Today is our last day at the ashram for our teacher training. Like each morning prior, we started the day at 6 am with a morning meditation and Hatha practice.
From the meditation, we moved into a quiet Yin practice and then because the energy was low, the teacher brought us into a Vinyasa practice…and it felt gooooood. After three days of multiple Yin practices per day, to finally get moving…to sweat…to breathe a little harder…was exactly what my body — and nearly everyone in the room — needed.
Yin yoga is a practice of relaxing into a pose. Of releasing the tension from the muscles to allow the connective tissue and fascia to get the deep stretch they need to maintain and/or increase mobility in the major joints of the body. Don’t misunderstand, this is not a lazy practice. I repeat, this is not a lazy practice. In fact, it’s much more difficult than a Vinyasa practice (or a Yang practice).
To allow our bodies to relax — fully relax — is counter to everything we do with them all day…counter to the society we live in…counter to everything we’re told we need to do. It actually takes great inner strength to commit to the relaxation…the surrender…and to meet with open arms everything that rises up from within as a result.
So after three days of two-a-days…and even a three-a-day…Yin practice, my body needed to move. I didn’t realize it until the practice guided me there. The sense of relief was intense. I felt strong…light…lean. The practice…for all its activity…felt almost effortless. My body floated from pose to pose.
At the end of practice as we laid in relaxation pose, I could feel the purpose of Yin and Yang in my life. My body understood — and therefore my mind understood — how both practices are beneficial and need to be a part of my activity going forward.
Just as important as it is to push forward…strive..achieve…it is equally important to rest…reflect…restore. As the saying goes, all things in moderation.