice is the perfect time for cultivating the Yama Ahimsa of 'do no harm' By making a choice to wake up to what we could call Automatic Pilot (where our bodies may be on the mat going through the motions, but our minds are somewhere else!) we can turn towards each part of our practice with a beginners mind - each breath, each sensations, each thought and emotion offer us an entirely new experience to explore. Now thats how we 'deepen' our Yoga practice!

    Yoga Sutras II:16 “Heyam Dukham Anagatam - 

    "Suffering that has not yet come can, and should be avoided”  really supports our vision of teaching yoga. We often ask "as you practice yoga can you relinquish the goal of physical accomplishment for the intention of cultivating awareness of well-being, peace, joy and happiness?"

    So for example in asana we bring awareness to our –

    • Physical sensations to find your 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 honor or surrender to some limitations, and work with others? Remember the moment (or just before) you lose the balance of effort and ease, if your breath is ragged (the breath is the great teacher of the principle of yoga and should take centre stage in your awareness) or if it just doesn’t feel good then these are cues for you to come out of an asana.
    • 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? Are these thoughts pushing you towards practicing certain asanas because you think you should be doing them even if you cannot “abide in ease”? Practice placing the awareness on your breath as the centre of your practice, or labeling the thoughts as "thinking" "planning" "working" You may need to bring your awareness back time and time again – but that’s why it’s called a practice!
    • Emotions do certain asanas make you feel angry, frustrated or sad? Perhaps you brought these emotions onto the mat with you. What would happen if you changed your breathing? Practice a gentle Ujjayi to bring calmness and balance, a longer exhale to reduce anger or anxiety, or the heart breath (inhale and exhale for the same duration, without force) for sadness. With Mindfulness Yin Yoga we also practice a technique called R.A.I.N where we Recognise that an emotion is with us, as best we can we Allow it to be there, we Investigate where it lives in the body, then we come back to rest in Natural awareness with the breath. In this way we can 'be with' our emotions rather than getting entangled in them.

    Mindfulness Yin Yoga taps into the innate potential for healing that we all have. It mobilizes our ability to cultivate embodied wisdom and self-compassion, and by so doing it teaches us to live our life and face whatever arises with awareness, integrity, clarity and an open-hearted presence both on and off our mats. 

    This is why we call Mindfulness Yin Yoga a therapeutic practice, even so, from time to time, we may need to remind ourselves to just 'be'  in our yoga practice, rather than think we are 'doing ' the yoga practice.

    If you would like to deepen your Yin Yoga Practice or add Yin Yoga to your teaching skills why not consider taking our 45hr Mindfulness Yin Yoga further training course from the 1st - 5th April 2019.

    Learn to let go, that is the key to happiness.
    Jack Kornfield.  A Path with Heart.

    Want to learn how to practice Mindfulness Yin Yoga why not come on our course from the 1st - 5th April. Read More