Yin Yoga Yinsights Newsletter #6

Yin Yoga Yinsights

April, 2011

Yin Yoga for the Upper Body

Traditionally, Yin Yoga works the area from the navel to the knees, but the principles of Yin Yoga can be applied to all areas of the body. We know that the yin tissues that we are targeting are the denser, deeper, more plastic/less elastic tissues, such as the ligaments, joint capsules, cartilage, bones and fascial networks of the body, but these tissues are found in the upper body as well as the lower body. We can apply the principles of Yin Yoga all over the body. Normally we focus on the lower body because as we age it is this area that tightens up the most. But we can, indeed, do Yin Yoga for the wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck.
      This edition of Yin Yoga Insights will look at these upper-body areas from the yin-side. As a bonus, we will also explore the 5 elements, according to the Daoist perspective.

Cheers,
Bernie

Yin Yoga for the Neck

We carry a lot of stress in the neck and shoulder area, especially people who spend great swaths of time typing or working with their hands. Tight neck and shoulder muscles can lead to headaches and shallow breathing. Chronically tight necks can lead to shortened ligaments and a very restricted range of motion for the neck.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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Yin Yoga for the Shoulders and Arms

The shoulder is one of the most mobile and complicated joints in our body, capable of a large variety of movements. One reason that this is so, is because what we refer to as shoulder movement is really two separate movements; that of the arm and that of the scapula. The arm has 6 degrees of freedom while the scapula can move in 8 directions. If we were to analyse all the possible combinations we would have to look at 48 movements. We don't need to have 48 postures, fortunately, to keep our shoulders in optimum condition. There are a couple of classic positions for the arms that will work the shoulders quite nicely.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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Yin Yoga for the Wrists

Body workers, typists and musicians are just some of the people who suffer from repetitive stress syndrome and often this occurs in their wrists. There is a band of fascia surrounding the wrists called the retinaculum and there are many layers of ligaments, such as the carpal ligament, that pass over the tendons of the flexors of the fingers. Repetitive, yang-like movements of the hand can damage these yin-like tissues creating problems with names like "carpal tunnel syndrome." Yin-like exercises will help thicken and strengthen these tissues, if done properly.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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The Five Elements

According to Chinese Medicine there are 5 elements that are fundamental to the cycles of nature and are reflected in the cycles of our bodies. We all have the 5 elements within us arranged slightly differently. The elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element is associated with its own particular season, emotion, and organ system. Cathy Keenan is a Yin Yoga teacher and student of TCM in Toronto, and she has written 5 articles explaining the nature of the 5 elements and their effects upon us. Read about each one by clicking the link below.

Metal

Water

Wood

Fire

Earth

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Yin Yoga Teacher Directory

If you are having trouble finding a Yin Yoga teacher near your, 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.

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The Yin Yoga Forum

The forum is available for anyone to ask questions about Yin Yoga in particular or Yoga in general, but the forum is not just for those who "don't know" - it is also available for everyone who already knows, and has stories and information to share with others. Recently the forum has been changed to make it easier to find the most common topics. Check it out and feel free to add your voice.

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2011 Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings

Yin is In! And, it is growing in popularity. 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 Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings with Bernie Clark

50 Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training

August 22nd-28th, 2011 at the
Semperviva Yoga Studios - Vancouver, B.C., 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, and is eligible for CEUs with Yoga Alliance. (Continuing Education Units are required to maintain your status as a Registered Yoga Teacher).

For more details or to register, check the Semperviva web page or call them at 604-739-2009.

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Other Interesting Events

Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, and Biff Mithoefer are each planning a full load of workshops in 2011 all over the world. You can check out their schedules at their home web pages:

Paul Grilley's Schedule of Workshops

Sarah Power's Schedule of Workshops

Biff Mithoefer's Schedule of Workshops

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!)











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