Hi Joonas...welcome to the Forum. Thanks for your questions. You are not the only "beginner" with these concerns. Let's take them in order:
1. Can I go for a jog after a Yin Yoga session if the body feels fine? Or would it be wiser to let it rest a bit longer?
During the Yin Yoga practice our connective tissues can undergo "creep", which is why counterposes are so important. I have written about this here
, and I would suggest you read that article. Whether you should go for a run right after yin depends on many things: what postures were you doing (spine work is probably okay, but a lot of leg/hip work, maybe not so good); how many counterposes did you do; how long after the practice do you plan to wait before running; and, of course, on your own uniqueness. I know many young athletes that would have no problem and you may be one of these. If you are trying for a personal best for speed, probably not a good idea. Personally, I prefer to do yin after running, not before. This is something you will have to check out and see how it feels for your body.
2.During an asana, does it matter whether I hold my attention in my breath or in what I am feeling in the body? Obviously always going to hold some awareness in the bodily sensations to make sure that I am at a proper edge, but other than that, I mean.
It is all good. Depending upon your intention you can focus on your breath, on sensations, on the feeling of energy flowing, on your thoughts or emotions, ... any anchor will help you to stay present. Personally, I find focussing on the physical sensations grounds me and keeps me present the best, but that is just me. I would not insist everyone do it that way. What works best for you?
3. Can I do Yin Yoga during a fast?
Yin is a slow practice, so doing it during a fast sound balancing (that's a joke, sort of.
) During a fast, the body is using limited resources to heal, detox and re-strengthen. Any yoga practice at this time should be mild, including yin. While yin is not muscular, we are still stressing the connective tissues of the body and they will need resources to heal and develop. So, I would say "yes" but shorter holds, and shorter practices. As above, however, what is important is not what I say but what your experience is. Does it work for you? If so, go for it? If not, don't.
4. Which asanas would be good replacements for Shoelace in the flow for the hips provided on this website? I cant do it, not even Half Shoelace.
Any other posture that targets the hips could work: Square pose, Swan, Winged Dragon, even sitting cross-legged. Again, it depends upon your intentions. Are you doing Shoelace for the external rotation in the hips? If so, do the pose I mentioned. Are you doing it for flexion of the hips? If so, Butterfly could work. Are you doing for adduction of the legs? If so, Twisted Roots could work or Saddle. It depends upon your intention. This article
may help you decide which poses to use for varyng intentions.
5. Is easing in to Seal through a minute or so of Sphinx necessary if one has just done Sphinx? In a couple of Bernies flows, Sphinx is followed by Seal (Childs pose in between)
No, if you have already prepared the spine via a mild extension, then you may be ready right away to go into Seal. Again, it depends upon you. How does it feel for you do Seal without another visit to Sphinx? Any pain? If so, do more Sphinx.
Joonas, many beginners love doing Yin Yoga. I personally believe it can be a great practice for beginners to yoga (and have written about this here
.) Just remember: you are the one in charge. Pay attention to what is happening, and have an intention for each practice.
Let us know how it goes.