The Moon and Yin Yoga

Hi lovely souls, I felt inspired to share this blog with you about the August Full moon and Yin yoga!

A lot of you were probably aware that there was a full moon last Thursday, named the Sturgeon moon by the native Americans, as  it was the time around each August full moon when the sturgeon fish would be abundant in the lakes and rivers.

A full moon represents the feminine energy of serenity, reflection, and intuition, symbolising the water element. It affects all tidal waters and as we contain approximately 70% of water within each of us it has an ancient and instinctive effect on many of our emotions.

I was driving to one of my classes last Thursday evening, thinking I would teach what I already had planned but then the universe decided to change that and placed the idea of Yin Yoga into my head, I chose to trust the guidance and teach it without having anything prepared, as the qualities of Yin yoga resonate well with the Full Moon energies.

It turned out that everyone was feeling quite fatigued that evening ( probably from the strong effects the Full Moon has on our energies) and it was just what the students said they needed to recharge their weary minds and bodies.

If you have not experienced Yin before its quite a different practice to the Hatha and dynamic Vinyasa styles of yoga. People can be mistaken into thinking that it is a gentle style of Yoga that they wont find challenging enough because it is a passive practice, but boy are they wrong!

What is Yin Yoga?

The term Yin Yoga comes from the Taoist tradition of Yin and Yang. Yang to create heat and movement in the body and Yin to find stillness and cooling.It was introduced  in the late 1970’s  by yoga and martial arts expert Paulie Zink and is taught in North America and Europe, further developed by teachers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers.

What are the benefits of Yin?

Yin Yoga stretches and targets the deep connective tissues between the  muscles and fascia throughout the body, helping to increase circulation in the bones and joints whilst improving flexibility. The body’s flow of energy  becomes regulated and assists in reducing cortisol to calm the nervous system.This style of yoga is a wonderful for reflection and finding stillness helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.

What is different about this style of Yoga?

When practicing Yin, the poses are mainly seated and supine and are held from three to five minutes sometimes more, for beginners this can be from forty five seconds to two minutes. Props such as bolsters, blocks and blankets can be used to cushion joints and help with alignment supporting the body for the duration of the pose.

How is Yin Challenging?

The first step is to find the edge in the pose the place where the pose can be held without too much discomfort or any pain.

Secondly the student aims to stay in that position without fidgeting for the required length of time. As our bodies are not used to staying still for long except in sleep or meditation, this can be quite challenging, as the mind will constantly try to distract the yogi  because the ego likes to be in control.

The student can find the stretches very intense and the best way to get through this is by bringing awareness to the breath helping to discipline the chaotic mind and manage the intensity within the pose.

How does Yin relieve stress and anxiety?

By focusing on conscious breathing the Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) transitions to the Parasympathetic nervous system increasing seratonin levels and instilling a calmness a feeling of deep inner peace, allowing time for contemplation and connection to ourselves, to simply be in the present moment.

Why I recommend this practice

I highly recommend this style of yoga as it is a wonderful counter balance to fast paced modern living. It can help us connect back to our disconnected selves and improve our communication with others. which can only have a profound positive effect for the Planet and you don’t have to wait for a Full Moon to try this extremely beneficial practice, it can be done whenever you feel the need, Yogi’s choice!

Funnily it turned out that I was asked to cover at two different studio’s teaching Yin classes over the weekend which was a delight to be with the students in their stillness.

So the Universe led me wisely! Always good to go with your intuition and trust in your inner knowing and you wont go far wrong.

I hope you found this blog helpful, let me know if there are any other Yoga, Pilates or mindfulness topics you would like me to blog about that interest you.

From my heart to yours in wellness,

Namaste xx

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