Yin Yoga › Norman Blair
Yin yoga is a floor-based yoga practice in which poses are held passively for a length of time, often a few minutes. Holding poses for a longer period of time works into the connective tissues (ligaments, joints, bones and fascia) rather than the muscles, it can also help prepare the body to sit for periods of time in meditation. Energetically, it taps into our ‘chi’ and helps improve the flow of energy round the body. The practice of yin yoga gives you space to turn inwards and tune the mind and body to physical sensations, often playing with your ‘edge’ and dropping deeper into your practice. We also recommend you try out some energising and dynamic practises to strengthen the body, perhaps vinyasa, or even pilates or barre for a well-rounded daily practise.
Yin Yoga for Hip Happiness
This yin yoga class is all about the hips. Deep hip stretches are perfect for both those of us with more sedentary lifestyles, and those who workout. As yin yoga is much slower and oriented towards internal experience (rather than external appearance), it might possibly be described as a counter-cultural practice. Yin swims against the currents of superficiality and speed and constant consuming. Yin yoga requires patience, and helps to foster a connection to ourselves.
Restoring Yin Yoga
A restorative yin yoga class in which we learn how to relax into our bodies. This is a chance to fall in love with yoga props (pillows, books, blankets and possibly pets!), including exploring the joys of bolster hugging inspired by words from the 11th century meditation teacher Tilopa: “do nothing with the body but relax." A perfect class to calm, restore energy, and prepare the body for sleep.
Gently Restore Energy
This yin yoga class is unusual as it is based on bringing some yang into our yin. Unlike most yin yoga classes which are entirely floor based, this class starts with a standing forward bend, then moves into dragon pose, touching on energy channels and a more dynamic way of working with yin yoga energy. This is a great class for gently restoring energy after a busy day, or when an energy lift is needed.
Yin Yoga: Close to the Ground
In this Yin yoga class, all the poses are very close to the ground. We begin in constructive rest and we end in constructive rest. In between those places, we access the hips and stretch the thighs. This class is great for when you need to restore your energy levels, or at the end of the day when you're encouraging calm and preparing for sleep. You might need blocks, a strap and a blanket.
Heart Opening Yin
In yin yoga we hold poses for minutes. The poses in this heart-opening Yin Yoga class are focused on the heart meridian, and the poses will help you to open your shoulders and heart to all that life has to offer. Quietly energising, because most of the poses are back-bends, you may not want to do this class straight before sleep. A perfect antidote for after a long day’s work with the gentle energising and back and shoulder opening, this class will help you to settle into the evening. You may need two bricks or blocks, a bolster and a sandbag, but improvisation with cushions and books is also encouraged!
Finding Our Yin Foundations
Hip Yin Yoga: Above The Knees - Below The Navel
A hip-focused Yin Yoga class. In this class we replace intensity of form with length of time, so we hold shapes for minutes in order to move deeply from within. This hip-focused class is perfect for those of us with a sedentary lifestyle, who spend too much time seated, especially at desks or in the car, or for athletes, especially runners and cyclists who can suffer from tight hips, which can cause back troubles. You may need blocks, blankets, bricks and a bolster with this class.
Yin Yoga: As Is
As is: a practice of Yin yoga, meditation and pranayama. In this beautifully slow, quiet class, you'll be asked to settle into sensation. Expect just a few poses, all of them on the floor, but long holds. Take enquries into your body, your breath and the issues within your tissues as you relax into what is. A fabulous class for settling the nerves afer a stressful day or for relaxing before bedtime. You will need a block or cushion, a bolster, you may need a strap, and you may want any other props if you have them.
To Relax: Posture Possibilities
Issues And Tissues
An opening of hips and an opening of heart through the practice of Yin yoga. You will need a bolster, two blocks and a sandbag and you may want other props if you have. This class focuses on the breath, with pranayama both before the Yin Yoga and afterwards. The stretches are held deeply and for a long while. You will be asked to settle, to feel deeply and to relax into discomfort. A great daily practice for dealing with life's challenges and deeply relaxing for before bed.
Calming and Centring
Gentle and quiet, calm and centered: the possibilities of Yin yoga are an appreciation of the gift of aliveness, just as we are. This class is gentle, calm and centred, featuring only a few poses, but with long, mindful holds, you'll find this class perfect for gently opening the body, and calming and centering the mind.
Quiet Time 2: Appreciate Yourself
Take time to care for and appreciate your wonderful body with this slowing, softening and stilling experience. Here, gentleness is the key together with developing the skills to find a place where you can stay. Bring along whatever props you have available such as blocks, blankets or a bolster.
Peace and Breath
A very quiet and gentle yoga class. All yoga poses are supine and held for a period, where the body is calmed and quieted and attention is turned inward. Then Norman leads a breath practice at sitting. You may need a cushion or block for sitting still. Great for times where you are looking to reduce stress/anxiety and perfect for before bed when you are looking to quiet the mind and gently stretch the body.
Yin & Breath: 1