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Bringing Some Yang into a Yin Class

 
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Laura Hahn



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Stanwood, WA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:22 am    Post subject: Bringing Some Yang into a Yin Class Reply with quote

Now that Fall has arrived and the weather is getting cooler, I have recently brought a Yang sequence into one of the Yin classes I instruct in La Conner, WA. Last night was the first class in which I did this.
This morning in my personal practice a question came up in regards to
this change, and that is "When" do I do the Yin...in the beginning or in the end?". Over the years I have always instructed that Yin Yoga is best practiced when the muscles are cool, which I have learned from my training with Paul Grilley, and studying of the "Complete Guide to Yin Yoga". In class last night I instructed the Yang first with several Sun Salutations, and then to the floor for Yin.......and, I thought to myself this morning "that is contradictory to what I have been saying all along, that Yin Yoga is best practiced with the muscles cool". Then I thought I am going to ask Bernie. I also study and use "Insight Yoga" and the wisdom of Sarah Powers as a guide for instructing my Yin classes. When I consulted with my "Insight Yoga" book this morning, in the section "Yang Sequence with a Yin Practice"... I see that the Yang Sequence is done first, as Sarah Posers says "because the movement practice settles the mind", which also makes sense to me. This class I teach is at 5:30pm, and most of the population is just getting off work and coming directly to class, so I see where the Sarah Powers approach is a good one, to calm the minds after a days work.
At this point I am feeling a bit confused and concerned that my instruction
is contradictory causing confusing for my students.
Would so appreciate any light you can shine on this confusion.
Thank you so much,
Laura Hahn
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1117
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:52 am    Post subject: A question of yin or yoga: which comes first? Reply with quote

Hi Laura

This question is an oldie and a goodie. It has been discussed several times on the forum and I encourage you to check out these posts

Hot yin?
Yin/Yang fusion flows
Yin before yang?
Help with a yin/yang class
Do yin yoga after hot yoga
Yin/yang classes

In short, there is never one "right" way to do something. It depends upon your intentions. The idea of doing yin yoga while the muscles are cool is to help more of the stress of the postures to soak into the deeper, yin-like, connective tissues (to understand why, read my article on Cold Muscles - Warm Muscles). So, for the most effective physical benefit, do the yin practice first or early in the morning. But if your intention is to chill, to calm down, to meditate and get ready for bed, it is probably better to do the yin practice after your yang practice. It won't have the same physiological benefits of switching the order, but it will help to calm the mind more before bed. If the intention is to stimulate the energy body, then you can pretty much do this in either order. Or you can do a fusion flow and mix them up. What's your intention?

Cheers
Bernie
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Laura Hahn



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Stanwood, WA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Bernie,
Thank you for your prompt response to my e-mail.

My intention is to warm the students up and calm their minds, as it is an evening class at 5:30 pm, students coming directly from work,
and would like to send them home relaxed for a peaceful evening.
With that said, Yang first then Yin!
I am clear now, and so appreciate your time and attention.
The posts that you suggested are very helpful as well.
Just ordered your new book, and I am looking forward to having
it as another great guide for my instruction in Yoga.
Laura
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1117
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good! I hope your students enjoy your classes. In my home studio, we often have yin yoga classes as the last class of the evening and many students do a "double-dip": they take a hatha (yang) class first and end the evening with a yin class. They leave very mellow.

Cheers!
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VIYOGA



Joined: 16 Oct 2017
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was taught that practising yin yoga with warm muscles is unsafe. Is this inaccurate?
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1117
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practicing Yin Yoga with warm muscles is not unsafe. It may not give you the best physical benefits but it is not dangerous. I have written about doing yin warm or cold in several places. Please read this article on Hot Yin and if you still have questions, please let me know. Cheers, Bernie
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