Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga @ Peninsula Yoga Centre with Hayley each Friday at 10.30am

Yin Yoga postures are more passive postures, mainly on the floor and the majority of postures equal only about three dozen or so, much less than the more popular yang like practices. Yin Yoga is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone. While yang-like yoga practices are more superficial, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. It is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation, and I often talk students through the postures as if they were trying to meditate. While in a Yin class you might notice similar postures to a yang class except they are called something else, on a basic level this is to help the students mind shift form yang to yin, active to passive.

This concept of Yin yoga has been around for thousands of years and some of the older text, such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika notes only sixteen postures in its text, which is far less than the millions of postures practiced in today’s yoga. In addition, having read much of these text and also cliff notes from various teachers it would appear that these “postures” were more yin like to help promote meditation and long periods of pranayama and sitting. Now I am not claiming to be an ancient text yoga guru, but this is just an observation I have made.

So what exactly is Yin Yoga? It is a more meditative approach with a physical focus much deeper than Yang like practices. Here the practitioner is trying to access the deeper tissues such as the connective tissue and fascia and many of the postures focus on areas that encompass a joint (hips, sacrum, spine). As one ages flexibility in the joints decreases and Yin yoga is a wonderful way to maintain that flexibility, something that for many don’t seem to be too concerned about until they notice it is gone.

(Credit:- Hope Zvara) 

Chair Yoga!!! (Testimonials)

Chair yoga makes practices available to every BODY and every MIND. you can obtain all the benefits of yoga while safely sitting in a chair! If you have issues with balance, suffering from an illness, recovering an injury, are new to exercise or just want to feel better chair yoga may be for you.

Here’s what a few participants think about the classes:-

“Last year I saw an ad for chair yoga. I’m 82 and have mobility problems in my shoulders and back, since attending the classes I have better movement and am more supple. I really enjoy the gentle exercise and friendly atmosphere of the classes”

Lois Kelly

“As an amputee I was looking for a form of exercise. I found chair yoga. My mobility and balance has improved immensely. Thoroughly recommend John’s chair yoga. Friendly, beneficial workout, I’m addicted”

Bev McPherson

Classes each Tuesday at 11.30am and Thursday at 2pm.

Simplify your life through Yoga

The overload of yoga information, some accurate and some completely inaccurate is becoming overwhelming. Actually it’s very confusing, my FB news feed is saturated with yoga classes, teacher training, retreats, yoga as a business, yoga active wear, the list is exhaustive.

If you’re attending classes and benefitting why over complicate it, there’s no need, the whole idea is to simplify life through yoga not over complicate it.

To simplify your yoga practice allow your mind to be led, don’t anticipate the teachers words, that’s just your ego wanting to take charge. Practice with a zen mind, allow your consciousness to separate from the endless stream of thought that drifts across your mind scape.

Mindfulness is created by developing drishti and focusing on the bio feedback from your body while in motion. Assessing where you need to strengthen your body, relax your body, direct your breath and modifying your position for comfort.

The body-mind connection is created by turning inward and feeling your body in movement. It’s what I refer to as meditation in motion or relaxation in action. Take your body into a pose as deeply as you can based on how you feel in the “present”. Your level of energy, physical, mental and emotional attributes or restraints determine your level of practice. Don’t start your class with a set goal or preconceived idea of want you want to achieve, this leads to
an ego driven practice which will have diminishing wellness benefits.

The formula is fairly simple, move your body mind fully through asana to create a flow of subtle energy (prana) and potentially develop higher states of focus. Your breath is all important, it’s the prime mover, it’s used to develop strength, relaxation, softness. Breath brings your body and mind together and holds the connection when mindfulness is established.

Move the body, focus the mind, honour the breath, be present.