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Yin Yoga for complete Yoga Beginners

 
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RachelW



Joined: 07 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Letchworth, Herts, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject: Yin Yoga for complete Yoga Beginners Reply with quote

Hi everyone
I'm a UK Yoga teacher teaching a Yin class once a month.
The class is becoming increasingly popular with people who are completely new to yoga, so have no "yang" style yoga practice to balance. Initially I used to tell people you must have a Yang Yoga practice of at least 6 months duration, but people were coming to me saying they ran or cycled or whatever and wasn't that a Yang practice of some kind?
So I'm curious to know what everybody thinks - should people with no yoga experience practice Yin Yoga?
Look forward to hearing from you,
Rachel
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1073
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Beginner Yin Reply with quote

Hi Rachel

Yin is indeed becoming more and more popular and more and more often students coming to a Yin Yoga class have never done any yoga before. Your question is a good one and has inspired me to write a more in depth article on this topic for an upcoming newsletter. For now, maybe I can just offer a few points from my perspective and experience.

To say someone is a beginner at yoga is not all that helpful. There are beginners who are naturally very flexible and will have no problem doing the postures being described, but there are beginners who are very inflexible and will struggle with many poses. But there are also beginners who naturally very distracted mentally and will find it hard to stay present, and there are beginners who are very grounded and present and will have no problem with the mental requirements of a yoga practice. Students will have different combinations of these attributes: some will be flexible and grounded and these so-called beginners will have no problem with a yoga practice, while others will be inflexible and distracted and these students will benefit the most from yoga. It is this latter category that concerns teachers the most - should a student who is inflexible and unable to stay present start his/her yoga journey with Yin Yoga? That is the real question. The student who is grounded and flexible should have no problem even though she/he is new to yoga.

My answer is - yes. I believe that anyone can do a Yin Yoga practice, and in fact over the years I have come to believe that this is the ideal entry to yoga! This is a controversial position, as there are some teachers who believe that one to three years of regular Hatha practice should precede beginning a Yin practice (see Angie Ackermans article for one example of this point of view.) Here is the biggest reason why I think that students not only can begin their yoga journey with Yin Yoga but should begin their journey with Yin Yoga:

In Yin Yoga, the student is given the time and guidance needed to experience their body and the effect on their body that the postures create. With this training, they can develop their own sensitivity to what they need, when to go deeper and when to back off.

I believe that the greatest gift a teacher can give her students is the ability to know their own body/heart/mind and the ability to develop their own practice. Regular Hatha practice certainly can develop this skill, but when a student is holding a pose for only 5 or 8 breaths, there is only enough time to worry about the physical arrangement of the limbs. Am I doing this right? is a question that beginners often ask. The answer should be, I dont know what are you feeling? Each pose should have an intention behind it (why else would a teacher ask the student to do that pose?) and the student has to be the one to determine whether she is getting the intended benefit from that posture: this requires inner attention, and this is the great gift that you can help a beginner develop through a Yin Yoga practice.

As I say, I hope to offer more thoughts later. I hope this helps you welcome beginners to your classes, and help them to begin their yoga journey mindfully.

Cheers
Bernie
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RachelW



Joined: 07 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Letchworth, Herts, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bernie
I like your thinking and it has helped clarify mine!
In my "regular" yoga classes I don't run beginner's classes as I have found that beginners come in all shapes and sizes...someone can join a class and quickly become attuned to what yoga is, and others will not really progress for years (despite flexible bodies!). So what you say makes sense in relation to Yin. The slow and simple approach should indeed be of benefit to yoga novices.
Do you think beginners coming to Yin yoga should be encouraged to start a more yang style yoga practice too, or is it ok for Yin yoga to be their only yoga practice?
I look forward to reading your article...
All the best
Rachel
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1073
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:27 pm    Post subject: Yin needs yang Reply with quote

Of course - even beginners need yang to balance their yin and vice versa. A combination of Hatha classes and Yin Yoga every week would be an excellent way to introduce someone to yoga.
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1073
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Beginner Yin Reply with quote

You may also find it useful to check out this earlier thread on this topic.
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Aliraza2



Joined: 05 Sep 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not given to posting obviously, let me beg the oards indulgence and express a little gratitude. It's been a long hard journey, but my PTSD is managable. It took a lot of Yin, dharma practice and more. It is my own recovery model and along with some young combat veterans who work with me we are trying to repeat the results.
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Pass your SY0-401 dumps on first attempt using Miami International University of Art & Design and other resources.
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